Joe Biden made his first appearance as sitting president on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” Friday and fielded a slew of softball questions from host Jimmy Fallon while bemoaning the lack of civility in politics.
Biden, 79, joined the show virtually for two pre-taped two segments with a fawning Fallon as the two discussed the recent death of Sen. Bob Dole.
“We’re friends, we disagreed, but we were friends,” Biden said of his former GOP adversary.
“We used to have an awful lot of that relationship and it still exists,” he added about his current Republican colleagues.
“Except for the Q-Anon and the extreme elements of the Republican party … it makes it awful hard.”
The two went on to discuss inflation and reminisce about the Kennedy Center Honors.
The president made several attempts at being funny. He admitted he hasn’t looked at his sinking approval ratings lately., He also revealed he can’t cook and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, makes him eggs.
At one point, after extolling the virtues of the COVID-19 booster shot, he recommended that viewers listen to Fallon’s newly released song “It Was A…(Masked Christmas)” featuring Ariana Grande and Megan Thee Stallion.
Biden also made a serious pitch to Americans, after getting tongue-tied while trying to express his frustration about the “politicization” of the vaccine.
“There’s stuff about ‘Biden’s mandating these things happening.’ Look at it this way: it’s patriotic to get this done,” he said, urging people to get their shots.
“There’s a lot of anxiety and my job is to be straightforward, shoot from the shoulder, let people know exactly what the truth is [and] lay out how I’m gonna try to make life better for them.”
Fallon, who at one point told Biden “you’re a very classy guy,” did manage to get in some solid jabs against the Democrat in his opening monologue.
“He was supposed to be here earlier this week but he lit the Fox Christmas tree on fire,” Fallon cracked.
In 2016, Biden appeared on “The Tonight Show” as outgoing vice president.
He also swung by “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” as president-elect last December, where he defended his son Hunter amid federal investigations into his “tax affairs” and eyebrow-raising business dealings in Ukraine reported by The Post.
Four years earlier, Fallon was widely panned for tousling the hair of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump when the Republican was on the show.
The host said afterwards he “made a mistake” and apologized “if I made anyone mad” for the lighthearted exchange.
The show subsequently fell in the ratings to Colbert’s more political show, although he later came around to relentlessly mocking the ex-prez.
Colbert and Fallon made Trump the punchline of 97% of their jokes about the Biden/Trump race in September 2020, according to a study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University.
The first and last sitting president to appear on a late-night show was Barack Obama, who “slow-jammed” the news with Fallon on “The Tonight Show” in 2016, after sitting down with Jay Leno in 2009.
John F Kennedy appeared as a candidate on NBC’s “Tonight Starring Jack Paar,” the precursor to the network’s current program, but with the exception of Richard Nixon, other candidates avoided late-night TV until presidential nominee Bill Clinton showed off his saxophone chops on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1992. His favorability ratings jumped 21 percent the day after the appearance.