Video: Jon Huntsman jams on “Late Show with David Letterman”

posted at 2:45 pm on December 22, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Gotta say this for the guy: Jon Huntsman is a much better musician than his daughters. Just as the presidential candidate impressed earlier this year with his campaign-trail rendition of “Hit the Road, Jack” (aptly aimed at Obama), so he captured the crowd last night on “The Late Show with David Letterman” when he jammed on the keyboard to “Johnny B. Goode.”

The first part of the video is classic, too: David Letterman produces a picture of the high-school Huntsman — long-haired and quizzical-browed. The photo features his fellows in a prog-rock band called Wizard.

“I wanted to be Paul Shaffer,” Huntsman said. Had Wizard made it big, the presidential candidate confessed, he wouldn’t be running for president.

The Los Angeles Times wants to see this as analogous to Bill Clinton’s “now-iconic saxophone playing on ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’ in 1992.” I’d say this was even more fun musically — but I still don’t see it as a positive portent for the success of his campaign. Nevertheless, I do love this side of Huntsman — the side that shares simply and generously a hobby he loves. I wish he shared his views so simply, too.

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Good. Then he’ll have career opportunities after he’s not nominated by the GOP to run as their candidate.

hawkdriver on December 22, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Chuck Huntsman

mankai on December 22, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Jon Huntsman jams on “Late Show with David Letterman”

Tens of people impressed.

There we go. Finished the headline for ya!

I really do not care who can play what, what ____ does in his spare time, or what their likes and dislikes are, this isn’t 1992, there is no time to joke around, HAMMER THE ISSUES! What good does it do going on some dried up old comedians talk show only to goof around and give “witty” one liners?

Gatsu on December 22, 2011 at 2:53 PM

He is a nice man- a good man. Did a good job in his state.
He just is not in my top 5, despite all of their baggage.

KOOLAID2 on December 22, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I hope he has a strong showing in New Hampshire. His personality leaves much to be desired, but he has a solid record.

Daemonocracy on December 22, 2011 at 2:55 PM

David Letterman used to be funny when Chris Eliot was a writer.

Pablo Honey on December 22, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Ray Charles Huntsman.

steebo77 on December 22, 2011 at 2:57 PM

OK, I like him better… not enough to vote for him but glad to see he has real moments… not that this was one of them. The picture of his band. Very cool in 1978…

BobScuba on December 22, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Gatsu on December 22, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Geez, grumpy much? Every post doesn’t have to be about political rhetoric. I like seeing the human side of candidates now and then, it makes them more real to me. Go read the posts about Newt and Mitt squabbling like children.

scalleywag on December 22, 2011 at 3:00 PM

He is a nice man- a good man. Did a good job in his state.
He just is not in my top 5, despite all of their baggage.

KOOLAID2 on December 22, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Sorry, I don’t find him to be a nice man at all. His strategy for winning the Republican nomination is smearing conservatives, and he gives the media cover to do more stories on “anti-science Republicans.” That last debate in Iowa where he was kept out was the best one yet. Screw Jon Huntsman – I can’t wait to hear the speech where he drops out of the race.

updog on December 22, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Mike Huntsman is creepy. Salt and pepper Dexter.

Rixon on December 22, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Whats funny about that excerpt is there’s an ad for anti-depression medication after you watch Letterman. Sounds about right.

ManWithNoName on December 22, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Chuck Huntsman MATT DAMON!

mankai on December 22, 2011 at 2:53 PM

..FIFY!

The War Planner on December 22, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Gatsu on December 22, 2011 at 2:53 PM

And get off my lawn you punk kids!

… dude, lighten up.

luckedout26 on December 22, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Oh, and nobody likes spiders.

ManWithNoName on December 22, 2011 at 3:03 PM

I hope he has a strong showing in New Hampshire. His personality leaves much to be desired, but he has a solid record.

Daemonocracy on December 22, 2011 at 2:55 PM

..er, would that be a 45 or a 33-1/3?

The War Planner on December 22, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Fire Weaver

ninjapirate on December 22, 2011 at 3:07 PM

He’s still on my radar, although I’m not optimistic about his chances. I feel like he’s not trying hard enough — it’s almost as if he doesn’t really want it all that badly. Stuff like this is fun and humanizing and all that, but right now, when his unique experience re China really could set him apart from the pack of not-Romneys, it’s time wasted, IMO. Save it for when the numbers are higher, ya know? This isn’t going to rocket him up the polls.

