Video of the Week: Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan on late-night television shows

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tags: kennedy, Nixon, Video of the Week, Reagan



If there’s one thing that’s important in modern politics, it’s getting your face on TV. But it’s usually not enough just to make it into the living room. Today’s candidates choose the late-night comedy circuit because they know they have to appear comfortable and relatable, especially to young voters. That’s what Richard Nixon learned after the first televised presidential debate, when his awkward vibes—along with the sweat on his chin—may have cost him the election.

John F. Kennedy was the first major candidate to go on late night. Running against Nixon during the 1960 presidential election, he appeared on Tonight Starring Jack Paar. Unlike today’s candidates, who usually try to play along with the host’s jokes, Kennedy played it straight and got into some pretty serious discourse about the threat of communism:








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