President Donald Trump held his first rally since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. What was expected to be an event with a packed Bank of Oklahoma Center and an outdoor “overflow” section for those who couldn’t get a seat inside the 20,000-capacity arena was instead a much smaller gathering, with numerous empty seats,
During The Late Show, Colbert focused on how the Trump administration advertised the rally, noting that it was touted as “The Great American Comeback Festival.”
“This indoor rally of thousands of screaming fans was a chance for a comeback for Trump and COVID-19,” Colbert joked. “One of them’s gonna have a really good fall.”
Colbert went on to criticize not only the indoor attendance of Saturday’s event, only 6,200 attendees, but also the lack of people in the allotted overflow section. The outdoor space of the rally was expected to hold 40,000 supporters, but instead held 25 people, according to a CNN report Colbert referenced.
“That’s not a presidential rally, that’s the private party room at the Olive Garden,” he said.
On The Tonight Show, Fallon quantified the number of rally attendees in different terms. “Trump’s had more former staffers write books about him than that,” he said. “Six-thousand-two-hundred people isn’t a rally. It’s a graduation at a small liberal arts college.”
Meyers also took a shot at the low attendance: “Wow I’ve seen less empty seats at an improv show.”
While the lower-than-expected attendance could be partly attributed to coronavirus concerns, TikTok users and K-pop fans reportedly reserved thousands of free tickets to the Trump event with no plans of showing up. The late night hosts expressed their support for and pride in the pranksters.
“There hasn’t been a coordinated social media effort like this since they changed Sonic the Hedgehog’s teeth,” Fallon said.
Both Corden and Noah likened the kids to the crime-solving Scooby-Doo gang, noting “[Trump] would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling kids.”
But Noah noted a difference between the president and traditional Scooby-Doo characters.
“At least Scooby-Doo villains wear masks,” he quipped.
Along with criticizing the Tulsa rally’s small turnout, late night hosts also pointed out Trump’s “walk of shame” following the event.
Returning to the White House from Tulsa, Trump was seen holding his red “Make America Great” hat in hand and red tie undone, looking “like a drunk wedding guest shuffling back to the Marriott,” Meyers joked. “Somehow this is the perfect image to sum up the Trump presidency.”