Late Night Shows Celebrate ‘Off-Putting’ DeSantis Ending Campaign

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The late night quintet spent their Monday shows celebrating the news that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has decided to drop out of the Republican primary by mocking his appearance and making fun of his Winston Churchill blunder by claiming that is what happens when you “ban textbooks.”

CBS’s Stephen Colbert was the most bitter towards DeSantis on The Late Show as he made the curious claim that DeSantis did not win the Republican primary because he made liberals like himself quite upset, “I don’t understand why Americans didn’t rally behind a guy who declared war on the Magic Kingdom, attacked trans kids, denied COVID, kidnapped migrants and flew them to Martha’s Vineyard, and ate pudding with his fingers.”

Over at ABC, Jimmy Kimmel played a clip DeSantis posted when he made his announcement, “Winston Churchill once remarked ‘that success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.’” 

Kimmel, who spread fake news of his own on Thursday and did not correct the record on Monday, retorted that, “Well, not only did DeSantis opt not to continue, Winston Churchill never said that. The state of Florida, you know, the state banned all books about Churchill after deciding the name Winston sounded too gay so Ron DeSantis didn’t know.”

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Meanwhile, over at NBC, The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon did a Mickey Mouse impersonation, “Bye, bitch!”

Referencing the DeSantis-Churchill clip, Fallon added, “That’s right, DeSantis posted a video announcing that he was dropping out. And during it, he attributed a quote about failure to Winston Churchill, but Churchill never actually said it. See, this is what happens when you ban textbooks.”

Later on NBC, Late Night host Seth Meyers claimed that “the weirdo community suffered a major blow on Sunday when, in a completely unsurprising move, one of the most off-putting people on the planet, Ron DeSantis, seen here waiting for someone to hit a golf ball into his mouth, dropped out of the GOP presidential primary.”

After playing the Churchill non-quote video, Meyers continued:

Just one problem. Winston Churchill didn’t say that. The International Churchill Society says on its website, “We can find no attribution for the quote, and it is found nowhere in his canon.” Now, I know a lot of people are saying DeSantis could have fact-checked that in one of the books he banned, but that’s not fair, to quote Winston Churchill, ‘You can also just [bleep] Google it.’ Now, you might wonder how DeSantis’ staff could allow a fake quote into a speech, and the answer is they were pretty checked out. 

Back on CBS, After Midnight host Taylor Tomlinson kicked off her fourth ever show with her most extended political bit to date, “: In sad man news, one-time presidential candidate and high heels model Ron DeSantis has dropped out of the Republican primary, that’s right, sometimes I say politics things.”

Because After Midnight is a pseudo-game show and not a traditional talk show, she asked her guests to come up with other misquotations from history, after which Milana Vayntrub remarked “I love that his quote is about the courage to continue when he quits.”

Poking fun at the Churchill goof is one thing, but to say that believing men are men is problematic, or that he kidnapped migrants, or that banning sexually explicit material for children is the same as banning history books is quite different. In fact, if anyone was to ban Churchill books, it would be the left. Additionally, DeSantis is still governor, so the comedians should tamper their celebrations.

 Here are transcripts for the January 22-taped shows:

CBS The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

1/22/2024

11:35 PM ET

STEPHEN COLBERT: Tonight, the big story, after losing by 30 points in Iowa and polling at an anemic 6 percent in New Hampshire, Ron DeSantis has dropped out of the presidential race. Right there. Right there, ladies and gentlemen. There it is, the reaction he never got while he was running for president. But Ron, don’t cry—don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because you need practice smiling. 

I don’t understand why Americans didn’t rally behind a guy who declared war on the Magic Kingdom, attacked trans kids, denied COVID, kidnapped migrants and flew them to Martha’s Vineyard, and ate pudding with his fingers. Finger-pudding, of course, a delicacy known as [gagging]. 

DeSantis conceded in a video he released on X. 

RON DESANTIS: Following our second place finish in Iowa, we’ve prayed and deliberated on the way forward. If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome — more campaign stops, more interviews – I would do it. 

COLBERT: Stephen: But then I realized there’s nothing I can do to make people like Ron DeSantis, because tragically, I am Ron DeSantis. He said more. 

