Melania Trump’s less-than-original speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday night was the comedy equivalent of a feast served on a golden platter.
On Tuesday, America’s late-night hosts gorged themselves.
“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” scored a big get with an “exclusive appearance” by “Melania Trump,” played by Broadway star (and national treasure) Laura Benanti.
After preening for the camera, Benanti-as-Trump delivered a defiant speech she insisted she’d written herself.
“This is truly the best of times, it is the worst of times,” she began. “I did not plagiarize my speech last night. I would never do such a thing. I would not, could not with a goat. I would not, could not, on a boat.”
The aspiring first lady said she’d learned the value of modesty in her humble upbringing “in West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days.” That’s why she had little patience for the plagiarism allegations.
“Give me a break,” she said. “Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.”
“The Late Late Show with James Corden”
On “The Late Late Show,” James Corden took a page from the Melania Trump playbook by copying off of David Letterman. With bandleader Reggie Watts playing the role of Paul Shaffer, Corden delivered a list of the “Top 10 Excuses Melania Trump Gave For Plagiarizing.” Examples included “I’m from a communist country where we share everything, including speeches,” “The drugs I take to get through sex hadn’t worn off” and “Chris Christie ate my first draft.” Naturally, there were also some Pokemon Go references.
“Late Night with Seth Meyers”
In a segment recapping the various screw-ups from the first night of the Republican National Convention, “Late Night” host Seth Meyers praised Melania Trump for finding “something less original than being a model married to an old billionaire.”
“Even worse, Melania went to on to describe her husband as a loving father to our two girls, Sasha and Malia,” he joked.
Calling the alleged plagiarism snafu an “astonishing display of incompetence,” Meyers argued that the real issue is what it reveals about Trump’s leadership. “Trump claims he’d be a great president because he’s a great manager, because he hires the best people. A dumb mistake like a plagiarized speech at a convention undercuts that.”
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”
“The Daily Show’s” Trevor Noah took a more optimistic view of Melania Trump, whose hopeful words were a refreshing change of pace from fear-mongering about immigrants, Muslims and African American activists otherwise on display Monday night in Cleveland.
That’s why Noah was unfazed by the apparent plagiarism. “We should be encouraging her,” he said. “Because if she feels comfortable stealing Michelle’s speeches... maybe Donald Trump will feel OK stealing Obama’s policies and then the country won’t be in such a dangerous place.”
Elsewhere in the program, Noah joked that Trump’s remarks “highlighted the love for her family and the story of how she became an American citizen. Unfortunately the American citizen she became was Michelle Obama.”
He also noted that the former model had taken “something a black woman did first and passed it off as her own. Or as Iggy Azalea calls it, her new hits.”