Stephen Colbert’s five best jokes about the VP debate

Vice President Mike Pence (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Vice President Mike Pence (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) /

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert was live after last night’s vice presidential debate

Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris entered last night’s vice presidential debate with prepared remarks but also had to think on their feet as the night progressed. The same could be said for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert which was live on CBS last night after the event.

While Colbert has proven time and time again that he’s more than capable of doing a live show, it is still no easy task. The host and his writing staff have to quickly edit together clips and come up with punchlines that can stand up against other late-night shows that will wait a day to react.

The debate between Vice President Pence and Sen. Harris went more or less as expected. It was by no means the trainwreck we saw in the presidential debate. Both sides clearly had their talking points that they wanted to hit regardless of whether or not it answered the question being asked.

The Late Show was ready to go once things ended and late-night fans turned to Colbert for his reaction. Here are the five best jokes from Colbert’s monologue on the vice presidential debate.

Stephen Colbert ripped Mike Pence for his role in the White House’s pandemic response

“Obviously the pandemic was tonight’s primary topic. It’s something Pence should know a lot about, considering he’s head of the White House task force on the coronavirus. And he’s done an exemplary job at his task of forcing coronavirus on the White House.

Sen. Harris didn’t have to work too hard to go after Vice President Pence. The Trump administration’s response to the pandemic has been harshly criticized for months now. And with Vice President Pence as the head of the COVID-19 task force, he made for an easy target for both Sen. Harris and Stephen Colbert.

Colbert and the rest of late-night television have laid into Team Trump for the novel coronavirus outbreak at the White House. The Late Show host has argued that the American people can trust President Trump, Vice President Pence, and the rest of the administration to protect them if they can’t protect themselves. Colbert hammered home this point again last night.

Stephen Colbert wasn’t buying Vice President Pence’s swine flu comparison

“Ah, yes. The swine flu pandemic of 2009. We all remember those days when the economy shut down for a year, we couldn’t hug our grandparents for months, and Barack Obama would not shut up about the My Pillow guy.”

Vice President Pence had the impossible task of defending the White House’s pandemic response but that didn’t stop him from trying. In attempting to compare the COVID-19 outbreak to the swine flu cases in 2009, Vice President Pence made what Colbert called a “false equivalency.”

Colbert went on to mock Vice President Pence for his hypothetical based on if the swine flu was as deadly as COVID-19, how poorly former Vice President Biden would have responded. Colbert saw it as a pointless endeavor and soundly mocked him for it.

Vice President Pence’s failure to obey the debate rules annoyed Stephen Colbert

“Susan, if you want to make Mike Pence shut up, you have to ask him to say ‘Black lives matter.'”

Just like his boss, Vice President Pence had a hard time following the debate rules. He repeatedly interrupted Sen. Harris and often used his time to respond to her rather than answer specific questions. Moderator Susan Page had difficulty keeping him in line.

Colbert joked that the only way to keep the vice president quiet would be to challenge him on race issues. Given that Vice President Pence denied the existence of systemic racism in America, the Late Show host’s joke here isn’t too far-fetched.

Stephen Colbert joined in on the jokes about the fly on Mike Pence’s head

“But listen, listen, all jokes aside. Thoughts and prayers to that fly’s family. It’s got to quarantine for two weeks now. We’ve got to get that fly to Walter Reed.”

The internet lit up last night when a fly landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head during the debate and stuck around for a couple of minutes. It was the highlight of an otherwise boring and predictable debate.

Colbert made sure to savor the moment and have as much fun with it as he could. He used the fly’s appearance to once again hit Team Trump about the COVID-19 outbreak at the White House and the inherent risk that comes with interacting with anyone from President Trump’s administration.

“The fly was still on Mike Pence’s head. It stayed there for over two minutes. Two minutes! Meaning that fly has a longer attention span than the president of the United States.”

Stephen Colbert has a history of attacking President Trump for reports that the president doesn’t read his briefings or is distracted during meetings. It’s not exactly the type of personality you want as the commander-in-chief.

So with the fly sticking around to listen to Vice President Pence and Sen. Harris for over two minutes, Colbert saw another opportunity to knock President Trump.

Overall, it was a solid monologue by Stephen Colbert. He had a limited amount of material to work with and let Sen. Kamala Harris off the hook and instead focused his comedic energy on Vice President Mike Pence. You can watch the complete monologue right here:

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What did you think of Stephen Colbert’s monologue? Share your thoughts in the comment below. Keep checking Last Night On for more highlights from The Late Show.