The soap opera around the family life of Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin’s has proved fertile for late-night talk-show monologues this week, although the hosts have occasionally taken a bipartisan theme.
NBC’s Jay Leno noted that Alaska GOP "Gov. Palin announced that her 17-year-old daughter was five months pregnant. O-ho, you thought John Edwards was in trouble before." Later in the evening Leno’s network mate Conan O’Brien also tied Palin to Edwards, a former Democratic presidential candidate who recently confessed to having had an extramarital affair.
Quipped O’Brien: "Palin has revealed that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. Palin said, ‘We should never have introduced her to John Edwards’."
Leno also tapped into Palin’s support of hunting: "Turns out Gov. Palin is a lifelong member of the NRA and a longtime hunter. Another vice president who’s a hunter, what could go wrong there?"
But it was the surprise pregnancy of Palin’s daughter Bristol that prompted the most one-liners.
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel got in this zinger: "Remember when the Republicans compared Barack Obama to Britney Spears? Now they’ve got their own Jamie Lynn Spears." Letterman joked that "the Palin family crisis has been solved now. The baby is being adopted by Angelina Jolie."
And O’Brien had some fun with the convention’s daily themes. "The theme (Tuesday) night is, ‘Who is (GOP presidential candidate) John McCain?’ The theme for (Wednesday) night is, ‘Who forgot to check and see if the vice president’s daughter is pregnant?’"
Kimmel also worked in a jab at both the pregnancy and McCain’s age: "Sarah Palin’s got a 4-month-old of her own, she’s about to become a grandmother and she’s partnered with John McCain. How many diapers can one woman possibly change?"
Also commenting on McCain’s age — he turned 72 on Friday — was Leno. "Did you see Sarah Palin standing next to John McCain at the podium the other day? Didn’t it look like one of those commercials where the daughter is trying to find a nice home to put Dad in?"
— Leno on Sarah Palin’s beauty-pageant past: "Back in 1984, Sarah Palin finished second in the Miss Alaska pageant. Now she might be the vice president. You know what that means? For the first time in history, a beauty-pageant contestant might actually bring about world peace."
— Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart on the Republicans suspending political speeches for a day due to Hurricane Gustav: "We must get back through this storm as Americans — and tomorrow it’s back to printing Obama Bin Laden T-shirts."
— Leno on Palin’s admission that she had tried marijuana: "She said she had not enjoyed it. Isn’t that amazing? Something like 100 million Americans have smoked marijuana. The only people who don’t seem to enjoy it are running for office."
Meanwhile, the state of Minnesota did not escape the late-night barbs. Stewart, who’s taping his show in St. Paul, had an allusion to the comedy film "Twins" when comparing the Twin Cities. "St. Paul is way better … Minneapolis is Danny DeVito to St. Paul’s Arnold Schwarzenegger."
And O’Brien took a poke at Minnesota’s demographics:
"True fact: This year there are only 36 black delegates at the convention in Minnesota. As a result, there are now 37 black people in Minnesota."