Late night comedians have put out the “Welcome” mat for Democrats running against President Donald Trump next year.
We’ve already seen Sen. Kamala Harris fawned over by both Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah on The Late Show and The Daily Show, respectively. Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillebrand surfed Colbert’s couch, too, as did Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Sen. Bernie Sanders appears regularly on Colbert’s show.
That’s only part of the story.
Those late night comics don’t mock these 2020 candidates when they’re not on set. They’re too busy trashing Trump at every opportunity, even via stories with no direct connection to him, like the recent college bribery scandal.
And then Beto joined the party.
Former Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke announced his intentions to run for president in 2020 this week. And you won’t guess what happened next.
Late night comics pounced. Well, they pounced as much as comedians who are wholly invested in the Democratic party can. Which is it say they evoked his name and had some laughs at his expense.
Let’s start with Jimmy Fallon, the least politically motivated comic on the late night circuit. Fallon, perhaps taking a cue from Trump’s own rhetoric, mocked O’Rourke’s penchant for talking with his hands.
Take a look:
It’s funny and it’s on brand. Fallon isn’t typically cruel with his shtick. And that shows here. It’s still … interesting that he moved so quickly on his comedy target.
The same can be said of Noah. You can feel the lack of energy in this routine, where the host can’t help but notice how O’Rourke’s hands are out of control. Trump is right, admitted Noah after the president zoomed in on those jazz hands. It’s a bit odd how much those hands slice and dice the air.
Naturally, the routine called Fox News superstar Tucker Carlson a racist and Trump a bully. Just the fact that Noah noted O’Rourke’s “am I running or not” tease seemed surprising.
Seth Meyers also joined the fray in a rather curious fashion.
The Late Night with Seth Meyers host can be as nakedly partisan as any of his peers. Yet he chose the O’Rourke announcement to taunt MSNBC’s obsession with the car O’Rourke drove on one particular day.
MEYERS: Wow, hard-hitting stuff, you guys. [Laughter] “Did you use Hertz or Avis? Answer the question!” [Laughter] “Will you release your minivan returns?!” [Laughter]
Now, O’Rourke serves up plenty of comedy potential. National Review’s Kyle Smith seized on it this week with a hilarious takedown. That doesn’t actually matter to late night comics. They’ve stood down over rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez despite her endless comic potential.
Why would Team Late Night pounce on O’Rourke while holding fire on other Democratic hopefuls?
It may be simple. O’Rouke is a white male candidate. And, given the Democrat’s fury for Identity Politics, that just won’t wash for the 2020 race.
Consider CNN, the home of modern far-left thinking. The day O’Rouke made his big announcement the hard-left channel brought up his gender and skin color again and again.
Fifty two times, to be precise.
That’s only beginning. Team Late Night probably senses the Left’s rage over O’Rourke’s “white maleness.” It’s why they’ve allowed themselves to poke fun at his campaign.
Now, should O’Rourke survive what’s sure to be a bruising primary campaign the jokes will likely dry up. Taking down the president Trumps all in today’s comedy climate.
[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]