DESANTIS: I am today suspending my campaign. I’m proud to have delivered on 100 percent of my promises, and I will not stop now. 

COLBERT: “Except for the part where I am stopping, which is now.” DeSantis ended with an inspirational quote from one of the greatest leaders of all time. 

DESANTIS: Winston Churchill once remarked that “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” 

COLBERT: A stirring quotation. Just one small problem: Churchill never said that. It’s from an old Budweiser ad. Yeah. It reminds me of that other famous Churchill quote, ”Wazzzupppppppppppp.” Sounds better with an English accent, “Wazzzup.” This is one of the most spectacular political crash and burns of all time. At least DeSantis doesn’t have to worry about banning history books anymore, because he won’t be in them. 

***

ABC Jimmy Kimmel Live!

1/22/204

11:41 PM ET

JIMMY KIMMEL: It’s estimated Ron DeSantis spent $2,263 per vote he got. It literally would have been cheaper to buy each of his supporters a Peloton bike. DeSantis wrapped up his farewell speech with a quote from none other than Winston Churchill. 

RON DESANTIS: Winston Churchill once remarked “that success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” 

KIMMEL: Well, not only did DeSantis opt not to continue, Winston Churchill never said that. The state of Florida, you know, the state banned all books about Churchill after deciding the name Winston sounded too gay so Ron DeSantis didn’t know. 

***

NBC The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

1/22/2024

11:37 PM ET

JIMMY FALLON: But that’s right, Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race. It’s big news, a lot of people are speaking out about it. For example, this person said, ”I can’t say I’m surprised.” This person said - this person said, “I wish him all the best.”  And finally this person said [Mickey Mouse voice], ”Bye, bitch! [Normal voice] That person said that?

STEVE HIGGINS: That person said that? Wow. 

FALLON: That’s right, DeSantis posted a video announcing that he was dropping out. And during it, he attributed a quote about failure to Winston Churchill, but Churchill never actually said it. See, this is what happens when you ban textbooks.

***

NBC Late Night with Seth Meyers

1/23/2024

12:40 AM ET

SETH MEYERS: Well, the weirdo community suffered a major blow on Sunday when, in a completely unsurprising move, one of the most off-putting people on the planet, Ron DeSantis, seen here waiting for someone to hit a golf ball into his mouth, dropped out of the GOP presidential primary but say what you will about DeSantis, at least he bowed out in a classy way on Sunday by quoting Winston Churchill in his announcement video.

RON DESANTIS: Winston Churchill once remarked that “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

MEYERS: Just one problem. Winston Churchill didn’t say that. The International Churchill Society says on its website, “We can find no attribution for the quote, and it is found nowhere in his canon.” Now, I know a lot of people are saying DeSantis could have fact-checked that in one of the books he banned, but that’s not fair, to quote Winston Churchill, “You can also just [bleep] Google it.” Now, you might wonder how DeSantis’ staff could allow a fake quote into a speech, and the answer is they were pretty checked out. 

***

CBS After Midnight

1/23/2024

12:44 AM ET

TAYLOR TOMLINSON: In sad man news, one-time presidential candidate and high heels model Ron DeSantis has dropped out of the Republican primary, that’s right, sometimes I say politics things. In a farewell to his campaign, Ron tweeted out “’Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.’ Winston Churchill.”

That was also on my dry cleaner’s board this week. It’s true. The only problem with this? Winston Churchill never said that. So panelists, what are some of Ron’s other favorite misquotes from history? Milana. 

MILANA VAYNTRUB: “Its wine o’clock somewhere,” Jesus Christ. 

TOMLINSON: Kelsey. 

KELSEY COOK: “Well behaved women seldom make history,” Gypsy Rose Blanchard. 

TOMLINSON: Oh, god, so good. Chad. 

CHAD DANIELS [STEVE URKEL VOICE]: “Did I do that?” Osama bin Laden. 

TOMLINSON: Oh! Oh, man! 

VAYNTRUB: I love that his quote is about the courage to continue when he quits. 

TOMLINSON: Oh, yeah.

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