Carolina21 on December 22, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Good for him… well done.

beatcanvas on December 22, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Stan Huntsman gives me the creeps. I have nightmares about his eyebrow alone.

Darksean on December 22, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Geez, grumpy much? Every post doesn’t have to be about political rhetoric. I like seeing the human side of candidates now and then, it makes them more real to me. Go read the posts about Newt and Mitt squabbling like children.

scalleywag on December 22, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Na, Its not a grump feeling I get when I see things like this, more of a “why this now?”, feeling. I like knowing about the person too, but can think of several other ways of showing your human side that doesn’t involve going on these shows. I would rather have a James Lipton sort of set up, no gotcha questions or trying to inject humour in everything. Just the guy/gal talking openly about whatever topic. You can see a lot on the thought process these people have when you get them talking, but not on these late night talk show set ups. Its all pre-packaged goop dressed up to look loose and original.

Maybe TV has just disillusioned me too badly. I never really forgave the History channel for betraying me with shows about aliens and “reality” TV…

Gatsu on December 22, 2011 at 3:12 PM

It’s the freakin’ move-by-themselves eyebrows that I can’t stand to look at. So condescending with the eyebrows. Do you think he had Botox? Cause those eyebrows have a life of their own.

NJ Red on December 22, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Cool. And he rides dirt bikes!

Ask the WSJ: Huntsman sure is better than Romney. So if you’re thinking of voting for ‘repeal only the worst parts’ self-described ‘progressive’ MA Mitt, vote Huntsman instead. At least Huntsman will straight out repeal Obamacare, and not try to piddle around with it.

anotherJoe on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

And get off my lawn you punk kids!

… dude, lighten up.

luckedout26 on December 22, 2011 at 3:03 PM

But they keep trying to mow it! How will I lure pokemon into it when its only 1.5″ high??

And don’t say pokemon bait because that doesn’t work on front lawns.

Gatsu on December 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Jon Huntsman is purported to like REO Speedwagon. Blech

Daikokuco on December 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Where is Fred Thompson when you need him.

gbear on December 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Forget about the Huntsman clip. Watch the following auto-load clip with Letterman having a case of crabs.

Shy Guy on December 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Perhaps it is Huntsman’s musical ability that convinced obama to chose him as his hand-picked GOP ringer? Obama might think Republicans will fall for HIS candidate, but, as usual, obama is wrong.

Pork-Chop on December 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM

“choose”

Pork-Chop on December 22, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Next stop, White House.

DanStark on December 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Oh, Lookee.
Little Stevie Hunstman can play music.
I’m just as impressed with him as I was before I knew that.

Yiwen on December 22, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Listening to Christmas music

apocalypse on December 22, 2011 at 3:27 PM

I would pay 10,000 yuan to see Yanni Huntsman play chopsticks on the piano.

steebo77 on December 22, 2011 at 3:28 PM

He should write a book: This Is Johnny B. Goode Huntsman: My Journey to the White House

MisterElephant on December 22, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Any Reagan followers here??? And what did Reagan say about piling on other Republicans? Anyone?. . . . crickets.

Air your differences. Compare why your candidate is better. Instead, some here are perfect Democrats:
a) mean spirited
b) attack dogs
c) disparage a candidate because that person isn’t YOUR candidate

A lot of people read Hot Air, maybe even people who can influence a candidate or two. If the commenters here bring up topics you want YOUR candidate to discuss at a debate or in the media events (Fast & Furious, no budget by the Senate, NRLB errors, ObamaCare, the economy, and the like), then bring them up!!! Commenting on Huntsman’s eyebrows, his purported music likes???

My friends, in case you didn’t know, candidates talk about the topics their party voters want to hear about. If you are an ‘attack dog’ don’t be surprised when GOP ads attack each other instead of pointing out why our guy will do a better job! Simple – common – sense.

SubDoc on December 22, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Renaissance Man H. Higgenbottom Huntsman sure is dreamy *sigh*.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 22, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I’m trying hard but the only positive thing about Chester Huntsman is that his daughters are easy on the eye.

