Late-night TV hosts dig into Super Tuesday under a coronavirus cloud
It was a Super Tuesday night on network TV, as comedians across channels tailored their material to the Democratic primary elections.
Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, James Corden, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon all dedicated much of their comedy routines to the political extravaganza, particularly taking aim at the coronavirus outbreak, as well as former New York Mayor — and now former presidential candidate — Michael R. Bloomberg.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders emerged as the front-runners Tuesday night, hours after many of the emcees filmed their respective programs.
“Tonight, the lion’s share of the delegates were awarded to... someone, I assume,” Colbert joked on “The Late Show.” “Because as we tape this, the results are not in yet. But it’s going to take more than complete ignorance to stop me from talking about it.”
Still, some were able to make educated guesses about Biden, who had already picked up momentum recently thanks to his previous victory in the South Carolina primary and is now the youngest male politician in the running. But that didn’t deter the funnymen from making quips about his age.
“I’m glad Biden is having a resurgence, but I’m still a little worried,” Fallon said on “The Tonight Show.” “Today he walked into a voting booth, closed the curtain and, two minutes later, yelled, ‘How do you flush this thing?’”
“At 77 years old, Joe Biden is now the youngest man vying for the Democratic presidential nomination,” Colbert said. “Keep in mind that the average life expectancy for men is about 76.”
But it was Bloomberg who got hit the hardest. After a subpar performance on Super Tuesday, the billionaire officially quit the race Wednesday morning and joined fellow dropouts Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar in endorsing Biden.
“Mike Bloomberg has poured more than $500 million of his own money into this campaign,” Kimmel said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “He basically spent the cost of an ‘Avatar’ movie to find out nobody likes him.”
“He’s been spending money harder than a dad at Chuck E. Cheese trying to keep custody of his kids,” Noah quipped on “The Daily Show,” which went live for the primary. “But all that money seems to have bought him is people digging up skeletons from his past, and the debates where Elizabeth Warren completely burned him to the ground.”
And, of course, the hosts couldn’t help but take a swing at the coronavirus outbreak, which sparked anxiety about the potential spread of germs between voters at the crowded polls.
“Around two-thirds of California vote by mail, and the other third now have coronavirus, so congratulations if you lined up,” Kimmel joked.
“Election officials in multiple states are encouraging voters to use mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus,” Meyers said. “That story again: Several states are fighting coronavirus by asking people to put their saliva in the mail.”
Multiple comics also prepped bits about more general aspects of the election process, from uninformed voters to the “I voted” stickers widely and proudly shared on social media throughout the day.
“If these elections have taught us anything, it is that adults love stickers, too,” Kimmel said. “I feel like some people are only voting so they can post a selfie with an ‘I voted’ sticker on Instagram. ... If you wear one, people make fun of you. If you don’t, people wonder if you voted.”
“You go in, you choose your candidate, and then you just randomly guess everything else on the ballot because who really knows?” Corden quipped on “The Late Late Show,” which tapes in Los Angeles. “California is one of the states that held a primary today, and it’s very obvious from the reaction of all of you in this room that many of you are only now just learning this.”
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