Late-Night Hosts Weigh In on Kavanaugh and Ford Testimonies

Brett Kavanaugh
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh listens during the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on Sept. 4, 2018.

The explosive Senate Judiciary Committee testimonies of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford dominated news coverage on Thursday, and late-night comedy programs were no exception.

The Supreme Court nominee and judge now faces at least five accusations of sexual misconduct, but only Ford has been invited to testify before Congress. On Thursday, Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she was "100 percent" sure that Kavanaugh was her attacker at a high school party in the 1980s.

Kavanaugh vigorously denied the claims in his own testimony, saying that with the allegation the Democrats were fostering "a calculated and orchestrated political hit."

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah called the testimonies "the only story anyone was talking about today." He focused in part on a clip that showed Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University, explaining how she was sure that her alleged attacker was Kavanaugh by referring to norepinephrine and epinephrine encoding memories into the hippocampus of the brain.

"Oh snap! Oh! People were asking how 'the lady' can trust her brain, turns out she's a brain scientist," Noah said. "Those senators were probably like, 'Oh yes, we're also familiar with the hippopotamus. We all know that ... let's move on, let's move on."

Noah also played clips of Ford responding to senators' questions with phrases like "I'm happy to answer in further detail if you want me to" and "I wish that I could be more helpful."

"How insane is that? After all she's been through, she still has such a good and warm attitude. I feel like after the hearings, she'll be in the parking lot offering to jump-start people's cars," he joked.

Over on CBS, The Late Show's Stephen Colbert called Thursday "the most divisive day in America since Laurel and Yanny, if Yanny was trying to get on the Supreme Court and Laurel had some really disturbing stories to tell about him."

Colbert also took a jab at the Senate Judiciary Committee after playing a clip of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) telling Ford that she could request anything that she needed and didn't have during the proceedings. "Okay, how about an FBI investigation?" Colbert said to gasps and applause.

Jimmy Kimmel on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! pointed out that the hearings made for weepy television. "People were crying in front of their televisions so hard you’d have thought Milo Ventimiglia got killed by a crock pot," he joked.

Kimmel, like other hosts, pointed out that even the right-leaning Fox News called Ford a credible witness. "She was everything the Democrats hoped she would be. She was polite, likable and well-spoken. Maybe more than anything, it was striking to see someone questioned before the Senate who actually answered questions. I think that’s a first," he said.

Later on Thursday, Late Night's Seth Meyers devoted his "A Closer Look" segment to the hearings. Like Noah, Meyers unpacked the moment when Ford explained how brains shelve away particular memories: "She's in the middle of testifying in the intense glare of the national spotlight about an alleged sexual assault committed by a Supreme Court nominee and she just taught everyone how the brain works. She gave a detailed anatomy of the hippocampus and the memory centers in the brain to a room of guys who look like they eat brains," he joked.

Meyers also slammed Kavanaugh's angry written testimony, where he called the allegations part of an elaborate Democratic "political hit."

"Holy shit, I'm surprised he didn't start attacking George Washington. 'If he's so honest, why does he wear a wig?'" Meyers joked. "Republicans always act like they're in a slasher film and the killer around the corner is Hillary Clinton." 

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