For those living under a rock, Donald Trump was in India this week. The world’s second most powerful person (after Oprah) graced our shores with his esteemed presence for a 2-day visit with our honourable Prime Minister to discuss bilateral ties, trade deals, Taj Mahal tours, accurate pronunciations and much more.
With Trump in the house, the world’s gaze naturally turned towards India, including of course the Late-Night machinery with a range of jokes, piercing sets and different perspectives on America’s fearless leader visiting India. From Stephen Colbert changing cricketers’ names to match Trump’s pronunciations to Trevor Noah cracking up mid-set, to John Oliver’s cutting and insightful deep-dive into the current state of India, here’s our round-up of what late night had to say about Trump in India.
Unlike the majority of late-night hosts, who devoted a few minutes of their monologue to Trump in India, Trevor Noah devoted a full, and hilarious, 7-minute segment to his visit. Though his assertion that Trump is ‘very popular in India’ is questionable, Noah’s set was fittingly funny, covering everything from Trump’s skin resembling Tikka Masala to how hard it would be for him not to eat beef for two days in a country where cows roam free. At one point, Noah loses it entirely when playing a supercut of Trump’s now-infamous mispronunciations of most names, places and things in the country.
Perhaps the most significant ode to the US President’s India visit came from John Oliver on his acclaimed HBO show Last Week Tonight. Oliver used Trump’s visit to devote an entire episode to India and where the country stands politically. In another of his now-iconic deep dives, he spent a full 20 minutes hilariously breaking down the similarities of both leaders, the Prime Minister’s policies, the widespread anti-CAA protests and where things could be heading. While full episodes of the show typically release on Hotstar, it appears that it suspiciously isn’t the case with this one.
Remember that photo of an unevenly tanned Trump that went viral a few weeks ago? Corden does. He mined it for his best joke this monologue, comparing the “unusual clay pack treatment” used to clean the Taj Mahal to one probably used to clean Trump’s face before that photo was taken. Other low-hanging fruit included Trump’s several mispronunciations, but we’ve seen that clip 5 times by now and…nope, still funny.
You’d think Trump’s faux pas, such as sliding a hand into Modi’s vest during a hug and bizarrely identifying himself as the Motera Stadium, would give Stephen Colbert plenty of material for jokes – and they did – but the talk show host seemed to have more fun anticipating uniquely Indian situations that would make Trump the most uncomfortable. His picks – Trump having to do yoga or eat even a single vegetable. Colbert also left us with this bit of trivia: did you know one of Trump’s infamous failed Atlantic City casinos was modelled on the Taj Mahal?
Did you watch Trump struggle to pronounce Swami Vivekananda or Soochin Sachin Tendulkar and wonder what he’d be like as a cricket commentator tasked with introducing the entire national team? We did and so we’re glad Colbert strung together Trump’s various mispronunciations to create this hilarious video picturing just that scenario.
Jimmy Fallon applied Trump’s knack for blustering through the wrong pronunciation to a video envisioning his travels through India. In the voiceover, done Trump style, the Taj Mahal becomes Taraji P Henson, Jharkhand is now Sharknado and Chandigarh, Chandler Bing.
Jimmy Kimmel didn’t take shots at Trump’s visit so much as Trump’s perception of his visit, letting clips of his trip do most of the talking. In response to the President’s claims that he got the “greatest greeting ever given to any head of state”, Kimmel fired back: Of course he got big reception, they love cows in India. Cut to the thousands of empty seats at Motera stadium during Trump’s address.
Known to be one of the most socially driven late-night hosts, Seth Meyers also spent a section of his A Closer Look segment discussing Trump’s trip and focusing on the authoritarian similarities between both leaders. By playing a clip from Trump’s press conference on India, Meyers once again presented us with the unavoidable truth: that there is no host or comedian who can do a better job of making fun of Trump than Trump inadvertently does himself.