Flashback: ‘Tonight Show’ Host Actually Mocks a Democrat’s Dishonesty (Twice)

Craig Bannister | May 21, 2024
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Once upon a time, a legendary late-night talk show host actually mocked a Democrat’s dishonesty – then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s – but, that was 37 years ago.

“Biden's history of lies and deception go back so far that Johnny Carson was talking about it,” the introduction of a viral video posted Monday on X.com says. “For the record, Carson's last show was over 30 years ago!”

“On the political scene, one of the Democratic candidates is Senator Joe Biden. Have you seen the problem he’s been having?” Carson said, setting up a punchline during his opening monologue back on September 16, 1987.

Candidate Biden’s “problem” was that he took parts of others’ speeches (including one by Robert F. Kennedy) and passed them off as his own. Carson joked that Biden defended his actions by doing the very thing that got him into trouble in the first place.

Biden was also under fire at the time for plagiarism, having lifted five pages of another person’s law review and putting them in one of his college papers.

Eight days after Carson’s joke, on September 24, 1987, Biden dropped his bid to be the Democrats’ 1988 presidential nominee, as a result of the scandals.

But, Carson wasn’t done lampooning Biden’s misappropriations.

Four months later, Biden’s efforts to pass off the words of others as his own were still so topical that Carson used his January 14, 1988 monologue to compare Biden to the iconic actor and comedian Milton Bearle, who was infamous for using the jokes of other comedians in his performances.

As The News Journal detailed when Biden dropped out in 1987, Biden was guilty of a wide range of “misrepresentations”:

“His misstatements ranged from an exaggeration of his academic credentials at an April 3 campaign stop in New Hampshire to his failure to credit Robert F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey while quoting them in speeches earlier this year.

“Perhaps most damaging, tapes of Biden quoting British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock almost verbatim received wide play on network news shows. It appeared Biden was attempting to claim Kinnock's life history as his own, something Biden and his aides insist is not true.”

Biden’s transgressions didn’t end in 1987, however.

Last December, Washington Examiner Columnist Paul Bedard listed “Seventeen times Biden lied, plagiarized, and exaggerated,” beginning with the 1965 college plagiarism and ending with the 2020 use of someone else’s slogan.