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Hillary Clinton to appear on Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show'

Hillary Clinton will appear on "The Tonight Show

Hillary Clinton will appear on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" Sept. 16 Credit: AP

Just to establish that the race really truly is about to heat up -- the late night TV race as well as that little presidential one -- Hillary Clinton will appear on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." 

NBC just announced, and noted that this will be Clinton's first late night appearance since she announced her decision to run in April. The date of the appearance: Sept. 16.

Clinton has been what might be termed a non-regular on the late night TV circuit -- three times on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and eight times on "Late Show With David Letterman," although in almost all of those instances, she was a walk-on who didn't actually submit to an inquisition by the hostile Letterman, and (instead) would do a Top Ten, or something along those lines. 

The decision to go on "Fallon" is logical: He will be ensured of lobbing the softest of softballs, couched almost certainly as jokes, and there will be nothing uncomfortable or hostile in the encounter (there never is with Jimmy). In addition, the embattled poll-challenged Clinton appears for the moment to have chosen the NBC empire for her TV efforts -- she was interviewed, for example, by Andrea Mitchell last week, and an "exclusive" outtake aired on "NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt." 

She will in fact have an interview with David Muir of ABC's "Wolrd News Tonight" sometime today; outtakes will air on Tuesday's program. [In fact, check out "WNT" in a few minutes -- in which she apologizes for the never-ending e-mail flap]. 

For Clinton, the logic here extends to ratings, too, of course -- "Nightly" and "Tonight" are leaders. (Also,"WNT" is right behind "Nightly," so Clinton is covering her bases). 

Fallon has had very few political interviews during his more than yearlong run; Jeb Bush has appeared while Chris Christie has a few times as well. But Donald Trump will be on the show shortly. This will mark an important growth phase potentially for the host of "The Tonight Show" -- will he emerge as a factor in the forthcoming presidential race, as a comic voice much as Leno and Letterman were over the decades?

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden appears on "Colbert" Sept. 10. 

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