On Thursday, the first debate of the presidential primary season will be going down, and it'll be fulfilling a dream of comedy writers and casual political observers alike: We finally get to see one Donald J. Trump stand alongside nine other ostensibly credible candidates, and see what he can do. There's really no telling how it'll go — most people seem to assume it'll be a farce, although a competent performance could be a game-changer. In any case, why not let Jimmy Fallon's Donald Trump debate prep sketch set the mood for you?
Trump is a hard voice to pin down — it seems almost as much about keeping a consistent, blurty volume as the cadence — but Fallon does a pretty good job of it. In the sketch, which aired on The Tonight Show on Monday, Trump receives a nighttime phone call from none other than President Barack Obama, who wants to help him prepare for the GOP debates so that he can "watch this whole s**t-show go down."
If there's any problem with the sketch, it's that no comedic rendering of Trump can really properly capture the blustery, braggart's aura that exists around the genuine article. But that doesn't mean there aren't some chuckles to be had — after all, sometimes it's hard to laugh, when you realize this guy's the Republican frontrunner so far.
It kicks off with President Obama dialing up Trump's personal cell phone number, for which he receives a decidedly Trump-esque greeting: "Congratulations, you've reached Donald Trump." Obama's response referenced Monday's surprise disclosure by Gawker, when they revealed Trump's personal cell phone number.
Hey, Gawker was right! This really is your number. Payback is a bitch.
Obama gamely attempts to inform Trump of some things he needs to keep in mind for the debate, like not talking over people, sticking to his allotted speaking time, and how he "can't just throw around numbers that don't make any sense." But Trump is undeterred, claiming that "3.2 billion disagree," and insisting that "the media loves me. They try to act like they don't, but they do."
Obama's attempts to prepare Trump for the kinds of questions he'd likely receive didn't go so hot either — Trump's answer on immigration, the economy, and education were one in the same: "Build a giant wall."
There's even a birther joke in there, which is worthwhile, if only to remind everyone, "Hey, yeah, Donald Trump is the most prominent birther in the world, isn't he?"
Obama: Sorry, I'm a little jetlagged. Just got back from my trip to Kenya.
Trump: It's always nice going home.
If there's any not-so-hot part of the sketch, it's probably the pair of Chris Christie fat jokes that come near the middle. Fat jokes as a brand of comedy generally, and Chris Christie as their target specifically, are about as played-out and annoying as it gets these days — the cheaper, easier "George W. Bush is stupid" joke for a new generation. But pseudo-Trump and pseudo-Obama finished out strong, with a surreal closing in which they start excitedly auto-tuning themselves.
Even as... self-confident, let's say, a figure like Trump is, you probably shouldn't expect to see him whip out a headset and start an auto-tuned jam on stage at Thursday's Fox News debate. But it's always fun to imagine — if there's any one thing Fallon gets right in this sketch, it's his description of how big this debate's going to be: "Yuuuuuuuuuuge."
Images: The Tonight Show/YouTube (3)