It's time to say goodbye to the 2020 presidential debates — and the live late-night monologues roasting them immediately after.
TV hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert taped their respective programs in real time after the final faceoff between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden concluded Thursday night. And, as usual, Trump drew scathing scorn, while Biden, the mute button and moderator Kristen Welker garnered all the praise.
"Tonight had its ups and downs, but the highlight for me was that we'll never have to watch Donald Trump debate ever again," Colbert quipped on "The Late Show."
"Counting the 2016 Republican primary, we've watched him do that 16 times. It's excruciating. It's like dental surgery, and tonight was like getting our last wisdom tooth taken out. Yes, it hurt. Yes, we can still taste the blood in our mouths."
Both comedians tipped their hats to NBC's Welker, who made sure the candidates stayed on topic while answering questions about COVID-19, climate change, systemic racism and immigration policy.
"The moderator did a very good job," Kimmel said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." "Kristen Welker handled them well. One of the reasons the president is so hard to wrangle is he just makes things up. Trump has been averaging ... more than 50 false statements a day. Most people don't even make 50 statements a day."
"Tonight's moderator, Kristen Welker, did a great job," Colbert agreed. "She started by reminding everyone of the rules. ... Why are we pretending this is for both of them? The rule only applies to one guy."
Also relatively effective at reining in the night's remarks was the mute button, primarily used at the beginning of the debate to limit opening statements to precisely two minutes.
"The debate commission, they kept things in check by adding the mute button, and it worked for the most part," Kimmel said. "After the debate, Melania tried to take the mute button home."
"The Americans have a tough choice to make: Do they vote for Joe Biden on Nov. 3, or do they vote for him early?" Colbert said. "Because the ultimate mute button is in your hands."