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Stephen Colbert mocks Joe Biden’s debate gaffes

The 'Late Show' host broke down what went down at the 5th Democratic Presidential Debate on Nov. 20, including many of Joe Biden's political gaffes.

Following the fifth Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday evening, Stephen Colbert went live with The Late Show and covered some of the highlights from the broadcast, including a series of political gaffes made by 2020 presidential candidate and former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden.

Biden chose some questionable words in comments about North Korea and violence against women, but his first error came before the debate had even started.

Eight hours prior to hitting the stage, Biden sent out a post-debate fundraiser e-mail to his supporters.

“I’m leaving the fifth Democratic debate now,” the e-mail to supporters read. “I hope I made you proud out there, and I hope I made it clear to the world why our campaign is so important.”

Colbert called it a “bit of a tough day for the birthday boy,” as Biden was celebrating his 77th birthday.

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“[He] had a gaffe before he even hit the stage.”
Democratic presidential candidate former vice-president Joe Biden, left, speaks as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta, Ga.
Democratic presidential candidate former vice-president Joe Biden, left, speaks as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta, Ga. AP Photo/John Bazemore

“No, Joe!” exclaimed Colbert, 55. “The debate hadn’t happened… Oh, hold on,” he continued.

“We’re being told we’re getting another premature e-mail from Joe: ‘I just won the election! I’m leaving my inauguration now! Going to ask Mae West to be my Secretary of Defense!'”

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Later on in the debate, Biden addressed some international relations issues, and managed to fit in a claim that he doesn’t have any fans in North America.

“Kim Jong Un, who’s a thug, points out that I’m a rabid dog that needs to be beaten with a stick.”

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Colbert poked fun at Biden’s word choice.

“Are you sure you want to say ‘points out?'” joked Colbert. “Sounds like you agree with Kim Jong Un. To quote Teddy Roosevelt, ‘speak softy, and I need to be beaten with a stick.'”

In this June 30, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea.
In this June 30, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. Susan Walsh/AP

Biden also attempted to highlight the importance of ending violence against women, however his choice of words was “really, really poor,” according to Colbert.

“No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger other than in self-defence, and that rarely ever occurs,” Biden said. “We have to just change the culture. Period. And keep punching at it, and punching at it, and punching at it.”

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Colbert launched into his own Biden impression saying, “We’ve got to chain up that racism, and we’ve gotta stuff that homophobia back in the closet! C’mon!”

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The late-night host’s quip was met with an uproar of applause from the live studio audience.

‘The Late Show’ crowd chants ‘Lock him up!’ during Hillary Clinton’s visit
‘The Late Show’ crowd chants ‘Lock him up!’ during Hillary Clinton’s visit

The long-awaited debate took place at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Ga., which, according to Colbert, “explains why half of the candidates were played by Madea” — the popular abrasive television character created and portrayed by Tyler Perry.

Colbert also poked fun at some of the other nine candidates, including Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders.

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Colbert highlighted a comment in which “Senator Sanders emphasized his colleagues’ abilities to multitask.”

“The congress can walk… and chew bubblegum at the same time,” said Sanders, 78.

Stephen Colbert attends the 2018 CBS Upfront at The Plaza Hotel on May 16, 2018 in New York City.
Stephen Colbert attends the 2018 CBS Upfront at The Plaza Hotel on May 16, 2018 in New York City. Jim Spellman/WireImage

In his impression of a Brooklyn, N.Y., accent, Colbert joked about Sanders’ age.

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“In fact, here’s a nickel. Treat yourself to a pack of bubblegum. You can use whatever’s left over to hop on a trolley and go and see one of those new talkies.”

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 ET/PT on Global. Watch clips from the segment in the video above.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca