Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, James Corden and Trevor Noah applaud Ford's calm and measured testimony, while Brett Kavanaugh's angry approach doesn't sit well at all.
The entire nation spent the day Thursday enraptured by the Senate hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and the late-night hosts were right there with them.
Ford's calm testimony, followed by Kavanaugh's notably angrier one, absolutely riveted the nation, even if it did very little to soothe the partisan divide over, well everything, really. Republicans still want Kavanaugh confirmed as quickly as possible -- planning a vote Friday morning -- and are calling this a politically-motivated hit job designed to smear an innocent man.
Ford and Democrats want an FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh, and they're accusing the GOP of being politically motivated in wanting to rush Kavanaugh through the process to get a win, and assure he's in place before they possibly lose control of Congress in the upcoming midterm election.
And Kavanaugh wasn't the only one who got heated during the hearing. "This is the most unethical sham since I've been in politics," said GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham. But that didn't sit well with Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel, who recalled Merick Garland quite clearly.
Garland was a Barack Obama nominee to replace the conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in March 2016. The Republican-led Senate said they would not vote on any Supreme Court appointments during Obama's last year in office. And so, Garland's nomination expired after 293 days of inaction and Donald Trump was able to nominate and get appointed his choice, Neil Gorsuch.
Meanwhile, CNN reports that Senate Republicans are determined to power through a vote on Kavanaugh Friday morning. It remains to be seen if a last-second recanting of their support by the American Bar Association will make a difference.
Despite having fully vetted and approved Kavanaugh previously, CBS News reports that the ABA released a statement Thursday night urging the Senate to delay a confirmation vote until the FBI can investigate all three of the allegations brought against Kavanaugh.
To the late-night hosts, all of this looked like an incredible hypocrisy, and from what they saw of Kavanaugh's belligerent and emotionally volatile testimony, Seth Meyers, James Corden and Stephen Colbert all agreed that this doesn't seem like the kind of demeanor you want sitting as a Supreme Court Justice. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon offered up the simplest solution of all.
Right away, Dr. Ford proved so credible and impressive as a witness, even Fox News had to concede how compelling she was. It was particularly effective when the research psychologist gave a scientific breakdown of how memory works, and how trauma can impact and solidify memory.
"She gave a detailed anatomy of the hippocampus and the memory centers in the brain to a room full of guys who look like they eat brains," Seth Meyers joked. But it was impossible to argue with the results.
"You know this is bad when Fox News calls it a disaster," Meyers said after showing several Fox talking heads touting Ford's testimony. "Fox News will say anything to make Republicans feel better. If the Hindenburg had been built by Republicans, the Fox News headline would have been this: 'Republicans Are on Fire!'"
One of the notable things about the hearings was that the Republican Senators of the Judicial Committee, headed by Sen. Chuck Grassly, did not themselves interrogate Ford. As Kimmel explained it, Grassly "didn't like the optics of 11 Republican men questioning one woman so one his aides suggested, why don't you hire a female lawyer to ask the questions, and Grassly was like, 'There are female lawyers?'"
He found himself impressed by Ford's gracious and thorough willingness to answer any and all questions brought to her to the best of her ability. "It was striking to see someone questioned before the Senate who actually answered questions," he said. "I think that's a first."
On the other hand, there was Brett Kavanaugh. Instead of playing a clip of Kavanaugh at the hearing, Kimmel went with a clip of Meat Loaf unloading on Gary Busey on "Celebrity Apprentice." As he saw it, it's basically the same thing.
Trevor Noah was absolutely blown away by Ford's expertise in matters of the brain and memory, too. "Oh snap! People were asking how the lady can trust her brain; turns out she's a brain scientist," he said. "Yeah, those Senators were probably like, 'Yeah, we're also familiar with the hippopotamus.'"
