Late-Night Hosts Skewered Trump. Here Are Some of Their Best Zingers

September 27, 2016, 3:12 PM UTC

Forget the years of Donald Trump’s promoting birther conspiracy theories. When it came to Trump’s performance at Monday night’s presidential debate, late-night comedians couldn’t help but joke about his sniffles.

“Trump sounded like he was fighting off a cold. With cocaine,” said The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert.

A lot of analysts (even more than a few Republicans) said Hillary Clinton won the debate, the first of three between Clinton and Donald Trump before Election Day. Not surprisingly, late-night comedians — who fall firmly in the liberal camp — seemed to agree with that thinking, as Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, and Trevor Noah all poked fun at Trump during their live, post-debate editions of their shows on Monday.

Common targets: Trump’s seeming lack of preparation for the debate and the fun the Internet had with the GOP nominee’s habit of sniffling throughout the evening.

Below are some choice zingers from the late-night TV hosts:

Stephen Colbert

After finding ratings success with live shows during the Democratic and Republican conventions, Colbert’s The Late Show on CBS returned to that format following Monday night’s debate. Colbert began his monologue by joking about the disproportionate expectations placed on each candidate before the debate, with Trump facing a low bar for looking presidential while Clinton had to be “confident but not smug, knowledgeable without being a know-it-all, charming but not affected, commanding but not not shrill—also likable, warm, authoritative, and not coughing.”

Referring to Trump, Colbert joked: “He may not have prepared, but it looked like he didn’t.” Meanwhile, Clinton was so prepared that Colbert said his new nickname for the former Secretary of State is “Preparation H.”

And, when it came to Trump’s mysterious sniffing, Colbert joked that “Trump sounded like he was fighting off a cold. With cocaine.”


The Daily Show

Trevor Noah also returned to the live format immediately following the first debate and the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show did not hold back on his criticism of Donald Trump. Noah jumped on Trump’s boast about not paying taxes, saying: “You’re running to be the No. 1 citizen of a country. You shouldn’t brag about ways you found to get around the rules.”

And, Noah also couldn’t let Trump’s sniffing go unnoticed, joking that the GOP nominee was “probably sniffing all of the bulls**t he was saying on stage, all night.”


Seth Meyers

NBC’s Meyers came in with his own live edition of Late Night well after midnight. The comedian has made a habit of going after Trump during the election, including in a recent viral clip attacking the former reality TV host over his involvement in the Birther movement. On Monday night (or, technically, Tuesday morning), Meyers joked that Trump was so unprepared for the debate that “at one point, it looked like he maybe forgot Hillary’s name,” with the comedian showing a clip of Trump asking Clinton if it was OK to refer to her as “Secretary Clinton.” “Is it ‘Helen McPantsuit’? Is that it?” Meyers quipped.

And, because Meyers’ show was on later, he was also able to take stock of how some analysts responded to each candidate’s performance in the first debate. And, let’s just say that Meyers was a little surprised. “After tonight’s debates several FOX News analysts said that Hillary Clinton is the clear winner,” Meyers noted, adding: “Maybe global warming is a hoax, because hell has frozen over.”