WASHINGTON — Which late-night comedian poked fun at the presidential candidates' debate performance? That one.
"During last night's debate, John McCain sparked a controversy when he referred to Barack Obama as 'that one,'" Conan O'Brien said on NBC's "Late Night." "Afterwards, McCain said: 'What — like I'm supposed to remember EVERYONE'S name now?'"
This one did, too.
"Welcome to the program. My name is David Letterman, or as the staff calls me, "That one," the CBS "Late Show" host said.
Michelle Obama was drawn face to face into the late-night jokefest Wednesday. On Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," the wife of the Democratic presidential candidate brushed off Republican attempts to tie her husband to 1960s radical William Ayers, saying she doesn't pay attention to innuendo about the couple's background or associations.
"I've stopped reading and watching a lot of stuff," she told host Jon Stewart.
"So you're a lot like Sarah Palin," he quipped about the GOP vice presidential candidate.
Michelle Obama cracked up. "Perhaps," she said.
On a serious note, she said it's fair for the media and the public to scrutinize the potential first ladies.
"They need to have a comfort level with me as well as with Cindy McCain," she said of the Republican presidential nominee's wife.
For Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, the winner of Tuesday night's debate was clear.
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Scoop on Palin’s ‘SNL’ hopes"The only thing missing was Karl Rove dumping Gatorade over John McCain's head at the end," he said on "The Colbert Report."
But Jay Leno on NBC's "Tonight Show" didn't think much of the whole affair.
"It was broadcast live from Nashville," he said. "I don't want to say the debate was boring, but I never thought a political event in Tennessee could be that dull without the help of Al Gore."
Several comics seized on the buzz of the day — the jarring moment in the debate when McCain spoke of his rival in a seemingly dismissive manner — without using his name.
On CBS' "The Late Late Show," Craig Ferguson said he couldn't think of a scenario when it is proper to call a senator "that one." "Maybe if you had to pick a U.S. senator out of a lineup," Ferguson quipped. "'Which one of these senators tapped your foot in the bathroom?' 'That one.' That would be appropriate."
On Stewart's show, Michelle Obama told the host she's not a pushover when listening to her husband's views.
"I put myself in the position of a voter. I tell him, it's like, if I don't believe you, then I'm not voting for you, buddy," she said. "You gotta win me over."
Still, she acknowledged: "I think it's safe to say I'm an Obama Mamma."
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