Pre-training a vison-language model and then fine-tuning it on downstream tasks have become a popular paradigm. However, pre-trained vison-language models with the Transformer architecture usually take long inference time. Knowledge distillation has been an efficient technique to transfer the capability of a large model to a small one while maintaining the accuracy, which has achieved remarkable success in natural language processing. However, it faces many problems when applying KD to the multi-modality applications. In this paper, we propose a novel knowledge distillation method, named CLIPPING, where the plentiful knowledge of a large teacher model that has been fine-tuned for video-language tasks with the powerful pre-trained CLIP can be effectively transferred to a small student only at the fine-tuning stage. Especially, a new layer-wise alignment with the student as the base is proposed for knowledge distillation of the intermediate layers in CLIPPING, which enables the student’s layers to be the bases of the teacher, and thus allows the student to fully absorb the knowledge of the teacher. CLIPPING with MobileViT-v2 as the vison encoder without any vison-language pre-training achieves 88.1%-95.3% of the performance of its teacher on three video-language retrieval benchmarks, with its vison encoder being 19.5x smaller. CLIPPING also significantly outperforms a state-of-the-art small baseline (ALL-in-one-B) on the MSR-VTT dataset, obtaining relatively 7.4% performance gain, with 29% fewer parameters and 86.9% fewer flops. Moreover, CLIPPING is comparable or even superior to many large pre-training models.