Late-Night’s Colbert, Fallon & Kimmel React To Final Trump-Biden Debate: “The Ultimate Mute Button Is In Your Hands”

Stephen Colbert
A Late Show with Stephen Colbert/Screengrab

Late Show host Stephen Colbert, Tonight Show‘s Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live‘s Kimmel weighed in on the final debate between President Trump and Joe Biden Thursday, in what was by most accounts a much calmer affair than the first face-off due to a mute button that silenced each candidate for two minutes per segment. But to those who hoped for even less Trump, Colbert quipped “The ultimate mute button is in your hands.”

“It’s like dental surgery, and tonight was like getting our last wisdom tooth taken out,” Colbert said during his monologue in his post-debate live Late Show, in which an interrupting Donald Trump cartoon president briefly appeared. “Yes, it hurt, and yes, we can still taste the blood in our mouths.”

“Tonight was Donald Trump’s very last chance to make his closing argument: Please ignore what he’s like and everything he’s ever done,” Colbert said. He praised moderator Kristen Welker who “did a great job” and “kept them on subject, admirably, beginning with “Trump’s catastrophic COVID response — which of course was a subject he didn’t want to touch.” Watch above.

On NBC’s Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon agreed that the mute button “worked pretty well.” He noted that in fact, it was so “much calmer, at one point they almost cut to Jeffrey Toobin to liven things up.”

“Everyone was impressed by Trump not interrupting or yelling,” though “I’m not sure it’s a great sign that we talk about the president like we talk about a 4-year-old at a puppet show,” Fallon said. And when Trump claimed he wasn’t racist, “instead of the mute button, someone hit the laugh track. It’s a little weird to say ‘I’m the least racist person in the room’ when half the room are your friends and family.” Watch below.

Jimmy Kimmel admitted on Kimmel Live that Trump was funny at times and did get off some good lines. “As far as my relationships with all people, I think I have great relationships with all people,” Trump said, adding “I am the least racist person in this room.” Kimmel added, “Only Donald Trump can look at a half-Black, half-Native American moderator and say ‘I’m the least racist person in this room.'” There were some positive moments though, Kimmel noted, like Trump “almost kinda” taking responsibility for America’s pandemic response,” but “there was so much nonsense,” Kimmel said. “Trump, his defense of putting children in cages is ‘You should see how nice these cages are.’ Honestly.” Watch below.

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