Rick Perry is Latest Repub Hopeful Headed to Late-Night

Rick Perry on "Letterman" earlier this month (Photo: CBS)

The march of Republican presidential contenders onto late-night TV continues Thursday (Dec. 1) with Rick Perry visiting “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on NBC, the network confirmed Monday.

It will be the tongue-tied Texan’s first visit to the Leno show, following an appearance earlier this month on CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” in which Perry delivered his very own “Top Ten” list of “Perry Excuses” for famously flubbing an answer in a nationally televised debate earlier that week.

In fact, the fun-loving Texas gov has been struggling ever since that flub to regain his footing in the race for the Republican nomination for president. And that’s no doubt why he’s coming on the Leno show.

Like other candidates, Perry is likely well-aware that appearing on a light-hearted late-night show is a win-win for just about any candidate’s image. And with the first official vote in the campaign — the Iowa Caucus — just a few short weeks away (just after New Year’s), the Republican candidates are beating a path to late-night’s door.

The Republicans on late-night TV — our stories so far:

Herman Cain was first out of the box with two well-regarded appearances — first on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC and then on Letterman’s “Late Show.” And despite Letterman grilling Cain about the sexual harassment charges that have been leveled at the candidate, Cain scored valuable image points on both shows.

And Michele Bachmann had an opportunity to put a less strident side of her personality on display when she appeared last week on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

However, her appearance also underscored the possible risks associated with appearing on a cheeky comedy show; on “Late Night,” Fallon’s band greeted Bachmann with an insulting song called “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.” And the fallout from that incident continued over the weekend with Bachmann saying she’s not satisfied with the network’s apology, according to this story.

Also on “The Tonight Show” Thursday: “Mike and Molly” star Melissa McCarthy and musical guest T-Pain.

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