Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles 2020

Stephen Colbert and Pete Buttigieg both mock Trump over his new old nickname for Mayor Pete

"You've been busy this past week — you got insulted by the president of the United States," Jimmy Fallon reminded 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Monday's Tonight Show. Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, laughed. "Yeah, that's how you know you've made it."

"He called you Alfred E. Neuman — the president of the United States called you that," Fallon said, pulling out an illustration of the Mad magazine mascot. "What goes through your mind when that happens?" Buttigieg was ready: "You know, we talk a lot about elevating the dialogue, so I guess the fact that I inspired him to make a literary reference, maybe for the first time, is something." He went on to recount tricking Jerry Seinfeld into taking the key to South Bend and make some predictions about Game of Thrones.

Yes, "Mayor Pete was recently honored with an original Trump nickname," Stephen Colbert said at The Late Show. "Trump compared him to Alfred E. Neuman, the mascot for Mad magazine. Now, if you're too young to know the reference, magazines were these thick stacks of paper with pictures and words on them." He showed Buttigieg and Neuman side-by-side: "I see the similarity, in that they are both more qualified to be president than Donald Trump."

"When confronted with the Trump slam, Buttigieg was ready with a sick burn of his own," Colbert said, playing the clip and paraphrasing his response: "'Oh, I look like a cartoon character? Well, you're a million years old.' By the way, Pete, I got the reference — I guess it's a generational thing." That made Colbert look sad, momentarily. "But Buttigieg didn't leave it there," trotting out a Chinese proverb about the winds changing, he added. "It's a nice thought, but thanks to Trump's tariffs, saying that proverb now costs $80." Watch below. Peter Weber