Seth Meyers Pokes Fun at Biden's Age, Private Insurance Defense

The late-night host took apart the second night of CNN's look at the primary field, giving his take on the former vice president's "malarkey," Cory Booker's "Kool-Aid" and Kirsten Gillibrand's "Clorox."
Lloyd Bishop/NBC

Seth Meyers wasted no time sharing his thoughts on CNN's second round of Democratic debates this week, which took place Wednesday night in Detroit. Not long after, in New York, Meyers took apart the debates during a live broadcast of Late Night.

Speaking about night two, the late-night host first brought up former Vice President Joe Biden's opening to Sen. Kamala Harris (whom Biden sparred with at the first set of Democratic debates in June). "Go easy on me, kid," Biden, 76, said to Harris, 54. Of the quip, Meyers joked, "Hey man, if you don’t want to seem old, maybe don’t talk like you’re in a Humphrey Bogart movie."

Meyers then said that he thought CNN made a concerted effort to have Harris and Biden go after each other since their first on-camera confrontation went viral. Harris previously accused Biden of working with lawmakers to oppose busing black students to schools attended by mostly white students.

Still focused on Biden, Meyers took aim at the politician's steadfast defense of private health insurance. "I’m sorry, but who likes their private insurance? Nobody likes going to the ER for a sprained ankle and then getting 58 envelopes in the mail from Anthem. I keep hearing this talking point from moderates," said Meyers. "I never hear anyone say, 'You can take my HMO when you pry it from my cold dead hands which will probably be pretty soon because it doesn’t cover my meds.'"

Meyers also pointed out Biden's new catchphrase, "a bunch of malarkey," which inspired a significant number of tweets Wednesday night. According to Meyers, Biden's "malarkey" line is comparable to the iconic "more cowbell" line from a 2000 Saturday Night Live skit. "I love it but it does make him seem a little old," Meyers said. "It’s something you expect to hear shouted from the top of an old bicycle."

Meyers then moved on to Biden's exchange of words with Sen. Cory Booker about criminal justice reform, during which Biden questioned Booker's record as mayor of Newark, N.J. "If you want to compare records, and frankly, I’m shocked if you do, I am happy to do that," said Booker, later adding, "There’s a saying in my community, 'You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor.'"

Of the moment, Meyers joked: "Damn. There is no way Biden even knows what that means. Because I am 35 years younger than him and I don’t even know what it means."

Next up for Meyers was this comment from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, making a dig at President Donald Trump: "The first thing I’m going to do when I’m president, is I’m going to Clorox the Oval Office."

“First of all, I don’t think it’s legal to use bleach on an active crime scene," said Meyers. "Secondly, you’re definitely going to need something stronger than Clorox."

Additional candidates who took part in Wednesday night's debate include Sen. Michael Bennet; former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro; philanthropist Andrew Yang; the first Hindu member of Congress Tulsi Gabbard; Washington governor Jay Inslee; and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.

The event continued to be moderated by CNN's Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper.

Meyers wasn't the only late-night host going live after Wednesday night's debate, with The Daily Show's Trevor Noah and The Late Show's Stephen Colbert also airing live versions of their shows.


Watch Meyers' take on the debates in the videos below.