Stephen Colbert called it a "battle of the second bananas."
The vice-presidential candidates faced off for the first and only time last night, and their performance gave late-night comedians plenty to work with when recapping the debate.
Both Trevor Noah (The Daily Show) and Stephen Colbert (CBS’ The Late Show) hosted live editions of their shows on Tuesday night in order to get the jump on their rivals when it comes to cracking jokes about Democratic Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Not surprisingly, both comedians got some more mileage out of variations of past jokes they’ve made about the two VP candidates—specifically, that they’re both “boring” white men.
Noah named a segment on the debate “Two Men Enter . . . No One Cares” on Comedy Central’s live edition of The Daily Show immediately following the event. The Daily Show host joked about the idea of the two men being interchangeable. “If you were picking these guys up at the airport and they were bags, you’d get them mixed up with each other … my ears couldn’t even distinguish between the two of them,” Noah said.
Noah also displayed a graphic showing a “white guy argument meter” that featured levels like “Lawn Border Dispute” and “Hamptons Fender Bender.” According to Noah, the face-off between Kaine and Pence registered at the meter’s highest level: “Step-Dad vs. Real Dad.”
Meanwhile, in a segment titled “Battle of the Second Bananas,” Colbert joked about a recent poll that showed 40% of Americans couldn’t name the two vice-presidential candidates, saying “The question is . . . who are these guys?”
Riffing on the fact that many analysts immediately handed the victory in last night’s debate to Pence—who looked far more prepared than his running mate, Donald Trump—Colbert admitted that “Pence had a pretty good night.”
“They say these vice presidential debates don’t matter, and Hillary Clinton had better hope so,” Colbert said. “Because both men tried their hardest but it was like watching a loaf of white bread get pistol-whipped by a jar of mayonnaise. Not a lot of flavor, but there was a clear winner.”
Both Noah and Colbert have made a habit of going live following big election events, including last week’s first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, as well as the Republican and Democratic conventions.
While other late-night TV hosts opted to pre-tape their shows last night, several of them still cracked their best Kaine-Pence jokes in a nod to the night’s debate. On ABC, Jimmy Kimmel echoed Colbert’s joke when he likened the match-up of the two VP candidates to “watching a glass of whole milk do battle with a jar of low-calorie mayonnaise.” And, NBC’s Seth Meyers pretended to forget Tim Kaine’s last name before joking that the keys to a successful night for Pence included “hold his own on policy and do not take advice from his running mate.”