NapaConservative on December 22, 2011 at 3:41 PM

The dude can play! Give him some shades, ask him,”Briefs or boxers?” He’s in!

cartooner on December 22, 2011 at 3:42 PM

No, this is good news. It means he has a future career in one of those “dueling piano bar” deals. He could probably get a nice gig with failed NFL quarterback Joey Harrington.

Mr. D on December 22, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Like Huntsman infinitely more now than I did five minutes ago.

nicktjacob on December 22, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Any Reagan followers here??? And what did Reagan say about piling on other Republicans? Anyone?. . . . crickets.

Air your differences. Compare why your candidate is better. Instead, some here are perfect Democrats:
a) mean spirited
b) attack dogs
c) disparage a candidate because that person isn’t YOUR candidate

A lot of people read Hot Air, maybe even people who can influence a candidate or two. If the commenters here bring up topics you want YOUR candidate to discuss at a debate or in the media events (Fast & Furious, no budget by the Senate, NRLB errors, ObamaCare, the economy, and the like), then bring them up!!! Commenting on Huntsman’s eyebrows, his purported music likes???

My friends, in case you didn’t know, candidates talk about the topics their party voters want to hear about. If you are an ‘attack dog’ don’t be surprised when GOP ads attack each other instead of pointing out why our guy will do a better job! Simple – common – sense.

SubDoc on December 22, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Sure, we can discuss all that in a thread of that topic. This thread, however, is about him playing the piano on Dimwit Letterman.

Barking up the wrong tree, much?

NapaConservative on December 22, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Here is my take on this as a musician. Huntsman has solid enough chops for a guy with the career he has had and he looks like he is enjoying himself and is convincing enough and I don’t make this comment to take away from that.

All I want to say is that this seems to me a lot more staged than the impromptu thing they portray it as.

blockchords on December 22, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Listening to Christmas music

apocalypse

How dare you. It’s Generic-cold-weather-occasion-for-swapping-possessions Music you right-wing religious freak.

Happy Holy Days

Nutstuyu on December 22, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Why do repubs think they have to suck up to pop culture? Every time a conservative or a republican go on shows like Lettermen, regardless of what they think, they are being little more than organ grinders monkeys..Hey guys!…they are laughing AT you, not with you. You are there for THEIR entertainment. Get a clue.
There is nothing more pathetic than an aging Hipster.
“What Up?”

Mimzey on December 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM

SubDoc on December 22, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Yea yea yea but I like a few laughs with stupid politicians.

NJ Red on December 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Mimzey on December 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM

That’s the “I’m cool like Clinton playing sax” syndrome.

NJ Red on December 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

All I want to say is that this seems to me a lot more staged than the impromptu thing they portray it as.

blockchords on December 22, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Sure it is! Notice how Nkembe Matumbo Huntsman sits down at the piano and starts banging without a word between him & bandleader Paul? Planned & well rehearsed.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 22, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Did that sleazy pervert Letterman expect Huntsman to put out?

viking01 on December 22, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Listening to Christmas music

apocalypse

How dare you. It’s Generic cold weather occasion for swapping possessions Music you right-wing religious freak. Happy Holy Days

Nutstuyu on December 22, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Hahaha have a great Christmas!

apocalypse on December 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Sure it is! Notice how Nkembe Matumbo Huntsman sits down at the piano and starts banging without a word between him & bandleader Paul? Planned & well rehearsed.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 22, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Well Johnny B Goode is an easy enough one to jam on without saying a word. Its just a blues and I haven’t checked but I imagine they did it in E. But it is totally clear they picked Johnny B Goode ahead of time. What does it say about Huntsman that David Letterman is helping him with a little stunt?!

Oh and I know I’m not arguing with you Ladysmith :)

blockchords on December 22, 2011 at 4:02 PM

NJ Red on December 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Yeah..Clinton was already there as far as the progs are concerned.
Not only a waste of time..imo, but it actually comes off looking dumb.

Its sort of like the person who sucks up to the “cooler” crowd as soon as his buds are gone..trying to suck up to them and leave the impression that “My friends aren’t that cool…I’m more like you guys”
Gives me the creeps somehow.

Mimzey on December 22, 2011 at 4:03 PM

So Wizard gets to be the house band for Mitt Romney’s inaugural ball 13 months from now?

jon1979 on December 22, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Elvis Hunstman can sure tickle the keys…!

