Speed Reads

last night on late night

Late night hosts find the lighter side of the cold war of words between Biden and Putin

"The drama between President Biden and Vladimir Putin continues a day after Biden called Putin a 'killer,'" Jimmy Kimmel said on Thursday's Tonight Show. "Putin responded by saying, 'It takes one to know one.' This is fun. As if the pandemic wasn't enough, let's throw tension with a nuclear enemy into the mix. ... The Kremlin demanded that Biden explain himself, which will backfire when they realize every Biden explanation takes at least three hours."

It's kind of funny that Putin, "the world's biggest real-life supervillain," needs to "clarify that he's not joking when he wishes Biden 'good health,'" Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Because let's face it, the man has killed so many people, everyone always just assumes that that's what he means." One thing's for sure, he added. "This exchange is the beginning of a much more confrontational relationship between America and Russia, and that's going to be tricky. Because on the one hand, Joe Biden is probably right to call out Vladimir Putin's aggression. But on the other hand, I'm pretty sure that Vladimir Putin has all of my passwords — so I think he's doing a great job."

"Someone dust of Dolph Lundgren and get him hunting for Red October because the Cold War is back on, baby!" Stephen Colbert joked nostalgically at The Late Show. "And this time we're gonna waterboard Billy Joel until he tells us who started the fire." Russia was upset at Biden's "killer" comment, but Colbert wasn't sure why. "Putin is famous for being a killer — it's kind of his thing," he said. "His greatest hits are hits!" He listed some infamous ones.

Putin wishing Biden "good health" was certainly "menacing," Jimmy Kimmel agreed at Kimmel Live. But "Biden just got a nice little shot in the arm. You know how he said he hoped to get 100 million Americans vaccinated by the end of his first 100 days in office? Well, he beat that deadline by six weeks. Isn't it amazing what you can do when you don't put Jared in charge?" Still, "it's a little weird to have a president who actually does what he says he's gonna do," he added. "It makes me uncomfortable. I feel like Biden's doing that thing hustlers do when they pretend they've never played basketball before, and then as soon as the money comes out, the start dunking on everyone." Peter Weber