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Ranking the Week's Best Talk Show Appearances by Presidential Candidates

By Dustin Rowles | Late Night TV | September 12, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Late Night TV | September 12, 2015 |

4. In Jeb Bush’s interview on Colbert’s show, he totally said something that was not horrible about Obama! Mostly, though, I appreciate what Colbert was trying to do here: Temper the divisiveness, restore the sanity.

3. Donald Trump on The Tonight Show

He still came off as a total buffoon, and there was nothing likable about him and his interactions with Fallon. But for the first time in as long as I can remember, he didn’t say anything egregiously offensive, he didn’t completely shoot himself in the foot, and he didn’t say anything that made my blood boil. That’s as good as one might expect of Trump. Plus, Fallon picked a new theme song for his campaign that was perfect in its over-the-topness and Trump gave the perfect “The Donald” response.

Fallon also dressed as as Trump, so that “Trump” could interview Trump in the mirror. It’d have been more amusing if there was actually a difference between the real thing and the caricature.

2. Hillary did her best to address the email controversy that’s been dogging her entire campaign, but she didn’t really say much that’s likely to change it. However, she seemed to get an endorsement from Ellen, and having Amy Schumer roller-skate by gives Hillary some credibility by association.

The dance, on the other hand, was dreadful, as Bill could attest:

1. Joe Biden on The Late Show

Seven years with Joe Biden as Vice President, and I’ve never admired him as much as I did hearing him talk about the death of his son, and the tragedies he’s experienced before. He was honest, and genuine, a man of substance and managed not to sound like a politician. It was a heartbreaking conversation at times, and frankly, I was astounded that — instead of self-pity — he was thankful for having the support that so many others do not have. He bonded with Colbert even more when he turned it to Colbert’s tragedy. It was so touching and unusual for a late-night show for two men to have an honest conversation about grief and tragedy.

I don’t know if Biden is the best potential candidate in this race, but I feel like he’s easily the best person.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.