Today’s late-night humorists won’t follow Johnny Carson’s template when it comes to the current presidential election.
Carson famously stayed bipartisan with his yuks. To do anything else, he argued, meant potentially losing half his audience. He stayed true to that philosophy, shaping a legendary late-night run in the process. His immediate successor, Jay Leno, stayed true to that mantra.
Jimmy Fallon, the current “Tonight Show” host, is generally bipartisan despite a few moments of overt President Barack Obama propaganda.
That won’t do for Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Bill Maher and recently axed late nighter Larry Wilmore.
They’re with Her, and they want you to know it.
Most late-night hosts wear their liberalism with pride. Being partisan isn’t enough in 2016. Now, they’re actively campaigning for Clinton and mocking Donald Trump at every opportunity.
Trump is begging for such treatment, to be fair. The lies. The vicious smears. The word salad. The flip flops that make Secretary of State John Kerry look statesman-like by comparison.
Clinton isn’t too far behind, what with her issues with truth telling and the red-flag parade surrounding the Clinton Foundation.
Comics would rather target the former and downplay the latter.
Next page: Kimmel does his part for the cause.
This week, it was Jimmy Kimmel’s turn to prop up Clinton’s floundering campaign.
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host invited Clinton on his show Monday. That’s standard operating procedure. And we wouldn’t want Kimmel to treat a guest, any guest, in a disrespectful fashion.
The two sides clearly teamed up all the same to squash the notion that she’s less than healthy. That’s a charge Donald Trump and his surrogates are currently pushing.
So Kimmel had her laugh off the rumors and even open up a pickle jar to display her strength and stamina.
What, an obstacle course couldn’t be assembled in time?
Of course, the questions regarding Clinton’s current health status could be cleared up in a different way. A fresh round of medical examinations followed by true transparency. Maybe a press conference or two (we’ll take one!) could quell the uproar.
If she’s healthy …. there’s nothing to fear.
Unfortunately, the erstwhile secretary of State doesn’t “do” transparency, despite her recent claims.
That means more funny business for her late night court jesters. Chances are, Kimmel and co. will be savaging her critics far more than the candidate herself in the days and weeks to come.