The first presidential debate provided plenty of fodder for late-night TV as Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers, and Stephen Colbert all hosted live shows to incorporate that material (Samantha Bee aired her show on Wednesday instead), but Tuesday night’s VP debate allowed them to sink their teeth into something more… conventional.
The running joke surrounding the debate was that, compared to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s first head-to-head, watching Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine debate would be a total snoozefest. (They’ve been literally compared to mayonnaise to illustrate their blandness.) And both Colbert and Noah played that up to full effect even before the show started.
The Daily Show and The Late Show each aired livestreams of the debate on their Facebook pages, but it wasn’t quite the debate you watched on television. The Daily Show played audio of the debate while the camera was on a glass of milk and white bread—each wearing ties, of course.The Late Show had video of the debate, but it was on a smaller screen so that its own focus group—a group of kittens—could watch. They had plenty of toys to distract them from the debate itself. As an additional touch, the litter box was labeled “Undecided Voter.” But once the debates ended, they were in attack and analyzation mode as they tried to make sense of what just happened.
Meyers, for one, talked about the debate but used it as a jumping point to cover more of Trump’s many, many controversies in the week since his own debate, which most people believe he lost. Even people who follow the news may have trouble keeping track. Considering many people believe Pence won the VP debate (although it’s certainly less clear than with the first presidential debate) and some have said that Pence even did better than Trump, we could see even more fallout before Trump and Clinton meet again on Oct. 9.In his Late Show wrap-up, Colbert did say that Pence won the debate, although he poked fun at Pence’s comment about how he spends “a little time on my knees every day” and noted that Indiana businesses could even refuse to serve him.
“So I’d say Pence’s strong performance bodes well for Trump since everyone knows the team with the best backup quarterback always wins the Super Bowl,” Colbert noted.Noah coined the VP debate “Two Men Enter, No One Cares” to highlight how indistinguishable the two are (though their policies differ significantly) and just how much time Pence spent trying to avoid or deny every Trump scandal thrown at him. He did it so much that Noah compared him to Shaggy and offered Pence’s own version of “It Wasn’t Me.” And they’ll be right back at it in just a few days—probably with more of the spectacle that comes with a Trump and Clinton matchup.