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Mike Pence's Big Day Gets Late-Night Preview

Jimmy Fallon says VP's role at election certification is glorified 'bingo caller'; others have own takes
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2021 9:30 AM CST

(Newser) – All eyes will be on Mike Pence on Wednesday, when the vice president will preside over a joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden's election victory. With President Trump putting the squeeze on him to block that certification—which legal experts widely agree Pence doesn't have the power to do—late-night hosts wondered Tuesday what exactly the VP will do when he takes the rostrum on Wednesday afternoon, per the New York Times. Stephen Colbert started things off with some advice for the beleaguered veep. "If this were an after-school special, this is the part where we would tell Mike Pence that if the president says he won't like you unless you give him what he wants, then he doesn't really care about you," Colbert noted. "He should like you for who you are—although we understand why he wouldn't, because who you are is Mike Pence." More from the other late-nighters:

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  • Jimmy Fallon on the vice president's job at the certification: "Pence's only role is to preside over the ballot counting. He's basically one step above a bingo caller."
  • Jimmy Kimmel agreed. "It's like the Oscars," he said. "He basically opens the envelope and announces the name. But Trump wants him to pull a La La Land." Kimmel also expressed sympathy for Pence, noting "he hasn't been this stressed out since the time he saw a woman in short sleeves."
  • Seth Meyers, meanwhile, compared Pence's role to that of Vanna White turning the letters on Wheel of Fortune and noted the VP's tough decision, having to "choose between the Constitution and a sleazy Mafia don cold-calling election officials illegally, begging for votes like a telemarketer."
  • Colbert made one more final observation: "The vice president can't arbitrarily decide who's the next president. Otherwise, in 2001, I'm going to guess Al Gore would have picked Al Gore."
  • Colbert also featured an animated take on the certification commotion, entitled "The Adventures of Mike Pence: the Uncertain Certification," in which the vice president mulls the question: "What to do? Follow the Constitution or obey the president?" He then realizes "the answer is clear—run away!"
(Read more Mike Pence stories.)

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