Brow Beat

Late Night Hosts Ask Tougher Questions About the Kavanaugh Hearing Than the Senators Did

Late night hosts didn’t have much time to prepare after the all-day Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday. They did manage to vent their frustrations and crack some jokes about the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Jimmy Kimmel, for one, noted the national significance of the event in his monologue, comparing the spectacle to an episode of This Is Us. “People were crying in front of their televisions,” he said. “You’d have thought Milo Ventimiglia got killed by a Crock-Pot.” And that wasn’t the only TV show that Kimmel compared to the hearing: Kavanaugh’s defense of himself, which involved a lot of shouting and indignation, prompted Kimmel to show footage of Meat Loaf screaming at Gary Busey on The Celebrity Apprentice.

Kimmel also had words for his longtime nemesis Donald Trump Jr., who tweeted during the hearing about Ford’s fear of flying:

“I agree, you’re not a psychology professor,” responded Kimmel. “You are a dull-witted human canker sore who shoots baby hippos out of daddy’s helicopter because it’s the only way you can get an erection.”

Over on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah examined the performance of Judiciary Committee Chairman (and “human cornbread”) Chuck Grassley. “At times, he acted like he was the one who was on trial,” said Noah. “He’s trying so hard not to look like a sexist asshole that he’s coming off as a sexist asshole.” But the most interesting part of the show was a conversation between Noah and correspondent Michael Kosta about why Republicans are so determined to keep Kavanaugh around rather than moving on to another candidate, noting that Kavanaugh’s shouty performance won him points with his base.

“Evangelicals like that he defended his family,” said Kosta. “President Trump liked how he keeps getting accused of sexual assault, and senior citizens liked how he was talking so loud and clear.” But the real reason that the GOP is committing to its nominee is more of a long-term strategy, he argued. “If the Senate holds Brett Kavanaugh accountable for multiple sexual assault accusations, then they’ll have to hold the next nominee accountable, and then where does this end? You really want to live in a world where everyone is held accountable for the things they’ve done?”

Stephen Colbert pointed out in his monologue that it wasn’t just people on the left who believe Ford’s testimony; even Fox News talking heads were marveling at her credibility. The Late Show also delivered a brief sketch in which Republican senators, worried about the optics of a woman being questioned about sexual assault by an all-male panel, wore wigs and pretended to be women during their questioning. The jokes are weak (“Is there any chance that during the time you allege this event occurred, you were having lady problems?”), but then again, it’s not such a far cry from the GOP ploy to bring in Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell and then have her ask Ford if “there are other things that have happened” to cause her anxiety besides the alleged assault.