Watch Late-Night Hosts Unpack the Utter "Chaos" of Last Night's Presidential Debate
Disorderly. Headache-inducing. Infuriating. These are just a few choice words that could be used to describe the first of three presidential debates between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The 90-minute
discussion argument, which took place Tuesday evening in Cleveland, saw the incumbent and his Democratic challenger go head-to-head on topics like the economy, racial injustice in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more. Factual inaccuracies ran rampant as Fox News anchor Chris Wallace moderated — or at least attempted to.
Immediately following the debate, late-night hosts were quick to weigh in on the utter chaos of it all. Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, and Jimmy Kimmel each delivered candid monologues about the tense event, offering their takes on the unwelcome absence of commercial breaks, the need for fact checkers, Trump's various false claims, and Biden's digs at Trump. Watch each of them break down the debate in their own words ahead. One down, two to go, folks.
Stephen Colbert Reacts to the First Presidential Debate
- On Biden's "Will you shut up, man?": "No, he won't. Imagine if that worked. It's not great when you have to say the same thing to the president of the United States that you would shout at a friend who won't stop ranting about how Van Halen was actually a better band with Sammy Hagar."
- On Biden's comment about Trump being "the worst president America has ever had": "Come on now, Mr. Vice President, that's not fair. He's also the worst president America will ever have."
- On Biden calling Trump a "clown": "It's a good thing Joe corrected himself. He wouldn't want to lose the clown vote. It's also not accurate; if Trump was a clown, he'd have a much more professional face paint."
Trevor Noah Reacts to the First Presidential Debate
- On Chris Wallace's moderating: "Chris Wallace, thank you for your service, and I hope you have a lot of money for your therapy. You made a valiant effort, but you were not ready for this, because no human being could've been ready for this. They don't need a moderator for this; they need a UFC ref."
- On the lack of commercial breaks: "I have never — and I mean never — wanted to see a commercial break more badly in my life. I cannot do 90 straight minutes of this sh*t ever again. It was brutal. There's gotta be a commercial break every five minutes, and during those commercial breaks, every ad should be for antidepressants or some drug that has side effects that make you forget the last four years."
- On the lack of fact checkers: "Debates need fact checkers, because otherwise, people can just stand on the stage and say whatever they want, and there are no consequences — zero, nada, zilch. Every time a candidate says a lie, there should be some sort of sign that they lied. Maybe a brick should come down on their side of the screen like Tetris, and as they lie, it'll just gradually build up higher and higher until it covers their face."
Jimmy Fallon Reacts to the First Presidential Debate
- On the productiveness of the debate: "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. . . . Honestly, sitting through that debate felt like getting a COVID test in both nostrils at once."
- On Chris Wallace's moderating: "Before the debate, Chris Wallace said that if he does his job right, it'll be like he's not there — well, mission accomplished. After the debate was over, Wallace said he wanted to moderate something a little more civil like a Real Housewives reunion or a back-alley night fight."
- On the lack of commercials: "Tonight's debate was presented without commercials. The only interruptions were Trump cutting off Biden and Chris Wallace every eight seconds. . . . Tonight's debate made history. It was the first time Americans ever watched something on TV and wished there were commercials."
Jimmy Kimmel Reacts to the First Presidential Debate
- On how the debate started: "It got off to an interesting start. 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."
- On Trump's untruthfulness during the debate: "Biden faced an unusual challenge, which is how do you debate a pathological liar? It's like debating a parrot: you can make whatever points you want, but you know the parrot's just gonna say the same four things it knows and then maybe take a dump on The New York Times."