I write about Jordan Klepper’s trips to Trump rallies a lot. I have a morbid fascination with them that I can’t shake. They’re shocking, maddening, and often inexplicable. You watch people work their brains into fruit loops to defend a man who would not piss on them if they were on fire. Every so often, I watch one of the videos and think, “Why does Jordan Klepper do this?” Given his choice of the most “memorable” moment he’s had at one of these rallies, I wonder that even more.
Toward the end of his excellent stint as guest host, Klepper took a moment between takes to talk to the crowd. An audience member asked him what his most memorable interaction with a MAGA person was. He proceeded to tell a story set during Trump’s first impeachment. In the story, a woman he spoke to was asked if Trump was guilty if he was blocking witness testimony. She said yes. Klepper informed her that Trump was doing that, and she said she didn’t care.
As Klepper points out, that’s the MAGA movement in a nutshell. It isn’t about politics. They have replaced politics with personality. They only care what their guy is doing. Appropriately, their defense is more in line with Henry Hill. “Trump assaulted someone? F*** you, vote for him. Trump tried to overturn an election? F*** you, vote for him.” As Klepper points out, there is no debating that. So why does he try?
The obvious answer is the same reason I’m here. He’s after those almighty clicks. A Trump rally is the perfect place for intentionally viral content, both because of the abhorrent attitudes and the lack of vaccinations. Klepper is also good at talking with these people. He brings who they are to the surface (even if some are more than eager to be that way as it is). The question becomes less about “why” and more about “how.” How long can Klepper keep doing this?