Watch: ‘Late Show’ Audience Boos Stephen Colbert over Bloomberg Debate Roast

Stephen Colbert moderates the "Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker" panel on day 1 of the Star Wars Celebration at Wintrust Arena on Friday, April 12, 2019, in Chicago. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)
Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP

Late Show host Stephen Colbert was booed by his own studio audience after roasting former New York City Mayor and Democrat presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg’s answers during Tuesday night’s presidential debate.

Stephen Colbert opened his live coverage of Tuesday night’s debate, which took place in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, by mocking the lack of discipline among candidates who kept speaking over each other.

“These folks said a lot of words, and I did not hear many of them,” the CBS funnyman said. “Because these candidates were speaking all over each other.”

Colbert had material mocking all seven candidates on the debate stage but his harshest material was left for Bloomberg over his failure to justify his past support for the controversial stop-and-frisk policy.

“I’ve met with black leaders to try to get an understanding of how I can better position myself,” Bloomberg contended at one point.

“Mr. Mayor, I have a feeling a lot of black leaders want your position to be spread eagle up against a wall,” Colbert remarked. “A lot of them are in the audience tonight, officers—stop them, check their pockets, there’s an endorsement in there someplace, I promise you.”

The roast drew muted jeers from parts of Colbert’s typically indulgent audience, leading the host to go off script and mention his past use of non-disclosure agreements and somewhat unsuccessful attempts at humor during the debate.

“All of Bloomberg’s voters are here tonight I think,” Colbert said, smiling. “Now I understand why he asks people to sign an NDA after he tells a joke. No one wants to remember that.”

A straw poll among Breitbart readers after the debate found that a plurality (around 31 percent) of people believed Bernie Sanders was the winner of the debate, followed by Bloomberg and Amy Klobuchar. The three worst-performing candidates appeared to be Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg.

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.