“Get ready for democracy to crumble!!!” Stephen Colbert shouted at the top of his live post-debate monologue Tuesday night.
“I come to you tonight, ladies and gentlemen, an empty vessel, a man with a mind wiped clean,” the Late Show host said. “I have stood in the swirling chaos of creation. I have seen Shiva dancing his destructions, wielding his trident, carving great gouts out of universe. The sky, once both red, blue, and black until all that remained was a starless void and the hollow husk once known as Chris Wallace. We have emerged from the mad whirlwind where we gazed upon the forbidden countenance of God himself. And he said unto us, ‘Jesus, stop interrupting him, you giant baby!’”
“Yes, tonight saw the best minds of our generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical, naked, dragging themselves through the streets at dawn, looking for the mute button!” he continued. “Forget fact-checking this debate, we couldn’t even do any sentence-finding! I never thought I’d say this, but I am so looking forward to the vice presidential debate. I mean, for Pete’s sake, children watched that!”
And that was just the beginning.
Over the course of an extended monologue, Colbert unloaded on the president for continually talking over Biden at every turn, joking, “It reminded of that time Abraham Lincoln debated a leaf blower.”
In response to Biden finally telling Trump to “shut up,” Colbert said, “Imagine if that worked! It’s not great when you have to say the same thing to the president of the United States that you would shout at a friend who won’t stop ranting about how Van Halen was actually a better band with Sammy Hagar.”
Colbert also went after Trump for saying there has been “no negative effect” from his in-person campaign rallies amidst the pandemic, something that neither moderator Chris Wallace or Biden was able to fact-check in the moment. “Herman Cain, your thoughts?” the host asked. “Herman Cain? Evidently we’re having connection issues with the great beyond.”
Then Colbert zeroed in on “one of the most telling, one of the most upsetting moments, not only of the night, but of my lifetime,” when President Trump was “asked simply to condemn white supremacy.” Instead, the president told right-wing militia groups to “stand back and stand by.”
“Didn’t do it!” the host exclaimed, before imitating Trump. “‘I don’t support white supremacists. I just command them, like a dog. That’s why I’ve got this shiny dog whistle.”
Ending on a dark note, Colbert mock-laughed along with an exasperated Biden and Wallace, saying, “It’s funny, because we are facing the most important election of our lifetimes and we’re letting the idiot who shouts the loudest decide what we talk about.”
“After an hour and a half of soul-pulverizing menace, I feel like I did coming out of Star Wars: Episode One—The Phantom Menace. How can we possibly do this two more times?” Colbert asked. “Ultimately, I think the American people, they were hurt tonight. And if you look online, they’re angry. Because this is a serious moment, where human lives and the future of this irreplaceable country is on the line.”
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