The Best Late-Night TV Jokes About the 2016 Election

Donald Trump funny face
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People have been making jokes about the presidential election for as long as the U.S. has been a republic. For comedians on late-night TV, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and the other presidential candidates were a never-ending source of one-liners, gags, and satire. Here are some of our favorite laughs from TV's top comics about the 2016 presidential election.

Seth Meyers on "Late Night with Seth Meyers"

Seth Meyers hails from the Chicago, a city with a rich history of stand-up comedy. After getting his start in improv during college, he joined "Saturday Night Live" in 2001. By the time he left SNL in 2014, he was best known for his appearances on the "Weekend Update" news sketch, where he regularly skewered politics. That same year, he succeeded Jimmy Fallon as host of NBC's "Late Night," where he regularly lampooned the 2016 presidential candidates.

"Donald Trump still hasn't released his tax returns, 12 women have accused him of sexual assault, and he's going on trial for fraud for Trump University in November, but now the only thing the media's talking about is emails. It's like if during the O.J. trial everyone was focused on whether or not the Ford Bronco had up-to-date registration."

"Melania Trump is being accused of plagiarism because paragraphs of her speech last night closely mirror Michelle Obama's speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention. Said Melania, 'That's ridiculous. I worked on that speech for four score and seven years.'"

"Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said today that whoever wrote Melania Trump's speech should be fired. 'Fine, I'll pack up my desk,' said Michelle."

"Donald Trump said last night that despite calling Ted Cruz a 'maniac,' he has since learned that Cruz has a 'wonderful temperament.' And if Donald Trump thinks you have a 'wonderful temperament,' you're probably a maniac." 

"Republican hopeful Rick Perry this week compared Donald Trump to cancer. Which really isn't fair, because sometimes you can get rid of cancer." 

"During a speech on Friday, Senator Ted Cruz said that if you walk up to someone and say 'Joe Biden,' the person will crack up laughing. Which is the same reaction you get if you say 'President Ted Cruz'."

Trevor Noah on "The Daily Show"

South African comic Trevor Noah got his start at 18 doing stand-up comedy and on TV. By the time he was recruited to take over Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" in 2015, he was well-known in his home country for his brand of political humor. 

"Oh, Donald Trump, the media is not 'rigged' against you. They're just recording what you say and playing it back. If anything, you’re rigging your own campaign."

"[Trump is] like a magician telling everyone how he did the trick and still some people are like, 'Wow, it's magic.'"

"Wow. I mean, no ‘tremendouses’? No hand gestures? Not one description of chocolate cake? I didn't realize how much I’d missed hearing sentences with a beginning, middle, and end. You can really tell when Hillary’s speaking, she really knows who Frederick Douglass is."

Jimmy Kimmel on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"

Jimmy Kimmel got his start in radio and cable TV comedy before launching his own variety show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live," in 2003. Kimmel has frequently targeted Trump both in his on-air monologues and in his personal life. 

"They did a nationwide survey that found that when voters think of Donald Trump, the most common word that comes to mind is 'arrogant.' When the same voters think of Hillary Clinton, the most common word they use is 'liar.' When they think of Jeb Bush, the first word that comes to mind is 'Bush.' Voters don't even care enough about Jeb Bush to come up with a word to describe him."

"I want to apologize in advance because we had so much fun stuff planned for you tonight. We worked on it all day, we had Bachelor in Paradise, kids going back to school, there was a horrible new pair of Uggs we were gonna discuss—I even thought, 'Hey, maybe we won’t talk about Donald Trump much tonight.' And then he opened his mouth and all manner of stupid came out. And I’m not joking when I say I would feel more comfortable if Cersei Lannister was running the country at this point."

Conan O'Brien on "Conan"

When Conan O'Brien was chosen to succeed David Letterman as host of "Late Night" in 1993, he was best known as a comedy writer for "The Simpsons." Since his TV debut, O'Brien has hosted several late-night talk shows. Since 2010, he's hosted his signature show on TBS, where his pithy one-liners about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump always got a laugh.

"Tonight, President Obama is going to make a speech trying to convince people to vote for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump. It's a speech entitled, 'I Can’t Believe This Is Necessary'."

"The first sentence of Bill Clinton’s speech was 'In the spring of 1971, I met a girl.' You can imagine the relief in the room when they realized he was talking about Hillary." 

"After he won yesterday's Nevada caucus, Donald Trump said, 'I love the poorly educated.' Trump then said, 'And when I'm president there'll be more of them than ever'."

"Yesterday in Iowa just four supporters showed up to eat lunch with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. It's always a bad sign when your entire voter base can fit in a deli booth." 

Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show"

Like his fellow SNL "Weekend Update" alum Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon found greater fame in late-night talk. After a brief movie career, he took to the airwaves in 2009. Since 2014, Fallon has been the host of "The Tonight Show." Although he frequently makes politics the butt of his jokes, Fallon was gentler on the presidential candidates than his late-night peers.

"Of course, it's the Democratic Convention, which began last night. There were several big moments, and by the end, everyone was chanting 'I'm With Her!' Unfortunately for Hillary, they were talking about Michelle Obama." 

"Last night was the Republican caucus in Nevada, and Donald Trump scored a big victory, bringing him one step closer to the Republican nomination. A Trump presidency is getting so real, Mexico is starting to think a wall is a pretty great idea." 

"In a new campaign ad, Jeb Bush referenced 'The Godfather' and said his nickname used to be 'Veto Corleone' because he vetoed so many bills in Florida. When you're the third person in your family to run for president, maybe you shouldn't bring up a movie trilogy where the third one was clearly the worst."

"Mike Huckabee said he's the only person who has fought the Clinton political machine and won. As opposed to Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who's the only person who fought a fax machine and lost."

"Bernie Sanders made around $2,000 last year for two speeches and a TV appearance, compared to the $25 million the Clintons made. Making him the first person in history to run for president just because he really needs the money."

"In an interview yesterday, Lindsey Graham discussed his foreign policy and said if people are worn out by war, quote, 'Don't vote for me.' Graham's supporters appreciate his honesty, while his opponents appreciate the sound bite they can use in their attack ads."

David Letterman on "The Late Show"

David Letterman has been a force in late-night talk show since he began hosting "Late Night with David Letterman" on NBC back in 1982. He retired in 2014 from "The Late Show," but continues to make occasional appearances. During the election, he added his own take on the candidates, frequently targeting the Bush family, as he has since the start of his TV career.

"Paul Ryan announced that, after a lot of thought, and talking it over with family and friends, that he is not going to run for president in 2016. I'm telling you, this announcement sent shock waves through no one." 

"Jeb Bush may run for president. Bush presidencies are like 'Caddyshack' movies. They should have stopped with one."