05/24/2012 05:52 pm ET Updated Jul 24, 2012

Chris Matthews And Newt Gingrich Talk Snakes, Other Stuff (VIDEO)

Chris Matthews and Newt Gingrich were united at last on Thursday's "Hardball." It was an undeniably entertaining session between the two, with big voices, big ties -- Matthews' blindingly bright red number stood out to us -- and big heads (we mean that literally).

Matthews was like a kid in a candy store, bouncing from question to question.

"I have a theory about you that isn't hard to prove," he started. "You're smarter than you talk!"

He kept up the patter for nearly 19 minutes, firing a volley of deliberately provocative queries ("How much does it burn you that Mitt Romney, a guy who I am convinced is not deeply rooted in American history ... beat you with money?") at Gingrich, and telling him that, if he'd just had more money, he would have beaten Romney.

The chat achieved a kind of surreal, tone-poem quality, with individual lines washing over the viewer ("Do you want some chop shop guy coming in and taking over the American political system?) in a haze. Matthews tore through a blizzard of subjects. Birthers! ("Beats me," Gingrich said.) Gingrich's "food stamp president" lines! ("I know what game you're playing, minorities, I know what that is ... He's for poor blacks and he's off with the commies!")

The session reached its apotheosis, though, at the end, when Matthews ditched the politics and turned to an apparently shared passion between him and Gingrich: zoos.

They both agreed that their favorite animal to watch was elephants. "Do you like the reptile house?" Matthews asked. "Favorite snake?"

"Probably a python," Gingrich said. "What about a mamba?" Matthews asked. "I would have thought you'd like a black mamba. They go 30 miles an hour, they attack your nervous system, you've got 15 minutes to live." He jabbed at the air, suddenly a snake in the grass, lunging at its prey.

"Please come back!" Matthews said as he closed the interview. We agree. Somebody get these two a show! (Video via Buzzfeed)



Faces of NBC News