On Monday after the first presidential throwdown between Hillary Clinton and Mr. Sniffles, late night comedians (and their hard-working editors, writers and staff) hustled to gather video and comment on the debate barely an hour after it finished. But there was so much to unpack, it couldn't all be done in one evening—so both Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers dug a little deeper last night to draw out everything truly "WRONG" about Trump's performance. All that lack of debate prep really came in handy!
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) September 28, 2016
"What was obvious early on is that Clinton's plan [was] to get under Donald Trump's skin, and I've got to say, she brought the orange peeler, because she got in there man," Colbert said, before pointing out Trump's proclivity for interrupting Clinton during the debate.
Noting that Trump had some problems with the truth throughout the debate (and this entire campaign), Colbert continued, "A lot of people said Trump didn't seem prepared...possibly because he was not." He didn't have room in his head for facts and figures because "there's no room in there, it's already full of ethnic slurs and different wife names."
In case you're wondering how exactly a late night show is able to get segments together so quickly in real time, the NY Times was with Colbert on Monday night before the show aired, and have a fascinating glimpse into the process as well as Colbert's overall retooling of the show. Particularly relevant is this:
At a time when Mr. Fallon has been widely criticized for his chummy treatment of Mr. Trump, Mr. Colbert’s unvarnished political perspective could prove crucial in distinguishing himself from his network competitors.
Without commenting directly on Mr. Fallon’s program, Mr. Colbert said, “I’ve surrendered to my natural instincts, and to how I actually feel on a daily basis.”
Besides, Mr. Colbert felt sufficiently regretful about his own interview with Mr. Trump, at the start of his tenure on “The Late Show” in September 2015.
“I tried being gracious and pointed at the same time, and got almost nothing out of him,” Mr. Colbert said. “It was actually boring, because he wouldn’t even look me in the eye. Being nice to a guy who isn’t nice to other people, it doesn’t serve you that much.”
Meyers focused on the debate fallout, noting that while Clinton was being held to a higher standard coming in (like a "ninja bank robber"), "all Trump had to do was be a normal person and he would have been declared the winner—and yet he still managed to lose." If you feel like there was some cognitive dissonance between what you watched on Monday and the pro-Trump spin and polls, Meyers gets it.
Though at least we can all agree that the war on cyber is very important: "He talks like Lenny Briscoe in a 20 year old episode of Law & Order."