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Jimmy Kimmel spins the Democratic presidential candidate guest wheel, lands on Amy Klobuchar

Senator Amy Klobuchar, Jimmy Kimmel
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

With most of the late-night hosts taking this holiday week as a cue for a week-long holiday, Jimmy Kimmel was the only game in town on Tuesday. He’s taking most of the rest of the week off from Jimmy Kimmel Live!, suggesting that he just had to rush back to broadcast interviews with Rocketman star Taron Egerton and one of the myriad (okay, 24) Democrats officially seeking to be the one to sweep Donald Trump and his corrupt, racist clown show from the land. On the latter front, Kimmel debuted a (frankly sort of tossed-off) jingle to help keep the candidates straight before welcoming Klobuchar for what’s certain to become a recurring PR campaign stop for each of the two dozen people looking to grab some free airtime.

Kimmel ran through his aspiring office-holder checklist with the forthright Klobuchar. “Why do you want to be President?” elicited a litany of necessary fixes (healthcare, foreign policy, climate change), all of which the candidate, as diplomatically as possible, suggested Trump was screwing up, wrong-headed about, or otherwise shanking. “What sets you apart from the rest of the 24-pack of Democrats running for the same job?” allowed the Minnesota senator to lay out some credentials. (America’s ready for [another] woman to win; she’s proven she can win “red” districts in the Midwest; she gets things done.) Klobuchar did dodge Kimmel’s direct ask, “Do you think the president is crazy?,” although her response did outline many ways in which, yes, obviously, there is a nigh-illiterate, toilet-tweeting, divisive loon in charge of the nuclear codes. “I think the president is not doing his job” joined with Klobuchar’s “these are not things that a good, strong leader does” to form her version of “Yes, Donald Trump is crazy as a bug in a Dixie cup,” but that’s campaign-speak for you.

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Kimmel, while bonding with his guest over their shared nightmare experiences with a very sick newborn and the arbitrary, ghoulishly expensive ordeal that is the current American healthcare system, asked Klobuchar about her claim that the late Senator John McCain was repeating dictators’ names during Trump’s inauguration speech. Klobuchar, explaining that seatmate McCain was pointing out similarities in Trump’s isolationist, nationalist, blame-the-“other” rhetoric to those dictators’ messages, did tell Kimmel that neither Hitler nor Stalin made McCain’s list. So Trump’s got that going for him anyway.

But Kimmel perhaps sensed that Klobuchar’s measured attacks on the baby-cager-in-chief needed a little Hollywood flash. So, to that end, he whipped out a handful of knocked-together campaign merch, including a “Klo with the Flo” coffee mug, and the Marvel-friendly heroic pandering of an “It’s KLO-bering Time!” T-shirt. (The “When they go Klo, we go Buchar” red baseball cap might be a bit too much of a thinker, honestly.) Still, with the most important presidential election in anyone living’s lifetime still 524 days away(?!) the prop comedy sit-down at least set a template for Kimmel’s many, many such candidate interviews going forward.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.