Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon used their talk show opening monologues to mock the presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
The bad-tempered discussion between the two candidates on Tuesday (29.09.20) – which saw the Democrat hopeful tell his rival to "shut up" after the president repeatedly talked over him – was a source of amusement for all three of the presenters, in which they found humour in everything from Chris Wallace’s ineffectual moderation to Trump’s alleged tax avoidance.
‘Late Show’ host Colbert quipped: "Tonight was the opening round of Donald Trump versus Joe Biden; the Battle of the Boomers; the Showman versus the Joe-Man. Get ready for democracy to crumble!
"We have emerged from the mad whirlwind where we gazed upon the forbidden countenance of God himself, and he said unto us, ‘Jesus, stop interrupting him, you giant baby!’"
Referencing Allen Ginberg’s classic poem ‘Howl’, he added: "Yes, tonight saw the best minds of our generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked, dragging themselves through the streets at dawn, looking for the mute button."
Meanwhile, Kimmel joked: "It got off to an interesting start, you know; they flipped a coin to determine who would get the first question, but when Trump saw the quarter in the air he said, ‘Hey, that’s how much I paid in taxes last year,’ and it went downhill from there."
Fallon claimed the only person who enjoyed watching the debate would have been Russian president Vladimir Putin – particularly as there were no commercials to offer any sign of relief.
He said on ‘The Tonight Show: "Seriously, did anyone take anything away from tonight? Was that helpful to any American? The only person who enjoyed that was Vladimir Putin while he was stroking a cat.
"Actually, tonight’s debate made history. It was the first time Americans ever watched something on TV and wished there were commercials."
The hosts also poked fun at Wallace’s lack of control over the discussion.
Colbert said: "I come to you tonight, ladies and gentlemen, an empty vessel, a man with a mind wiped clean. I have stood in the swirling chaos of creation. I have seen Shiva dancing the destruction, wielding his trident carving great gouts out of the universe. The sky at once both red, blue and black until all that remained was a starless void and the hollow husk once known as Chris Wallace."
Fallon quipped: "Before the debate, Chris Wallace said if he did his job right, it would be like he’s not there. Well, mission accomplished."
And Kimmel observed: "Chris Wallace felt like a kindergarten teacher running a class on Zoom…
"Trump treated Chris Wallace like he was Eric asking for more allowance money."