It was a big primary voting night, as several states determined their party candidates for gubernatorial and federal offices, Stephen Colbert noted on Tuesday evening. The Late Show taped before results were available – “by the time this airs, the victors will be celebrating, and the losers will be saying that they’re the victors,” the host joked.
Tuesday was especially important for Republicans, as the party is “choosing its direction for 2022: original recipe nutballs or extra crispy cuckoo cojones”.
Colbert zeroed in on the Pennsylvania GOP Senate race, a “battle royale” between the hedge fund executive Dave McCormick, TV doctor Mehmet Oz, and former radio talkshow host Kathy Barnette.
Oz, the candidate backed by Donald Trump, reminded voters on the eve of the primary that the former president had called him “smart and tough”.
“Because there is nothing more impressive than being called smart by a man who stared directly at an eclipse,” Colbert quipped.
Oz topped the polls leading up to the election, which as of this writing remains too close to call. That’s in large part thanks to Barnette, who made a big push in the final days despite a history of homophobic and Islamophobic statements – “or possibly because of that”, Colbert noted.
Barnette defended her bigoted statements on Fox News this weekend, calling the tweets “not even full thoughts” and “not even full sentences”.
“See? She’s a perfectly qualified candidate for US Senate who cannot finish a sentence,” Colbert deadpanned. Barnette also dismissed the criticism because the tweets were around 10 years old. “Ok 10 years, but keep in mind: Kathy Barnette is a 50-year-old woman,” Colbert noted. “That’s like saying ‘look, we all say and do stupid things when we turn 40! It’s that carefree 22nd summer after high school.”
Barnette was also caught on tape marching with the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, during the attack on the Capitol on January 6. “So she tried to overthrow an institution, and now wants to work there?” Colbert marveled. “That’s like holding up a bank saying, ‘put the money in the bag, also this seems like a pretty good gig. Could I drop a résumé off with you guys?’”
On Late Night, Seth Meyers touched on reports that Joe Biden, who was first elected to the Senate in 1973, has told aides in private that he no longer recognizes the Republican party and views them as an existential threat to democracy. “Oh good, you’re all caught up,” Meyers deadpanned. “This is like when you watch three episodes of a show and you have to wait for your partner to watch them before you can move to episode four.”
Speaking in Buffalo, where a gunman targeted and killed 10 black people this weekend, Biden called on Congress to pass new gun control laws. “Also today, a tree fell in the forest,” Meyers said, shaking his head.
In a new interview, Dr Anthony Fauci criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic, saying it “wasn’t optimal”, which is “kinda like saying the Hindenburg experienced a flight delay”, Meyers joked.
And Fox announced on Monday that The Masked Singer will return for an eighth season “because they need somewhere to put all the people too embarrassing for Dancing with the Stars”, Meyers said.
And on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon opened with news that the FDA authorized the first at-home Covid test that can also detect the flu. “That’s amazing. Now you can be kinda unsure if you have everything,” Fallon said. “The accuracy of an at-home test is somewhere between seeing a doctor and searching WebMD.
“Good news is we have the test right in time for flu season: mid-May,” he joked.
“Here’s how it works: you do a swab at home, then you send it to a lab, then you get the results a week later after you’ve infected everyone you know. It’s really genius.”
Fallon also looked at a viral clip of a Mexican student asking Pope Francis about his injured knee, to which the pope answered: “I need a little bit of tequila for my leg.”
“Probably explains why an hour later the popemobile was spotted at a Taco Bell drive-thru,” Fallon said. “Vatican officials were shocked but the pope was like, ‘relax, I only drink when I smoke.’
“All this time his staff thought he was talking about a cardinal when he referred to his friend Don Julio,” he joked.
And Disney announced a new ad-supported version of Disney+, though it will not show ads for politics or alcohol to keep the platform family friendly. “They should reconsider that,” Fallon advised. “I mean, there’s no better time to offer parents alcohol than during the 20th rewatch of Encanto.”