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The Super Bowl may have happened this weekend, but on Monday night, the late-night comedians were all about the botched introduction at the beginning of Saturday night’s GOP debate.
Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Samantha Bee, whose new series Full Frontal just debuted on Monday, each devoted a few minutes to lampooning the start of the debate, when Ben Carson apparently missed his cue, leaving him standing awkwardly in the wings while other candidates walked past him onto the stage and Donald Trump joined him in waiting.
“Saturday’s Republican debate went off the rails at about the negative one minute mark when 43 percent of Republican presidential candidates failed the important presidential test of, ‘Can you walk successfully to a podium?’ A task repeatedly mastered by laboratory mice and frightened 4-year-olds on Toddlers and Tiaras,” Bee joked over footage of the incident.
And when the debate moderators announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican candidates,” Bee pointed out what they seemed to have failed to notice: “There’s three empty podiums! Look, even if one’s for Elijah, there’s still two empty podiums. And that was just the first domino in a cascade of fail.”
Stephen Colbert, meanwhile, reenacted the moment, playing the befuddled candidate. The Late Show host waited awkwardly in the wings while his band took the stage. When a stage manager tried to get Colbert onstage, it took quite a few attempts, with Colbert mimicking his gestures and going limp. Eventually Colbert made his way out there, chasing a tennis ball like a dog.
On NBC’s Late Night, Seth Meyers took a “Closer Look” at the incident, saying the debate, “began with the precision of a kindergarten holiday pageant.”
Meyers wondered about Carson, a former neurologist, “What was it like to have him as a surgeon? ‘Your surgery will begin any minute. We just have to get Dr. Carson in here’ (frantically waves him over).”
“After that, it just kept getting better,” Meyers added. “Because as we’ve learned from this election season, no one’s going to embarrass themselves on TV without Donald Trump getting involved.”
After showing an image of Trump and Carson waiting together, Meyers wondered what they reminded him of. The Shining twins, perhaps?
That wasn’t the only movie reference used to describe what went down during the debate, as Colbert, Bee and Meyers also took on Marco Rubio’s repetitive comments and Chris Christie’s attack on his rival Republican hopeful.
“Marco Rubio repeated himself so many times that he summoned Candyman, who appeared behind him and killed his campaign,” Colbert said.
Bee even compared the Christie-Rubio face-off to a compelling moment from an Oscar-nominated movie: the bear-attack scene from The Revenant.
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