Fallon avoids Trump questions


Jimmy Fallon was risking no new Hair Mussing Minefield on “The Tonight Show” when he interviewed the guy who is replacing Donald Trump on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

In a studiously “nothing to see here folks” interview, Fallon only mentioned in passing that “Arnold Schwarzenegger” takes over for Donald Trump in the boardroom on January 2, when “Celebrity Apprentice” returns to NBC. And Fallon only mentioned the previous star in passing, after noting Schwarzenegger is a five time Mr. Universe, a major movie star, and a two time California governor.

Schwarzenegger came on stage with a bright shiny light; he was wearing a cast on his right leg; Fallon asked, right off the bat, what had happened.

Just a little pedicure mishap, Schwarzenegger joked. Then, explaining he did not know if he had run too many miles, or ridden his bicycle too many miles, or performed too many squats, Schwarzenegger said he had not been this swollen “since I was pregnant in ‘Junior.'”

Fallon decided to carry on the early part of the conversation imitating Schwarzenegger, causing Schwarzenegger to finally joke, “If I want to sound like me I imitate you.”

Fallon steered clear of questions about his predecessor in the “Celebrity Apprentice” host gig; during the presidential election, the host of the country’s most popular late-night show took heat when he lobbed only softball questions Trump’s way during a campaign guest-stop, wrapping up the visit by mussing up the candidate’s hair. Days later, Fallon defended that softball strategy during Trump’s visit explaining to TMZ he does not ask tough questions of his guests.

The two pros also discussed, at length, Arnold’s other talents, including Christmas-card painter, and showed video of that time Arnold was on safari in South Africa and a large elephant charged his vehicle. Top that, Donald!

Having somehow determined viewers to be sufficiently distracted Fallon turned talk back to “Celebrity Apprentice,” on which Trump was firer-in-chief until informing NBC he was going to throw his hat in the ring for POTUS and NBC kicked in its rules-about-those-things clause which presumably, even these days, means Trump could not have continued to host had he wanted to, though he remains on board as executive producer.

“I’m so glad you’re hosting this; it’s on NBC. I love reality shows, and I love you, and I love this show,” Fallon enthused to Schwarzenegger.

Then they did a bit in which Fallon tried to guess what would be Schwarzenegger’s new catchphrase on the competition series, though Arnold pointed out “You’re fired” was one of his lines in True Lies. Fallon narrowed down the list to were:

Hasta la vista baby; You won’t be back; You’re fired – get to the chopper!

Arnold wasn’t saying.

In a short clip, Schwarzenegger is seen opening the season with a pep talk to another motley crew of celebrities.

“I am the new boss! I plan to be tough, but fair…Another big change, we’re in California, baby!” he said, explaining, “My dreams came true because of California.”

“Now you’re all part of my start-up company,” he  said; it appears to be called Schwarzenegger Inc., based on signage on the studio set wall.

“My job is to terminate you, one by one,” he said, suggesting his catchphrase might be “You’re terminated.”

After an ad break, Arnold came back for a second segment in which the Austrian-born body builder turned movie star turned two-term governor of this country’s most populous state continued to not get asked any questions about the irony of replacing the star of “Celebrity Apprentice” as that star moves on to become President of the United States.

In 2010, when he guested on “Tonight,” Schwarzenegger got asked if he’d run for POTUS, should the Constitution be amended to allow foreign-born U.S. citizens to do so. He’d responded without hesitation that he would. “Tonight’s” host at that time was Jay Leno. 

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