Weds Night Monologues: A Debatable Presidential Showdown

Missed Wednesday’s late-night monologues? We’ve got you covered with our round-up of the night’s best laughs from across the dial.

Master Debaters?

With the 2024 presidential election to determine whether 51 percent of Americans think America should continue as a democracy a mere six months away, it was inevitable that the political discourse would turn to the debates. That, even though one candidate is currently being tried on felony charges that he engaged in business crimes to defraud the last electorate and might be in prison. Yes, President Joe Biden even issued the invitation to Donald Trump in the most Dark Brandon manner possible, challenging his rival to a Wednesday debate because he knows Trump’s trial takes that day off. As Stephen Colbert noted in a specially constructed “Damn Cam” reaction shot, “Damnnnn.”

For most late-night hosts, the prospect of a third go-around of Republican candidate Donald Trump blustering, bullying, and trampling the rules of presidential debates against an 81-year-old, gaffe-prone Joe Biden is nothing if not stressful. Biden did score victories when Trump today accepted terms for the June 27 CNN and September 10 ABC debates, including no studio audience and microphones that cut off after each candidate’s time expires, both of which play against against the former president.

Still, there were enough old man moments from Biden four years ago to keep democracy fans on he edge of their seats. As Seth Meyers put it during his Wednesday A Closer Look segment, “So is Biden a debate all-star? No he’s not. Every time he answers a question, I’m gonna white-knuckle my armchair like I’m watching Tom Cruise ride a motorcycle off a cliff.” Biden does have the slight edge of being less likely to go off on tangents praising fictional serial killers as if they’re long lost pals. Strap in, folks.

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“President Biden and former President Trump are set to face off in two presidential debates. Biden is looking forward to laying out his 2024 agenda, while Trump is just happy to go somewhere where nobody will draw him while he sleeps.”

seth meyers

“For some reason Trump thinks it will work to his advantage to debate Joe Biden on national television, despite the fact that when they debated in 2020, it was an embarrassing clusterf**k in which Trump behaved like a coked-up raccoon trapped in a porta-potty at Coachella.”

seth meyers

“These two men last debated back in October of 2020. We all remember gathering with our friends and families on the couch to say, ‘Oh God, I hope this doesn’t happen again in four years.'”

stephen colbert

“The moderator of a nationally televised debate had to yell “No!” at the sitting President like a flight attendant telling a drunk passenger he can’t go in the cockpit.”

seth meyers

“Biden and Trump will meet June 27 on CNN, and one of Biden’s debate conditions was not having an audience. So that explains why it’s on CNN.”

jimmy fallon

“Trump skipped every primary debate like it was foreplay.”

desi lydic

[After Trump matched Biden’s “Make my day” challenge with “Let’s get ready to rumble”] “‘Rumble?’ I’ve seen your rallies. I think you mean, ‘Let’s get ready to ramble.'”

stephen colbert

“It’s really quite something to challenge your opponent to a debate anytime, anywhere, anyplace while you’re standing behind barricades at a mandatory court appearance for your criminal trial. You sure got that much flexibility in your schedule, bro?”

seth meyers

“Trump agreed to the debate. He said, ‘I’ll be there assuming it’s okay with my parole officer.'”

jimmy fallon
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“Biden getting Trump to agree to no audiences is like getting a vampire to fight you at noon on the beach during the garlic festival.”

seth meyers

“Imagine Trump with his mic cut. He’s going to look like the world’s angriest mime.”

stephen colbert

“Aw, sh*t! Yeah! Now that’s the Joe Biden I know and moderately like!”

desi lydic

“The first debate will be next month, which is the earliest a presidential debate has ever been. And if were being honest, an early bird debate feels right for these guys.”

jimmy fallon

“Also, you’d think a guy facing four separate criminal indictments, attempted a coup, got impeached twice, oversaw a net job loss and a spike in crime, cheated on his wife with a porn star ,and left the nation in crisis after letting a pandemic spiral out of control would want to avoid a debate. Hell, if I so much as did one of those things, I would want to avoid being seen in public again.”

seth meyers

“Yay! I can’t wait to watch. [Looks through fingers over eyes] Like this.” 

desi lydic

“But the contrast Biden will benefit from onstage is that he’s normal for his age, and Trump is not normal for any age. Like, what’s a good age for a kid to think Hannibal Lecter is real, dead, and a cool dude?”

seth meyers

Bloody Royals…

Since Great Britain’s Charles graduated from Prince to King back in 2022, royal watchers have been, well, watching out for the unveiling of the official portrait of their new monarch. Well, the big day came on Tuesday, as artist Jonathan Yeo’s painting of King Charles III made its debut to… mixed reactions.

The massive painting sees Charles in his red Welsh Guards uniform, surrounded by a hazy, bright-red background, a dynamically weirder portrait than the traditional royal representation for certain. And while some have complained that the portrait’s Charles appears to be emerging through some sort of placental goo (the single butterfly alighting on the King’s right shoulder does little to break up the jammy tableau), His Highness himself claims to be a big fan. The Daily Show‘s Desi Lydic, not so much.

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“Oh, I just remembered, I have to buy tampons.”

desi lydic

“Obviously, this is a pretty big departure from other portraits of the royal family. For example, Queen Elizabeth was often painted with her beloved corgis. Compare that to Charles, who looks like he was painted with her corgis once Kristi Noem was finished with them.”

desi lydic

“Now clearly this painting has gotten a lot of negative feedback. But King Charles swears that he loves the portrait, which probably means he’s having an affair with another portrait on the side.”

desi lydic

Potpourri

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[On footage U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken sitting in with a Ukrainian rock band] “That’s the kind of soulful musicality that makes dad bands everywhere go, ‘Wait, is that what we look like?'”

stephen colbert

“Michael Cohen yestderday testified that he still lives in a Trump-branded building. Which tells you just how much of a pain in the ass it is to move in New York City.”

seth meyers

“The Paris Olympics is providing athletes with twin-sized beds that have cardboard frames to keep them from having sex. If they wanted a bed where sex was guaranteed to never happen, they could have used the one from my college dorm.”

jimmy fallon

“They said all athletes will have [the] beds except the badminton team, which they don’t have to worry about.”

jimmy fallon

[After footage of Westminster Dog Show agility champion, Nimble] “How do they get the dogs to run that fast? Wait, I’m being told one of the judges was Kristi Noem.”

stephen colbert

[On several Republicans showing up outside the New York courthouse in matching suits to violate Trump’s gag order by proxy] “Look at these dorks. They look like a doo-wop group called The Four Treasons. They look like the Men’s Wearhouse softball team. They look like a singing group called MAGA-Pella. It looks like they put Mitt Romney in a cloning machine but something went a little more wrong with each copy.”

seth meyers

[On the latest pleasure craft to be sunk by rampaging orcas off of Spain] “The yacht in question was named the Alboran Cognac, which is the douchiest possible yacht name next to the S.S. The Housekeeper Is Actually Like Family to Us.”

stephen colbert

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