Stephen Colbert lavishly praises Mike Pence to troll Donald Trump

Stephen Colbert trolls Donald Trump over reported Pence jealousy
(Image credit: Late Show)

About half as many people watched Tuesday night's debate between VP nominees Gov. Mike Pence (R) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D) as watched the first debate between their running mates, Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show, "possibly because polls show that more than 40 percent of Americans cannot name who is running for vice president — in contrast to the 90 percent of Americans who are trying desperately to forget who's running for president." Pence is the consensus debate winner, and he did well, Colbert said, "maybe too well," at least for his running mate, Donald Trump, who is reportedly displeased that Pence performed so much better than him.

"That's gotta be tough," Colbert said. "As much as I disagree with Donald Trump, the last thing I want is for the guy to feel like he's being overshadowed. I mean, Trump's very sensitive. I mean, people praising Mike Pence too much might push Trump over the edge." He paused. "Then again, Mike Pence, pretty great guy...." The next minute or so was pretty brutal — unless you are Mike Pence, and then you never had it so good.

The debate also focused a lot "on Donald Trump's other running mate, Vladimir Putin," Colbert said, which is helpful, because Pence apparently made up a proverb about Russia he quoted in the debate. Colbert produced a handsomely bound book of Pence's other fake Russian proverbs — including: "The wise polar bear prepares to be deaf when asked to defend the orange jackass," and "The fool who outperforms his master shall soon be thrown from the tower" — then ended by turning Trump's mispronunciation of "acumen" into a How to Succeed in Business-type training film for Trump University. Watch. Peter Weber

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.