Like so much of 2017, Thursday provided a goldmine of material for comedy writers.
Earlier in the day, former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee about a series of meetings he had with President Trump in the lead-up to his surprise May 9th firing. During the hearing, Comey detailed the memos he penned immediately after each interaction, noting that he wrote everything down because he was “honestly concerned that [Trump] might lie about the nature of our meeting.”
This was catnip for hosts of late-night shows across all the networks.
“That’s the FBI director,” Late Night host Seth Meyers quipped during his “A Closer Look” segment, “a guy who has dealt with liars and criminals his whole life, walking out of his first meeting with the president and thinking, ‘I’ve got to write this [expletive] down.'”
Over at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the host greeted his audience with a “Happy Comey’s Day!” at the beginning of his show and dedicated much of his night to dissecting the testimony the former Federal Bureau of Investigation boss gave.
“Everybody was looking forward to the former FBI director testifying about all the juicy details of his meetings with Donald Trump because remember, Comey wrote everything down and all his memos are going to be collected in his new children’s book James and the Guilty Orange,” he joked.
The Late Show host also shared a digital short with his audience that featured him superimposed into the high-stakes hearing. In the faux-footage, Colbert munches on popcorn and wears 3D glasses to pretend that “Comey’s in here with us.” At one point, he tries to get Comey to definitively say whether or not there was collusion between Trump and the Russians.
“Let’s say you had an orange cat, really fat and lies a lot, would the cat enjoy drinking vodka?” he asks.
Trevor Noah’s take on Thursday’s hearing leaned on the cynical side, with the Daily Show host pointing out that none of what happened earlier in the day should be classified as “normal.”
“Can we just pause for a second and acknowledge how [expletive] crazy all of this is?” Noah demanded. “It’s normal for us, but if you just woke up from a coma and heard all of this at one time, you would be screaming down the street with your [expletive] out in one of the gowns, like, ‘How is he still president?! How is he still president?!'”
The late-night host also commented on the predictable way in which Americans reacted to the hearing – as an opportunity to day drink and gather at bars before noon. “This moment today is what I love about America,” Noah said. “During a great moment of consequence for your democracy, everyone is like, ‘Let’s make zany cocktails, yeah! Can I get a Comey-politan and a Piña Collusion and two Mai Tais to Russia, please. Thank you!'”
Jimmy Fallon’s pointed at something else when discussing Comey: How run-of-the-mill a headline-making event like the hearing had become since Trump took office in January.
“Despite Comey’s testimony, a White House staffer said ‘Today is a regular Thursday at the White House,’” he said during his monologue. “America was like, ‘Yeah, that’s what worries us.'”