After just two episodes on the air, comedian Ziwe’s self-titled Showtime variety show has already established itself as one of the toughest, most interesting places to get interviewed in Hollywood. Building off the vibe from her online series Baited, and other high-profile comedy projects, Ziwe’s series mixes sketch comedy in with interviews in which she unflinchingly asks guests—including Fran Leibowitz, Gloria Steinem, and more—bluntly straightforward questions on race; if the end result is unflattering to her subjects, that typically winds up being on them.
Which demands the question of why, in god’s name, New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang agreed to be on the show this week. The former Democratic primary hopeful picked a weird week to accede to Ziwe’s on-Twitter requests for him to come on the show, anyway—having come under criticism for some stridently pro-Israel tweeting, and general mockery for his various attempts to seem like a hip (and human) New Yorker. And while we’re still waiting for Sunday’s episode for the interview proper, the above clip—in which Ziwe asks the obvious stumper “What’s your favorite Jay-Z song?”—feels like a very clear example of how rough this particular conversation could go.
As many people on Twitter have pointed out, this isn’t even, like, an intentional trip-you-up question: “Empire State Of Mind” was right there, for the obvious “Eyyy, we’re New Yorkin’ here!” street cred. Credit to Yang, we guess, for taking the question seriously, but if he’s going to go this deer-in-headlights on the softballs, god knows how the rest of the conversation is going to go.