After FaceTiming with comedians like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Bill Burr over the past few days on the quarantined version of his late-night show, Jimmy Kimmel stepped things up a notch on Thursday night when he welcomed former Vice President Joe Biden live from his Delaware basement.
With both men appearing from their homes, it was a looser and more down-to-earth interview than it would have been in-studio. They traded barbs about baseball on what would have been opening day and discussed the challenges of running for president when you can’t go outside.
President Donald Trump first came up when Kimmel noted that he had recently tweeted a video of Biden coughing. “Do you think he’s worried about you?” the host asked.
“I think he’s worried about my health, probably, he’s very concerned,” Biden joked. “He’s always looked out for me.”
Kimmel repeatedly tried to goad Biden into taking shots at Trump over his coronavirus response, but Biden mostly declined to take the bait, projecting a deliberately measured approach that was designed to apply to independents and Republicans as well as Democrats.
When Biden brought up the alarming unemployment numbers, Kimmel said, “I make no secret of the fact that I hope that he is signing up for unemployment come November,” referring to Trump. The host failed to get Biden to tease any names for his potential running mate, but did ask if Sarah Palin was on the list.
“I asked her, she doesn’t want to be,” Biden deadpanned. “I asked if I could call her ‘Sarah’ and she said no.”
Biden also pushed back on the fears that Trump could attempt to postpone the general election due to the pandemic. “No, he doesn’t have the authority to do that,” he said before warning that Trump could “start a drum beat saying it should be postponed.”
“I hope we debate, I’m looking forward to that,” Biden added when Kimmel asked if he thought Trump would agree to meet him one-on-one ahead of the election.
Before they signed off, Biden delivered his most relatable moment by asking Kimmel, “Is your wife getting as frustrated with you as my wife’s getting with me?”