He also took notice that the Republican Senators themselves weren't questioning Ford. "The Republicans brought in an outside sex crimes prosecutor to ask their questions because they wanted to avoid the optics of a sexual assault being interrogated by the world's most wrinkly boy band," he joked.
As for Brett Kavanaugh, Noah noted, "I don't know if he's got something going on in his life, but he seemed really angry."
He couldn't help but consider Kavanaugh's explosive testimony and vehement anger at the whole process, slipping into an impression of the judge shouting about the whole thing, and then suddenly saying, "Anyway, if you'll put me on the Court now, I'm prepared to put my emotions aside and rule fairly and soberly. I think we can all agree I know how to handle my emotions, yes?"
Then as himself, he added, "This guy was such an asshole it looked like he was auditioning for a Snickers commercial."
James Corden couldn't even joke about what happened today, instead coming out and sincerely applauding the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford. "I was so inspired and humbled by Dr. Ford's testimony today," he said. "I felt that her bravery in the face of intimidation and abuse and bullying was truly remarkable, I really did."
He added that there is a potential benefit to Ford's testimony, saying "It's that these experiences that were once shrouded in fear and shame and secrecy for so many people are becoming a movement."
But Corden didn't spare Kavanaugh from his jokes, assuming that Kavanaugh brought a keg with him to wait for his testimony, which he purportedly did in Vice President Mike Pence's office.
"Probably a mistake in retrospect," Corden said of the keg. "You know you're radioactive when even President Trump is like, 'Yeah I'm busy. Maybe go hang around with Mike.'"
"Today was the most divisive day in America since Laurel and Yanni, if Yanni was trying to get on the Supreme Court and Laurel had some really disturbing stories to tell about him," Colbert said, kicking off a two-part monologue. The testimonies of both Ford and Kavanaugh were so big, he gave each of them their own complete segment.
Of Ford's comments, Colbert said, "Her testimony was deeply moving, but don't take my word for it. Ask the liberal snowflakes over at Fox News."
He then played a similar clip of Fox News reporters ceding Ford's credibility and calling this a "disaster for the Republicans." "Although to be fair, their last disaster is president now," Colbert quickly joked.
He couldn't believe how calm and cool Ford was throughout. At one point, when asked if she needed a break, Ford said she was content to just sip on her coffee. "All she needed was a coffee?" Colbert marveled. "I was just watching and I needed a venti Xanax."
As for Brett Kavanaugh's testimony, Colbert played some clips of him shouting and yelling and claiming a left-wing smear campaign, following it up by adding, "In conclusion, I'll be a non-biased and impartial judge, just an umpire calling balls and strikes secretly being thrown by George Soros and Hillary Clinton."
"Today, I have to say that I fear for the future," Kavanaugh said defiantly. To that, Colbert had a two-word response.
He also took note of Kavanaugh at another point humanizing himself by expressing, "I love coaching more than anything I've ever done in my whole life."
"So go do that," Colbert said. "Follow your passion. You do you. Maybe just you."
As usual, Jimmy Fallon didn't stray too deeply into the fray, but in a way he didn't have to. After all, as he sees it, there is an easy solution to the whole thing, and somehow Senate Republicans are missing it completely.
After explaining the story briefly, Fallon said, "Americans are like, here's an idea: just pick a different judge. There's thousands of judges. Anyone. What is Judge Judy up to? Let's get Judge Judy in there. Judge Joe Brown? Simon Cowell, I don't care who it is."
Of course, it's not as simple as that because this is politics in America: 2018 edition. Everything is a battleground and there is a partisan war in Washington, DC. Withdrawing Kavanaugh would be seen as a Republican loss and a Democrat victory.
But of course, they're missing the simple truth. If the allegations are credible, and everyone now seems to think they are, then they should be investigated.
If Kavanaugh did these things, then it is decent and right -- no matter your political affiliation -- that he not get rewarded with a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. And if he's innocent, then we can move ahead with the confirmation vote after everyone's satisfied. Isn't that how due process works?