Current GOP front-runner Donald Trump appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Friday night, capping a politician-studded late-night week that saw the likes of Jeb Bush and Vice President Joe Biden. While Biden brought the emotional gravitas, and Bush played the part of the "distinguished politician," Trump was, well, his usual Trump self: brusque, candid and unintentionally hilarious. The billionaire business mogul bounced some jokes around with the ever-affable Fallon, but we have to ask: Just how much was Trump joking?
Before the formal interview began, Fallon did a funny bit with the businessman-turned-politician. Dressed up like Trump, Fallon sat in front of a "mirror" and pretended to interview himself as Trump — with the real Donald Trump sitting across from him. It turns out Trump is pretty good at comedy, but I guess we should have expected that, considering his lengthy reality TV resume.
"Me interviewing me," Trump said in the opening bit. "That's what I call a great idea."
Almost as great of an idea as running for president! Throughout the show, Trump took some lighthearted jabs at his fellow Republican challengers, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and his own immigration plan. But were these jokes, or serious points made by the most flamboyant presidential candidate in recent history?
The Biggest Game of Jenga, Ever
You know how Trump is going to make Mexico build a giant wall between its nation and the United States? It's easy, said Fallon as Trump.
"I'll challenge them to the biggest game of Jenga, ever," Fallon as Trump said. "I'll make them set up the board. And then, when they finish, I'll say, 'I don't want to play anymore.'"
"That's genius," said the real Trump. While that plan is ridiculous, it's not that far from the truth. Trump's plan for a great wall running the length of the America-Mexico border is one of his most talked-about platforms, and he's not kidding about it. "Building a wall is easy, and it can be done inexpensively," Trump told The Washington Post last month.
Hillary Clinton Is Losing Her Edge
During the formal interview, Fallon compared Trump's sudden rise with Clinton's sudden fall (the former secretary of state is losing ground in Iowa and New Hampshire, where she has been overtaken by Sen. Bernie Sanders). Trump lowered his voice and seemed to get serious for a bit. "She's had a very, very tough time, and I think it's going to be very tough for her," Trump said. "I've never seen anything like it."
This got a big laugh from the audience, which made Trump press on. "I feel terribly about it!" he said.
Is he joking? Does he really feel for Clinton? We don't know for sure how Trump really feels, but we should take this seriously. Sanders has a powerful movement behind him, but can he beat out Trump in a nationwide presidential election? Trump may be joking now, but Clinton's fall in the polls could place us closer to a Trump presidency — and he knows it.
Trump's Job Plan Is...
How is Trump planning to create jobs in this country? "I'm just going to do it," he said to cheers and applause.But how? "By doing it," Trump said. "It just happens, by doing it."
And that is, basically, Trump's real plan for employment growth.
He's Still In The Lead
"You're in the lead now," Fallon said, more of a statement than a question.
"By a lot!" Trump replied.
This should be a joke. It is not a joke.