As 10 candidates squared off during night one of the first Democratic presidential debates, Twitter was clamoring over which candidate’s answers provided the best meme material, which the hosts of late-night television were quick to point out in their post-debate routines. They also poked fun at the night’s lone technical gaffe and the response from President Donald Trump.
The jokes continued on night two, with another round of 10 candidates, as the live shows continued with raps, impersonations and monologues.
Jimmy Fallon warned candidates to stay out of the internet spotlight on the campaign trail with an original song, “Don’t Become a Meme,” on Wednesday’s live-edition of “The Tonight Show.”
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“Don’t elbow your wife. Don’t scream for your life,” Fallon sang. “Don’t fall off your chair. Eat a corndog at the fair. Don’t try to high five. Don’t drink water live. Don’t open your jaws. Don’t ask for applause.”
He continued, teasing Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker in a not-so-subtle gibe: “And if you want to be sure that your supporters do not vanish, keep this in your head: don’t ever try to speak Spanish if you don’t know how.”
"The Daily Show’s" Trevor Noah also made fun of the moment, showing a still image of Booker glancing at O’Rourke as he answered a question in fluent Spanish.
“Look at how shocked Cory Booker was when Beto switched to Español,” Noah said. “His eyes are just like – wait, wait. You know that feeling, have you ever walked into an exam in school, then you sit down, another student puts a protractor on the desk and you’re like, ‘What, we need a protractor?’ That’s what the face was – panic, absolute panic.”
In his recurring segment, “A Closer Look,” Seth Meyers shifted his focus behind the scenes, lambasting debate moderators Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd after a hot mic caused an interruption in the broadcast.
“Maybe you guys should have spent more time checking the audio and less time saying hello to each other,” Meyers quipped. “I’m surprised Warren didn’t bust out a tool kit: ‘I can fix it!’”
Jimmy Fallon once again used music to parody the candidates’ remarks in his opening monologue, holding up photos next to Tarik Trotter as he rapped a recap of both nights.
“Tonight, the moderators pretty much were irrelevant, ‘cause they were trampled like the Dems were elephants,” Trotter rapped. “Kamala spoke about Trump. She asked if he pays enough. And smoked him out like she was in her blazer later blazin’ up. Bernie Sanders said he’s polling better than Donald is. Then he yells about it as if he was at the audiologist.”
Comedian Kate McKinnon was a guest on a live episode of “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and sat in the writer's room during the debates while apparently perfecting her impersonation of author Marianne Williamson.
“Gosh I wish there was an ‘SNL’ show this week,” McKinnon said, before launching into the bit.
“We think plans are gonna beat Donald Trump, we got another thing coming,” she said, impersonating Williamson. “My plan is to gather all the sage in America and burn it. My plan is to harness the energy of babies, to finally put a man on the moon. And I said to the president of New Zealand, I said, ‘Girlfriend, you’re so on.’ And I would say to Donald Trump, ‘Boyfriend, you chill.’ Thank you.”
Meanwhile, on the "Late Show," Stephen Colbert joked about Eric Swalwell recalling the time he saw Joe Biden speak at an event when Swalwell was 6 years old, when then-Sen. Biden said it was time to “pass the torch.”
“Oh snap. I think Swalwell already has that torch, ‘cause that was a sick burn,” Colbert said.
And after showing a clip of Biden saying, “I’m still holding on to that torch,” Colbert quipped, “Yes I’m still holding onto that torch, which is my slogan is Biden 2020, give me the nomination or I will burn this place to the ground."