Zach Galifianakis’ Hillary Clinton Interview Should Teach Jimmy Fallon A Lesson
On Thursday morning the world was given a beautiful gift in the form of Hillary Clinton's appearance on Between Two Ferns with the eternally absurd and bearded Zach Galifianakis. Regardless of your stance on Clinton's politics or the comedic stylings of Galifianakis, the onscreen chemistry between the two is palpable. Who didn't love when Galifianakis rapidly fired his signature brand of faux-interview questions, at one point saying:
Critics have questioned some of your decision-making recently, and by you doing this show, I hope it finally lays that to rest.
As can be seen on the full video on Funny or Die, Clinton demonstrated her sense of humor by responding, "I think it absolutely proves their case, don't you?"
Throughout the interview Clinton's sharp comebacks made the jokes land even better, particularly when Galifianakis amped the absurdity by remarking that not only could Clinton be the first woman president, but for some young children she would symbolize the first white president:
Not to take away from that historic significance of you perhaps becoming the first female president, but for a younger, younger generation, you will also become their first white president, and that’s pretty neat, too.
While Clinton's interview with Galifianakis stayed within the playful and spontaneous framework typical of Between Two Ferns, some of the jokes seared into genuine criticisms of Clinton, including but not limited to the moment when Galifianakis brought up Clinton's attendance at Donald Trump's wedding, and he jokingly asked whether Michelle Obama wrote Melania Trump's vows. Even the playful interview on Between Two Ferns felt harsher to me than Jimmy Fallon's interview with Donald Trump during which at one point he almost-affectionately ruffled the Republican candidate's hair.
While Fallon's interview with Trump on The Tonight Show stuck to general questions such as, "Do you pay attention to the polls?" The antics of Galifianakis got hilariously and painfully specific when he brought up the friendship between Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump, saying:
Chelsea — your daughter — and Ivanka Trump —Trump's daughter — are friends. Does Ivanka ever call Chelsea, you know, to talk about boys that might have crushes on her, like her dad?
This isn't the only moment Galifianakis "goes there." He ended the interview with an email scandal zinger, asking: "What's the best way to reach you? Email?"
Although still delivered in his comedic cadence, Galifianakis' ending joke provided an intentional jab and distance between him and Clinton, which is a sharp contrast to Fallon's suggestion that Trump change his new theme song to "All I Do Is Win" by DJ Khaled.
While yes, Fallon and Galifianakis have vastly different hosting style regardless of guest, the contrast between the treatment of Clinton and Trump might also speak to an increased expectation of Clinton's accountability.