After playing a huge role in ushering through the Republican tax reform this past year, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced on Wednesday that he would not be seeking re-election. After more then 20 years in Congress, and some epic photos of him working out, the late-night comedians at least could agree that they would miss making fun of him.
The classic photos of him getting shredded in the congressional gym made appearances during several of the late-night monologues, with Jimmy Kimmel even offering a tribute to Ryan on behalf of the gym itself.
Colbert immediately took a couple of jabs at Ryan's exercise regiment. "He said today he wants to spend more time with his wife and kids, which of course is what he calls his biceps."
He then played a few clips from Ryan's farewell speech where he reiterated over and over again that he was reluctant to take the job. "We believe you. We didn't want you to have that job either," Colbert said.
So why leave at only 48 years old? Well some reports from Ryan's friends have suggested it's because Ryan gets frustrated trying to work with Donald Trump, which Colbert simply couldn't fathom? "What? Working with President Trump is frustrating?" he marveled. "That's not what the last 30 people who quit said."
Kimmel theorized that the president may be a factor in Paul Ryan's decision as well, saying, "Ryan said he wants to spend more time with his children, and by with he means away from, and by children he means Donald Trump."
With the massive tax reform behind him, Kimmel noted that Ryan is retiring with almost no regrets. "His only regret is not taking health care away from more poor people. That will haunt him for some time," Kimmel said.
He then played a tribute to the outgoing Speaker on behalf of the Congressional gym "House of Reps," based on the theory that Ryan is the only person who ever goes there.
"The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"
Over on Comedy Central, Noah took note of the rhetoric of 20 years of Paul Ryan in the House of Representatives. In particular, he noted Ryan's passion for fiscal responsibility and how against raising the national debt he was.
Noah played a clip from 2010 where Ryan said, "I don't know what it would take for a person to completely sell out the will of the American people, sell out the federal budget, sell out our children and grandchildren. What on earth could you be given in legislation to make you vote for that?"
"Uh, tax cuts?" Noah responded. "It turns out after two decades of claiming to be all about fiscal discipline, Paul Ryan exploded the deficit with his tax cuts and then just walks away." He compared it to your buddy in the desert complaining about you drinking the water and then taking it and having a wet t-shirt contest with it.
Corden couldn't believe that someone in Washington was retiring at all. "Shocking to hear," he admitted. "Not that [Paul Ryan is] stepping down, that someone is leaving Washington and Trump didn't fire them.
"It's sad that Paul Ryan is retiring, but the good news is we can also retire those photos of him lifting weights," Corden went on to say. "It's probably for the best. Using these photos to make fun of Paul Ryan instead of writing actual jokes is very lazy of us."
So he proved that the team at "The Late Late Show" wasn't lazy. "Here's one that we Photoshopped so he looks like he's holding a party sub," he said. And there it was. Nice job, gang!
"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"
Late-night TV's other Jimmy had the same idea as Kimmel about why Paul Ryan was retiring. "He said he wants to spend more time with his children at home and less time with the child in the White House," Fallon joked.
Fallon then went with a congressional classic: "He said that after 20 years in Congress, it's time let someone else get nothing done."
And there was no way he was going to let a topic about Washington politics go by without sneaking in a joke at the president's expense so he could use his spot-on impression. "I read that Ryan made his decision during Congress' last recess," Fallon said. "When he heard that, President Trump was like, 'Wait, they get recess? That is not fair! I want soda machines in the cafeteria.'"
Meyers also went to his graphics department to discuss Paul Ryan retiring from the House of Representatives. "I believe his exact words were 'Squeak, squeak, skeak!'" Meyers said, throwing up a graphic of a poor rat swimming away from a sinking ship.
Do you get it? The current administration is the ship and Ryan is the rat in this metaphor. He's swimming away? Get it?
The "Late Night" host then echoed the sentiment that Ryan has said he's stepping down to spend more time with his loved ones, "So now his family are asking for thoughts and prayers."
But wait, those don't actually solve the problem ... Oooh, we see what you did there.