×

Chris Christie Tries ‘Tonight Show’ Comedy for a Comeback

Six months ago, as the scandal over the George Washington bridge closure was putting Chris Christie’s political future in doubt, the New Jersey governor’s idol, Bruce Springsteen, hit him where it hurt: He performed a Bridgegate parody of “Born to Run” on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show.

As the traffic fiasco fades into the background, it was Christie’s turn on Thursday to try to use the power of late-night TV to his benefit, appearing on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in hopes that a little levity will go a long way to improving likability.

So he danced. In a segment called “The Evolution of Dad Dancing,” a variation on a Fallon video with Michelle Obama that went viral, Christie did air guitar to show the “Dance You Do at a Springsteen Concert.” But he pretended to be perturbed when the dance was titled “This Bridge Is Closed.”

Christie also playfully chided Fallon for making a joke about his weight, calling the host a “putz.”

Late-night TV is the forum of choice for politicians to show their softer, more relaxed side, even though it is a mixed bag when it comes to bringing a public figure back from the brink. After a brain freeze during a 2011 debate, Rick Perry tried to laugh it off by doing a David Letterman Top Ten list. As he was dogged by allegations of sexual harassment, Herman Cain went on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Neither appearance helped turn around their campaigns.

Christie was neither overly contrite — nor did he try a zinger to settle the score with Springsteen.

Christie’s goal on “The Tonight Show” seemed to be to show that, despite falling off the 2016 radar, he was still in the game. When Fallon asked whether, hypothetically, he ran and Hillary Clinton ran for president, and whether he could beat her, Christie didn’t pause. “Hypothetically, you bet.”

More TV

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    CBS Stations Go Dark on AT&T's DirecTV, U-verse Platforms Amid Contract Battle

    CBS’ 28 O&O stations are going dark for about 6.6 million subscribers of AT&T’s DirecTV and U-verse platforms as the Eye and AT&T battle over a new retransmission consent contract. The blackout affects CBS and CW-affiliated stations in 14 major markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Also off the air are the CBS [...]

  • Orlando Bloom Comic Con Immigrant San

    Orlando Bloom Claims San Diego Mayor Ran From Comic-Con Exhibit Featuring Immigrant Characters

    Did an immigration storyline cause Republican San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to run out of Amazon Prime Video’s Comic-Con activation this week? According to “Carnival Row” star Orlando Bloom, that’s exactly what happened. At Amazon’s “Carnival Row” panel, Bloom told the audience that Faulconer stopped by the Prime Video activation and chose the “Carnival Row” [...]

  • 'Game of Thrones' Cast Calls Final

    'Game of Thrones' Cast Calls Final Season Backlash 'Media-Led Hate Campaign'

    What is life like now after “Game of Thrones?” That’s the question that fans have been asking themselves and that cast members had to answer at the show’s final Comic-Con panel. But first, Conleth Hill, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and several others cleared the air and addressed the perceived negative response to the final season. “I don’t [...]

  • SDCC Roundup: AMC Drops 'The Walking

    SDCC TV News Roundup: AMC Releases 'The Walking Dead' Season 10 Trailer (Watch)

    San Diego Comic-Con has become a hotbed of entertainment news in recent years, especially for the television industry. In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, AMC dropped a trailer for the 10th season of “The Walking Dead” and FX released a first look at “Mayans MC” Season 2. FIRST LOOKS AMC debuted the trailer for Season [...]

  • ARCHER: 1999 -- "Cubert" -- Season

    'Archer' Renewed for Season 11 at FXX

    “Archer” has been picked up for an eleventh season. The announcement was made Friday at San Diego Comic-Con. The news comes less than a week ahead of the Season 10 finale. Season 11 is slated to debut on FXX in 2020. While the show initially focused on the agents and support staff of a covert [...]

  • Carnival Row

    Amazon Debuts New 'Carnival Row' Footage at Comic-Con (Watch)

    San Diego Comic-Con attendees got an extended look at the upcoming Amazon drama “Carnival Row” during the show’s panel at the annual fanfest on Friday. Two new featurettes (see above and below) offer in-depth looks at the backstories of the two main characters — Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevigne) and Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom). Delevigne plays [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content