The Knowledge Needed to Get The Jokes | Jimmy Fallon and Donald Trump

Donald Trump Interview Himself In the Mirror

Jimmy Fallon is known for the hit talk show “The Tonight Show,” a show where parodies, sketches and skits occur, as well as mini game shows such as knock-off lip-sync battles and various guessing games like to Taboo. The main event to Fallon’s show is the interviewing of a celebrity, primarily one who has made a recent chart-topping song or plays the lead role in a highly-anticipated film; and, in the weeks leading up to the Republican debate, Jimmy Fallon transformed himself into the likeness of Donald Trump for a humorous interview with the real Donald Trump… in the “mirror”.

In order to understand even the introduction to the scene, we must first establish the understanding that Donald Trump is by and large a selfish asshole, hands down. We must also consider the narcissism Fallon displays as Trump, a nod again toward this arrogance. That being said, it is now possible to provide the rundown of the interview.

Fallon enters, dressed as Trump, with hair and makeup to enhance the parodied identity. He is on the phone with someone, and claims he will call back after he combs his hair–a three-hour process. The lookalike Trump takes a seat and subtly introduces the real Trump, stating “I look fantastic.” Camera swap to the real Donald Trump; audience laughs, cheers, and applauds. Various questions are asked by Fallon to Trump pertaining to political issues like the growing Mexican illegal immigration concern and job creation. The former issue Trump asked Fallon to explain how he would mitigate it–the answer just might make you chuckle. During the final portion, pseudo-Trump Fallon asks if True Trump’s vice president would be Gary Busey, famous for actually being out of his mind; and True Trump’s response causes either cringing or laughter (or both) with the lead-up phrase “I want someone with ambition, someone like [pause] Kanye West.” Audience laughs, cheers, and applauds (and some go “ooo”); scene end.

This entire interview, of course, is a satirical take on how Donald Trump plans to fill the hole the United States has dug itself. From it, certain questions arise–

  1. Why is this interview funny?
  2. What knowledge does the audience require in order to understand this humor?
  3. What is the importance of this knowledge?
  4. In what other ways is this interview a parody?
  5. How can we see intertext throughout the scene?

From these questions’ answers, I anticipate learning some bit of foundation behind Donald Trump’s plans as well as a new way to understand political humor.


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