The Roots Play ‘The Bridge Is Over’ for Chris Christie On the ‘Tonight Show’

Since we’ve entered the cigarette-break phase of the Bridgegate scandal, there hasn’t been much attention paid to Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-N.J.) political woes lately, but the guv’s Tonight Show appearance Thursday night began with the promise of some hard-edged comedic ribbing when The Roots introduced Christie by playing Boogie Down Productions‘ “The Bridge is Over.” It was all downhill from there, though, as that cheeky musical cue (a Roots specialty) was followed by a truckling interview by Jimmy Fallon in which the host actually apologized for all the Bridgegate ribbing. As it turns out, the most embarrassing interview of the week was not conducted by Jenna Bush.

To be fair, Fallon is not known for his political edge, or for hard-hitting interviews, but his performance with Christie was embarrassing even by those standards. After showing a great, image-rehabilitating Evolution of Dad Dancingshort, Fallon had earned the right to tweak the governor over Bridgegate, but instead, he decided he should give Christie props for, what, I’m not sure. Constantly changing his story? Being a consistent dick no matter how many allegations about his administration turned out to be true?

But, hey, that’s at least a way of acknowledging the elephant in the room, without sidetracking a light interview. No biggie. But then, Fallon actually apologizes to Christie for all of the jabs he’s had to take, and spends the rest of the interview exploding with forced laughter, as if he would be cut down in a hail of bullets at the EZ Pass lane if he didn’t.

Again, Fallon is no more a hard-hitting journalist than Jenna Bush is, but comedians, first and foremost, are supposed to be fearless. If you don’t want to make it uncomfortable, fine, but Jesus, man, don’t apologize!

This is why David Letterman will be missed, and why we can all hope that Stephen Colbert translates in that slot.