One of Jimmy Fallon’s most consistent Tonight Show bits is “Slow Jam the News,” in which the host combines straight-laced newsmakers, sultry Barry White-esque musical murmurings, and a camera operator who is working overtime to shift focus from the foreground to the background. On Monday, Mayor Pete became the latest politician to respond “What is it? Uh, sure, fine.” to the staff member who suggested the booking.
The premise is pretty simple: Buttigieg gave portions of his stump speech while Fallon and The Roots’ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter sexed it up a bit with sweet nothings and double entendres. To quote the very funny Sean Simon, “Chasten your Petebelts.” We’re doing this.
The segment is pretty fun even though at this point I don’t so much want to slow jam the news as I want to jam the news into the garbage disposal. And then pull the news out of the garbage disposal and recycle it because the planet. And then Google, “Can the news actually be recycled or is it like AirPods: an invention that was purposefully created to literally never go away even after I have begrudgingly blasted myself off to space to open a Subway sandwich shop Mars or whatever.” It’s a whole thing.
In the video, Mayor Pete looks both delighted and bemused by the place that he has found himself. It’s like in the high school talent show when the group of seniors who formed a rap group called Yung Chalamet invite the vice principal to beatbox for them. “I want to talk about you,” Buttigieg says to the camera, “and the needs of everyday Americans.” We then switch to Fallon who coos, “Aw yeah. Pete Buttigieg wants to satisfy all your needs.” This is already too much. Is he is a Indiana snack? Sure. Am I prepared for the ascent of Mayor Pete: Midwestern Hot Dish? Reader, I was not prepared.
In one of the best lines, Black Thought sings, “He’s ready and prepared for a primary battle. His name is worth 800 points in Scrabble.” Give whoever wrote that line a raise immediately. Talk about a triple word score!
Later, Fallon asks him about his reasons for accepting Fox News’ town hall invitation, an invite that Elizabeth Warren ceremoniously smacked earlier today. Buttigieg responds, in part, “I want to invite everyone to join this campaign. Democrats and Republicans.”
“Democrats and Republicans,” Fallon murmurs. “Does that mean you go both ways?”
After a dramatic pause, Mayor Pete responds, “No. I’m just gay.” The auditorium goes wild for Vice Principal Booty-judge; great job to the Yung Chalamets on their very interesting presentation for the senior showcase!
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