Seven Percent Solution on December 22, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Oh and I know I’m not arguing with you Ladysmith :)

blockchords on December 22, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Not at all! I like hearing from a professional who can broaden my pool of knowledge. What’s it say about Kukla Franollie Huntsman that Letterman is helping him with a stunt? It says to me that since Big Bill’s success (and kinda crappy sax playing) on Arsenio all those years ago, late night yappers-as-humanizing-go-to is de rigueur in modern politics. Cheers!

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 22, 2011 at 4:19 PM

So Wizard gets to be the house band for Mitt Romney’s inaugural ball 13 months from now?

jon1979 on December 22, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Probably.
Youknow what the ace is going to be for Rahmney…The fat man for VP. Pseudo conservative “we got em now!”-apaloosa. And then the RINO fest starts..nudged over just a bit with a little itty bitty value compromise.

Serious question. What does anyone see actually changing under a Rahmney presidency? Can anyone tell me what his Big Shift in the direction of the government actually consists of?..is he even advocating a shift beyond shuffling the pieces around?
The more this nomination process goes on, the more cynical I become.

Mimzey on December 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Mimzey on December 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

I don’t think the US can stand TWO Northeast Liberal Republican Governors on one ticket. The South will stay home.

NJ Red on December 22, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Maybe TV has just disillusioned me too badly. I never really forgave the History channel for betraying me with shows about aliens and “reality” TV…

Gatsu on December 22, 2011 at 3:12 PM

True but aren’t the storage locker guys on History? They’re a hoot.

scalleywag on December 22, 2011 at 5:19 PM

That was awesome.

Chudi on December 22, 2011 at 5:24 PM

NJ Red on December 22, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Then brace yourself…they’re goin in dry!

Mimzey on December 22, 2011 at 5:25 PM

True but aren’t the storage locker guys on History? They’re a hoot.

scalleywag on December 22, 2011 at 5:19 PM

YUUUUUUUP! :)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 22, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Second look at Joe Huntsman!!!

meh!!

BigWyo on December 22, 2011 at 5:43 PM

woohooo go Jon Huntman!!!

Who is Jon Galt Huntsman? on December 22, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Hey, I play a mean rendition of Mississippi John Hurt on my guitar. That doesn’t mean I’m eligible to be President.

Great, Huntsman can play the keyboard. Who cares? Clinton played the Sax but was one of the worst presidents in history–and there is DNA on a blue dress to prove it.

BMF on December 22, 2011 at 6:34 PM

He’s apparently a Captain Beefheart fan–

Maybe just pandering to the large conservative Beefheart fan base.

PortlandJon on December 22, 2011 at 6:37 PM

I wish he were our president.

Alpha_Male on December 22, 2011 at 7:19 PM

A lot of negative emotion here. I prefer the sunny banter. Anyway I think I’d prefer Huntsman over Romney. I think we can halt Huntsman’s global warming tic, but it’s healthcare that I worry about with Mitt.

MaggiePoo on December 22, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Pffft. I was waiting for the initial discussion as to what they might commonly know and play as it initially seemed to be impromptu. Yeah right. A total set up by the Huntsman campaign team. I’m surprised the Letterman “smear any Republican in sight” team let him look human.

Hornet on December 22, 2011 at 8:24 PM

I know this is a thread about Huntsman’s musical appearance, but for those of us who support him, it is the only chance to bring a few issues up. The idea that Huntsman is some ringer for Obama is preposterous. The whole reason he appointed Huntsman ambassador to China is because he knew Hunstman was the one Republican who could bring him down in 2012.

There are plenty of reasons not to like Huntsman, I can see that. However, my feeling is that if you are looking for the Buckley’s Law candidate, Hunstman is the most conservative who can win. He is more conservative than Newt and Mittens, and he is more electable than both of them.

If you want to make a statement about conservatism, let’s nominate Perry or Santorum and lose. If you want to win, Vegas seems to think Huntsman is a better bet than Mittens.

Exit question: What does Hunstman need to register in NH to make noise? His current 10% isn’t good enough I’m guessing. 15%? 20%?

HTnFBCoachnTX1980 on December 22, 2011 at 9:54 PM

“I wanted to be Paul Shaffer,”

Obama did too, but only because he’s Canadian.

Ronnie on December 23, 2011 at 12:28 AM