Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel tried to parse Vice President Mike Pence’s rationale for not wearing a face mask while visiting the Mayo Clinic on their respective late-night shows Wednesday.
Despite being told it was Mayo Clinic policy that everyone wear a mask, Pence said he chose not to because he didn’t have the coronavirus and thought it would be good opportunity to look the healthcare workers and researchers there “in the eye and say thank you.”
“You can still look them in the eye with a mask — it’s not a blindfold!” Colbert cracked. “Also, ‘I don’t have coronavirus’ isn’t an excuse for not protecting other people. That’s like a guy saying, ‘I don’t need to wear a condom, I wanna look you in the eye and say, thank you.'” Colbert then quipped, “By the way, for Mike Pence, looking you in the eye is second base.”
On Late Night, Meyers suggested Pence was essentially just trying to stay in lockstep with President Donald Trump, who has also declined to wear a face mask in public. “Why couldn’t you just follow the rules, man?” Meyers asked. “Do you think if you purse your lips hard enough the virus can’t get in?”
As for Pence’s “look them in the eye” reasoning, Meyers tried to parse the logic behind it and ended up somewhere very unexpected. “How do you think you’re supposed to wear a mask? It’s never supposed to cover your eyes, unless you’re thinking of 50 Shades of Gray — which means you’ve seen 50 Shades of Gray! Mike Pence, you nasty!”
As for Kimmel, he was very blunt in his assessment that Pence was simply kowtowing to Trump and noted that Pence never takes credit for anything and frequently recycles the phrase “at the president’s direction.” Kimmel said there were dozens of examples of Pence using that deferential phrase, although the host gleefully noted that it became way funnier if you removed the “d” from “direction.” Cue an irreverent montage of edited footage to make Mike Pence say, “At the president’s erection.”