Talk Shows, Television

Politicians have a long history of appearing on television entertainment and talk programs. Baum notes Richard Nixon's piano playing appearance on The Tonight Show in 1960, and Schultz reminds us of the same candidate's turn on Laugh-In in 1968. Many voters undoubtedly recall an image of Bill Clinton playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show. Besides filling guest spots, politicians have long served as comedy fodder for talk show hosts. At one level, these types of programs may seem peripheral and unimportant to the political process. However, in recent presidential elections, candidate appearances on such shows seem to have become an almost institutionalized part of campaigns. Given research findings that late night shows can serve as important political information sources, especially for young people, ...

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