Colbert Casts Joe Biden's Experience With Loss, "Presidential" Nature Against Trump in Final 'Late Show' DNC Live Monologue

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert -August 20, 2020-H 2020
Courtesy of CBS

The late night host opted for a more genuine approach to recapping Joe Biden's closing night appearance, saving the show's more blistering takes for former presidential candidate and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

The Late Show capped off its four nights of live Democratic National Convention coverage Thursday night with a blistering take on Michael Bloomberg and an earnest endorsement of Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

In the late-night show's final leg of live convention coverage, host Stephen Colbert reflected on all that had come before the "dramatic season finale of our DNC spectacular." Between a quick joke about the night's store-brand margarine-sounding theme "America's Promise" and California Governor Gavin Newsom "in front of the only tree in California that isn't on fire," host Stephen Colbert summed up the virtual convention's first three days as inspiring.

"Now that we've reached the end, we can reflect on a convention that really had it all: stars, everyday people, Billy Porter serenading Billy Porter," Colbert said. "The Democrats gave it their all this week. Even though COVID forced the convention to be socially distanced, I think I might have contracted a case of the hopes. No dry cough, but my face did leak several times."

Of all the four-night event's hosts, Colbert spoke most fondly of Julia Louis-Dreyfus' buzzed-about Thursday hosting gig. After declaring "Trump just got Veep'd in the teeth" by Dreyfus' jokes, Colbert said the actress' appearance at the DNC was "doing my job for me."

Of the night's speakers, Colbert briefly noted former presidential candidate Andrew Yang's appearance first, dubbing him "the guy who promised me $1,000." He then pivoted to commenting on the appearances by John Legend, Common, historian and presidential biographer Jon Meacham and Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin.

Although the majority of the night four live monologue stayed upbeat, the Late Show host had no problem skewering the appearance of former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg. Claiming he appeared "in front of a billionaire's worth of flags" doing "his best to look human," Colbert noted that Bloomberg's speech wasn't a challenge of Trump's moral character but of his business acumen before blasting the former New York City mayor's campaign spending.

"Would you listen to someone who spent $500 million on a presidential campaign, winning only American Samoa?" Colbert challenged. "Don't answer that."

The rest of the monologue was dedicated almost exclusively to Biden. However, Colbert had fewer jokes about the Democratic nominee, reserving most of them for the former vice president's biographical video and small parts of his closing-night speech. In addition to a Chumbawamba gag that earned in-studio laughs, the Late Show host didn't miss the opportunity to highlight the aggressiveness of a Biden anecdote about his mother defending him from a teacher, in which she swore she'd rip a bonnet of the educator's head.

"Wow, rip the bonnet off her head? The corn does not fall far from the top Joe," Colbert quipped. "Why have you been hiding that story? You gotta put that on a yard sign: 'Biden 2020. My mom threatened to beat up a nun.'"

But for much of his recap of Biden's appearance, Colbert laid off the humor and instead took a more serious and sincere approach to recapping the Democratic presidential candidate's messages and how he stands in stark contrast to America's current leader, Donald Trump.

"Throughout the convention, it was a common theme — Joe Biden's history of loss, suffering. Surprisingly, we didn't get a lot of jokes out of it, but there was a reason the convention hammered this point home. To cast Joe Biden in stark contrast with Donald Trump. Donald Trump couldn't overcome any of the challenges of his presidency because he'd never had to overcome anything at all," Colbert said. "This evening Joe Biden showed himself to be a man who is decent, compassionate, flawed, but honest and that is water in the desert. He's like a lot of people I know. You do, too, which shouldn't seem remarkable, but right now it is. And when Trump tweets his all caps rebuke tomorrow morning, it's just going to show how our president is not presidential. Joe Biden is."

Watch the full segment below.