Best moments from Pete Buttigieg's guest host stint on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

Kylie Mar
Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg nailed it as the guest host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday. 

"People have been skeptical about me hosting a show like this," Buttigieg stated in his opening monologue. "They're like, 'You're too inexperienced, you'll never be a good late night host.' Well, a lot of people said I'd never get elected president — and I showed them!" 

Even though the late night show canceled its live studio audience due to public health concerns over the coronavirus, Buttigieg's husband, Chasten Buttigieg, joined with Kimmel staffers and some fake audience reactions to make up for it. "This was not our plan. We just decided this a few hours ago and it's disappointing because, as you all know, I love to crowd surf. It's kind of my thing," joked Buttigieg.

Buttigieg, who dropped out of the 2020 presidential race earlier this month, also quipped, "As you know, I dropped out of the presidential race last week, which was unfortunate. But what can I say? Some candidates know when it's time to get out of the race, and some candidates are Tulsi Gabbard." Buttigieg added, "But really, running for president was an amazing experience. The support that our campaign got was unbelievable. I really thought we had a shot. But, turns out I was about 40 years too young and 38 years too gay."

Since the former South Bend mayor is currently unemployed, Buttigieg wandered around Hollywood Boulevard looking for a job, and ended up in a job interview at Wetzel's Pretzels. However, even Buttigieg's degrees from Harvard and Oxford couldn't help him when the interviewer asked him how he would respond if someone asked for a second pretzel sample.

"I would say that America was founded on an ideal, and freedom isn't free, but pretzel samples should be. And I believe that the time has come for us to build a new kind of politics, put aside our partisan fighting, and unite around a common goal – pretzels for all who want them." The interviewer hilariously responded, "The correct answer is 'no,' and then you shove them."

Buttigieg's inner trekkie also got to geek out as Patrick Stewart stopped by to promote CBS All Access's Star Trek: Picard. To prove that he's a true fan, Buttigieg shared pictures of him and his friends' Star Trek halloween costumes in 1995, which Stewart loved.

"I heard about your affection for Star Trek while you were campaigning. Early on in the campaign, I heard about that. So I tuned in to you. You're terrific," Stewart told Buttigieg. He continued his compliment, saying, "You have a quality of speechmaking, which is going to stand you in great stead. Because it's spontaneous, it's immediate, it's natural. It doesn't sound prepared in any way."

Finally, Buttigieg's night was made when Stewart gifted him with an autographed, original working script from Star Trek: The Next Generation, with Stewart's own handwritten notes, and when the two of them played a Star Trek trivia game called "Who's the Captain Now?" hosted by LeVar Burton, a.k.a. Geordi La Forge.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on ABC.

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