Even as it was unfolding Tuesday, it was clear that President Trump’s tempestuous meeting with Democratic leaders Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi about the infamous border wall would be great fodder for the entire gamut of late-night shows. (And likely this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live.”)
There was so much material to choose from. From Schumer mugging for the cameras to Trump repeatedly talking over Pelosi to the president name-checking North Dakota and Indiana, late-night shows had an embarrassment — and we do mean embarrassment — of riches.
And yet they all recycled the same five jokes across the board.
Just two weeks out from Christmas, several comedians had Santa Claus on their mind when it came to Trump’s border wall demands.
“Trump says that if he doesn’t receive funding for his border wall, he’ll just ask the military,” James Corden joked on “The Late Late Show.” “And if that doesn’t work, he’ll have no choice but to ask Santa Claus.”
Meanwhile on “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah had a similar observation.
“It’s Christmastime and President Trump already knows what he wants from Santa,” Noah noted. “A big, shiny border wall.”
Another image that came to mind on several different shows was how similar the divisive meeting seemed to a bad family get-together.
“Think of this as a little preview of what your family dinners are going to look like this holiday season,” Corden joked.
“Any child of divorce has seen this conversation before,” Stephen Colbert quipped on “The Late Show,” in reference to Pelosi’s repeated requests to move to an area away from the news media.
“Oh, boy,” Seth Meyers said on “Late Night.” “The oldies are fighting. At least that’s going to save you a trip home for Christmas.”
Thanks for the transition, Seth!
Meyers wasn’t alone in his giddy observation about old people fighting. It turns out all of late-night loves an elderly throw-down.
“It felt like being in the TV room of an nursing home,” Noah observed. “It was just old people fighting.”
Corden was even more specific.
“This looks like a group at a senior center arguing over whether to watch “The Price Is Right” or a rerun of “I Love Lucy.”
Colbert had a special plea for the meeting participants.
“Stop fighting, grandma, grandpa and weird grandpa!” he begged.
Others saw something a little more … real.
“That was like a ‘Real Housewives’ reunion,” Jimmy Fallon joked on “The Tonight Show.” “So intense.”
And on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the host went a step further, editing footage from the meeting into a new series dubbed “The Real White House Wives of D.C.”
“Well, that looks like a fun show,” Kimmel said after seeing a sizzle reel for the potential series. “I would for sure watch that.”
But Tuesday’s biggest winner — or loser — was definitely Vice President Mike Pence. Sitting stone-faced in the meeting, often with his eyes closed, Pence looked like he’d rather be anywhere else.
“The best part of the meeting was Mike Pence just sitting there quietly, patiently waiting to be president, not saying a word,” Kimmel remarked.
“What is Mike Pence doing?” Meyers wondered, in reference to Pence’s closed eyes. “I guess when Schumer said ‘shutdown,’ Pence took him literally.”
“He just sat there motionless, like a guy whose edible just kicked in,” Noah observed.
“Look how awkward Vice President Mike Pence looks in this photo while everyone argues around him,” Corden pointed out. “He looks like he’s just thinking: ‘Just hold still, Mike. No sudden movements and maybe they won’t realize you’re here.”