This week, Tucker Carlson conducted an interview with Vladimir Putin for his show on X. The interview, which is over two hours long, was ostensibly an attempt to interview the Russian leader about the war in Ukraine. Before talking about that, however, Putin launched into a lengthy digression about his own version of Russian history before razzing Carlson to his face.
I’ll say this: This interview is easily the funniest thing I’ve seen all year. Granted, it’s only been six weeks since the start of 2024, but Carlson’s awkward, weird talk with Russia’s autocrat had me doubled over laughing multiple times.
There are multiple layers to the humor. For one thing, Carlson was forced to fly to the Kremlin to conduct this interview. This, in and of itself, is funny. Tucker is summoned to his interview subject’s royal palace, hoping, I’m sure, for an informative and exciting discussion that would lend itself well to his alternative/rightwing/infotainment style of web content. What he got, instead, was a comically boring history lesson about national borders and an ongoing stream of insults. The dumbfounded look of confusion on Carlson’s face as Putin droned on incessantly is truly something to be savored:
That said, Tucker tried his darnedest to get something commercially viable out of his chat. At almost every turn, however, Putin undermined those attempts, opting instead to mock Carlson and make him look like an idiot.
One of the more memorable examples of this was when Putin told Carlson that he obviously wasn’t cut out for a job at the CIA (which Carlson ironically attempted to get prior to becoming an anti-Deep State shill):
At another juncture, Carlson asked Putin if he saw God’s design in world political affairs. With a bored look that seemed to imply he was talking to someone with a below average IQ, Putin merely said “no” before explaining that international laws governed world events, not a deity.
There are obviously plenty of things you can say about Vladimir Putin but that he is unintelligent is not one of them. Putin’s demeanor throughout much of the interview with Carlson is more or less that of a man trying to explain algebra to a goat.
The memes inspired by the episode have been plentiful and hilarious. I liked this one:
And this one:
And this one:
That Carlson wanted to interview an influential world leader who is currently engaged in a brutal war is commendable, though it’s difficult not to feel that Carlson’s content is always beholden to a broader ideological narrative designed to rile up viewers without giving them a lot of context. I’d like to see a good interview with Putin, although this wasn’t it. It made me laugh though.