Stephen Colbert cuts through the noise to recap the Democratic debate

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (Photo: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (Photo: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS) /

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert went live after the Democratic debate in South Carolina.

Another Democratic debate is in the books and there is a clear sign that things are changing. With frontrunners and punching bags becoming more defined, there was a lot to cover from South Carolina. Thankfully for late night television fans, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert was live and had instant reaction.

Shows like Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah have gone live after debates in the past. But no show consistently puts itself to the test like The Late Show. Stephen Colbert and his writers are usually the best when it comes to responding to political headlines. Episodes like Tuesday night’s also ensure that they are the first.

After winning the Nevada caucuses, Senator Bernie Sanders entered the debate in Charleston, South Carolina as the frontrunner. It also meant that he was a target for other candidates like Mayor Pete Buttigieg looking to make up some ground. And once again, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg mad himself an easy and frequent target for Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Colbert and company did a solid job of covering it all, as well as Vice President Joe Biden’s struggles, in the special live episode of The Late Show. Check out the monologue right here:

What makes these post-debate shows so impressive is that you often can’t tell the difference from a normal episode. Without knowing it, the average viewer would think that The Late Show had all day to cut together clips and write jokes. But the truth is that everything was done on the fly as the debate played out on CBS.

Back in the early days of the campaign, when there were 20+ Democratic candidates, things were civil. There was an understanding that the goal was to defeat President Donald Trump and not have candidates attack each other. But now that we are nine months away from the election and the field has narrowed, things are getting a little more contentious. It’s part of the reason why Colbert had such a hard time making sense of what was said on the debate stage with everyone yelling at each other.

For Mayor Bloomberg, maybe that was a good thing. Because when he did have all eyes and ears on him, just about everything he said turned into a joke for Stephen Colbert. Bloomberg’s attempts at humor fell flat and served as setups for Colbert, the actual comedian. The same can be said for Joe Biden and Senator Amy Klobuchar’s efforts to get a laugh.

The highlight of the night in Colbert’s eyes was Senator Bernie Sanders’ defending himself against attacks. The Late Show host may be pulling for Sanders if only so he can continue to do his impression. It’s basically the opposite approach of Larry David.

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The next Democratic debate is scheduled for March 15 in Phoenix, Arizona. Late night fans can be sure that The Late Show with Stephen Colbert will be ready to go live once again. Let’s hope that Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and the other candidates are ready to go, too.