Dana Carvey's Joe Biden Impression on Colbert Praised As 'Perfect'

Dana Carvey's Joe Biden impression on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert went down well with viewers.

Stephen Colbert was back on stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began along with 400 vaccinated guests on Monday night.

Making his first appearance on stage in 460 days, Colbert told The Late Show on CBS' audience he had hoped to mark the first live show post-pandemic with an appearance from President Joe Biden, before the latter's schedule put paid to the plan.

With Biden attending the G7 meeting in the United Kingdom, Colbert had to settle for the next-best thing, as Dana Carvey brought back his Biden impression that had first debuted earlier this year on The Late Show.

In a nod to current affairs, Dana Carvey as Biden appeared "via satellite" from Britain in the sketch. During the full-on "interview" with Colbert he proceeded to discuss Donald Trump, Russian president Vladimir Putin and his penchant for gesticulating while speaking.

"Let me be clear: the last guy, Trump, was bananas," Carvey told Colbert, as his hands repeatedly moved in and out shot.

"But look at me, look at me, Europe. I'm nice and easy. Listen to my voice, I'm whisper-calm, not going to make any sudden moves."

The President's penchant for gesticulating and moving his hands while speaking has long been a source of fun for comedians. On far more serious note, it has also been heavily scrutinized amid allegations, which Biden has always denied, of untoward behaviour towards women.

Before Biden announced he would enter the Democratic primaries in 2019, Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state assemblywoman wrote an essay for the Cut in which she described an encounter with Biden in 2014 made her feel uncomfortable. Flores wrote that Biden touched her shoulders and kissed the back of her head, actions which she believed should be "disqualifying".

Amy Lappos, a former aide to Rep. Jim Hines (D- CT) told the Associated Press of a similarly awkward exchange with Biden in 2009, when he "rubbed noses with me" as he thanked congressional staff following a fundraiser.

A picture of the President with his hands on the shoulder of former defense secretary Ash Carter also attracted scrutiny, as Biden appeared to be whispering in her ear during a ceremony in 2015.

Four years later, however, Carter wrote a Medium post dismissing claims of unwanted touching and explaining Biden had hugged her as she felt she was "uncharacteristically nervous".

Carvey's performance earned him rave reviews on social media, where he was described as a "national treasure" and "perfect".

Dana Carvey is such a national treasure. #LSSC

— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) June 15, 2021

OK, @danacarvey is the PERFECT @JoeBiden. @colbertlateshow pic.twitter.com/xYMA8DJLEB

— Chris Stover (@ChrisStover) June 15, 2021

Dana Carvey as Joe Biden is exactly what I needed today. 🤣🤣🤣 @colbertlateshow @danacarvey #JoeBiden pic.twitter.com/iW4GIhQg9X

— The Vibe With Ky (@TheVibeWithKy) June 15, 2021

Aside from Biden's hands, the sketch also discussed foreign politics.

Quizzed by Colbert over whether he felt intimated by the prospect of meeting Putin, Carvey replied: "Come on, now, I once called a nice lady a 'dog-faced pony soldier.' No one knows what the hell I'm talking about, especially me."

Joe Biden at a NATO summit
US President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference after the NATO summit at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, on June 14. Olivier Hoslet/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts