Late-Night Hosts Take Aim at Joe Biden's "Surprise Masseuse" Past as He Announces Presidential Bid
'The Daily Show's' Trevor Noah and 'Tonight Show's' Jimmy Fallon both talked about the vice president joining the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign.
Joe Biden finally announced his presidential bid Thursday, and the late-night hosts were ready with plenty of jokes about the former vice president, particularly the recent allegations that he touched several women inappropriately.
On The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon pointed out that Biden already had campaign gear for sale on his website.
"There’s Joe Biden mugs. Biden pins, Biden tote bags," the NBC host said, before adding one item that prompted some groans from the crowd, "and, of course, Biden massagers."
Fallon also paired past photos of the longtime politician with other, joke campaign slogans.
After displaying images of Biden with Sesame Street muppets, in a car and eating ice cream, he ran the widely published picture of Biden with his hands on Defense Secretary Ash Carter's wife's shoulders, with the slogan "I got your back, America."
Over the past month, numerous women have come forward to claim Biden touched them inappropriately, starting with Nevada's Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2014, who wrote an essay Friday, March 29, saying that as vice president, Biden approached her from behind, put his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair and kissed the back of her head.
Since then, more women have come forward with accounts that Biden touched them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable, though no one has yet alleged sexual misconduct.
He ultimately responded in a two-minute video, which itself prompted some late-night ribbing, explaining that while he's affectionate, he understands that "social norms have begun to change."
And he vowed to be more careful about his behavior.
"They've shifted and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset, and I get it. I get it," he said. "And I'll be much more mindful. That's my responsibility."
Over on The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah showed the same photo of Carter's wife, describing Biden as America's "surprise masseuse" before he looked back at Biden's political career in another installment of the Comedy Central show's "Getting to Know Dem" series.
Noah seemed particularly amused that Biden's first presidential bid, in 1988, ended with him dropping out after reports that he plagiarized part of his speech.
"Plagiarism used to be a campaign ruining scandal? Aw, America, you were so cute when you were little," Noah said. "Nowadays you can say you love grabbing pussies on a bus of your unreleased tax returns while doing a drive-by down Fifth Avenue and the worst thing that happens is Mitt Romney will furrow his brow in dismay."
Noah also highlighted Biden's history of verbal gaffes, calling the former vice president "an adorable goofball."
The Daily Show host explained this made Biden a good counterbalance to Obama, who seemed to measure every word he said. Meanwhile, with Biden, Noah joked, "his brain just clicks [Google's] 'I'm feeling lucky' [button], and the first result comes out of his mouth."
Noah, acknowledged Biden's legislative accomplishments, saying, "Joe Biden was so good at getting stuff done, he even found a way to work with Mitch McConnell."
He then offered one more zinger about Biden allegedly touching women inappropriately: "And they probably got along because Mitch was the only person Biden wouldn't give a massage to. 'Cause that neck is like quicksand."
Ultimately Noah, seizing on Biden's past claims of wanting to get in a physical fight with Trump, said he hoped Biden got the nomination simply for the entertaining, fight-filled debates.