None of the bits drew blood, but the big takeaway was that front-runner Joe Biden makes for an irresistible comedic target.
After a clip showing Biden stumble through his online call to action — “Go to Joe 30330 and help me in this fight” — Colbert wielded a rotary-dial telephone and riffed on the vice president’s less-than-tech-savvy finish. “Send an e-vite to ScrantonJoe1942@aol.org and ring up Pennsylvania 6-5000 and ask for Lou Lou,” Colbert play-acted. “He’ll show you a good time.”
Once again splitting his monologue into two advertiser-friendly parts, Colbert played a clip of Biden pulling the rhetorical rip cord and bailing out of a long answer on Medicare. In his vision, Biden said, patients “can buy the Gold plan and they’re not going to have to pay … Anyway.” After a moment to marvel at the awkwardness of that abrupt end to Biden’s remarks, Colbert imagined other speeches meeting a similarly abrupt end. “Biden just joined the ranks of history’s greatest orators,” Colbert joked. “Who can forget Abraham Lincoln’s great speech: ‘Four score and … well, you get the idea.'”
There were plenty of other targets on Night 2, which Colbert dubbed the “Tempest of the Centrists” and the “Rage for Incremental Change.” (The first night, on Tuesday, featured more left-of-center hopefuls like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.)
“Tulsi Gabbard was there, apparently to welcome everyone to heaven,” Colbert said, noting her all-white outfit, which he later compared to medical scrubs. After a clip showing Biden’s greeting onstage of Sen. Kamala Harris (“Go easy on me, kid”), he imagined her response: “I hope you’re wearing a cup.”
After a clip of Biden remarking on the diversity of the candidates onstage, Colbert couldn’t resist one more chance to poke the vice president. “‘Just look at the diversity on this stage,'” Colbert-as-Biden said. “‘How did this happen? It’s like we were bused to this debate or something.'”
Watch the clip above.