In Pete Buttigieg’s guest hosting stint before an audience-less Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday, he gave sometimes awkward and mostly amusing monologue, performed in a humorous skit and then looked surprisingly relaxed behind the late-night host’s desk interviewing his guests.
The show, which tapes in Hollywood, canceled its studio audience because of fears of the spread of the coronavirus, something that Buttigieg addressed in his opening remarks.
“Believe me when I say — that the resolve of our nation is strong. Our ideals run deep, and America will always be America,” he said. “In fact, here is living proof of that.”
Then the show ran a clip of Fox’s Masked Singer from Wednesday, in which Sarah Palin, in a bear outfit, rapped Baby Got Back.
“That’s going to be me in 3 months, isn’t it?” Buttigieg said.
Buttigieg’s best quips were self deprecating, particularly when talking about his presidential campaign.
“You know some people have been skeptical about me hosting a show like this,” Buttigieg said. “They’re like “you’re too inexperienced… you’ll never be a good late night host.”
“Well, a lot of people said I’d never get elected President – and I showed them!”
He also made several jokes about his young age, and the notion that he had too little experience for the White House — and a few about his fashion sense.
“Running for president was an amazing experience,” he said. “The support my campaign got was unbelievable and I really thought we had a shot.
“Turns out I was about 40 years too young and 38 years too gay.”
Another example: “Although we didn’t win, we did achieve some pretty big milestones. I’m the first gay person to ever win a presidential primary or caucus. And the first gay man in thirty years to wear pleated pants.”
He also talked about dropping out of the presidential race, getting in a singe at one of his rivals: “What can I say? Some candidates know when it’s time to get out of the race, and some candidates are Tulsi Gabbard.”
The first guest was fitting for Buttigieg, a huge Star Trek fan: Patrick Stewart. “He’s in charge of a fictional star fleet. Just like Mike Pence,” Buttigieg said.
The interview was laden with mutual praise, but Buttigieg seemed comfortable in the format as the one asking the questions and offering the occasional anecdote. Stewart then gave ultra-fan Buttigieg a signed, original Star Trek: The Next Generation script.
After that, guest LeVar Burton hosted a game of Star Trek knowledge, “Who’s The Captain Now,?” with Stewart and Buttigieg in the hot seat to answer.
In one of the skits, Buttigieg went business-to-business down Hollywood Boulevard, looking for a job, before getting an interview at Wetzel’s Pretzels. He ends up getting a tryout handing out samples on the Walk of Fame.
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