On his first post-election late-night stop, Vice President Joe Biden took some time Tuesday on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” to have a family meeting with America.
Cue the cozy sweaters and bring on the father figures.
“Hey, champ, how ya doing?” Colbert said to the country, with Biden at his side and Christmas stockings marked Dad, Pops and Kid hanging on the mantel in the background. “Pops and I, we’ve been worried about all these sudden changes. We know you’re worried about the changes the family’s making.”
The veep chimed in with soothing words of his own.
“It happens to every family, but I’m telling you, this terrible feeling you’re having right now, it’s not permanent. It’ll be over in four years,” he said. “Maybe eight.”
(Quick, someone tell Madonna.)
It’s not that America’s recent behavior has the dads angry, they said. They’re just disappointed. Well, Colbert’s very angry, but that’s beside the point. The problem is, America’s been using some salty language and cutting corners when it comes to, um, mowing the lawn. It simply has to stop.
“Doesn’t matter that someone else is about to get the job of mowing the lawn after you, even though as far as you can tell, that person has never touched a lawnmower in his life,” said Colbert, appearing in the role of bad cop.
“Look, kid, it doesn’t matter who’s mowing it,” Biden said. “The point is, it’s the greatest lawn in the world, and no matter our differences, we’re all responsible for its upkeep. I’ve got to believe that in their heart, the next mower is going to do their best they can to make sure that lawn, that everyone feels safe to have a picnic on it..”
“That’s a beautiful metaphor,” Colbert told his guest.
“Metaphor?” Biden asked. “Metaphor. OK, I’m talking about mowing the lawn. What are you talking about?”
“Same thing,” said Colbert. “Same thing.”
However, when the sit-down went from family meeting to standard late-night interview, Colbert quizzed Biden about his own lawn-mowing aspirations for 2020.
“Donald Trump will be 74, I’ll be 77 and in better shape,” said Biden, who took a “Never say never” stance.
“You want to become the most popular guy in America? Announce you’re not running,” he said, referencing his decision about the 2016 race. And about his comment to a Capitol Hill reporter the day before about an intention to run in 2020? Biden framed it jokingly as a strategic move.
“I did that for one reason,” the veep said. “So I could announce now that I’m not running, and be popular again.”
Biden said he doesn’t plan on running but also labeled himself “a great respecter of fate,” which his host took as “the sound of a door creaking open.”
Said Biden, “To say you know what’s going to happen in four years is not rational.”
The longtime politician also told Colbert he hopes the country gives President-elect Donald Trump a chance to mow the — well, to do the job of president.
“It makes no sense to start this off without the rest of us saying, we’re going to give this guy an actual even shot. We’re going to give him a clear shot to do the job,” Biden said. “We’re gonna actually be there to work with him when he has good ideas and challenge his ideas when they’re not.”
America’s dad notably didn’t rise to Colbert’s bait when pressed mightily to comment on Trump’s Twitter penchant for rising to other people’s bait.
Biden did, however, see at least one situation where lashing out made sense.
“I can understand going at late-night hosts,” he joked. “I can understand that. It makes a lot of sense to me to attack you guys.”
Follow Christie D’Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ.