ABC News’ Eloise Harper and Sunlen Miller report: The Democratic presidential race took a comical turn as both top candidates taped appearances on Comedy Central’s "Colbert Report" Thursday evening.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., made her first appearance on the show by coming to host Stephen Colbert’s rescue. Her appearance was followed by Sen. Barack Obama’s, D-Ill., debut appearance — via a remote interview from Greenville, N.C.
Before heading on stage, Clinton spoke backstage with her and Obama’s former opponent, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who also was a guest on the show. No details on the conversation were provided.
The skit began at the top of the show when Colbert’s monitor went to a test signal and he complained to his control room.
"What happened, Jimmy; Jimmy the rear projector just went down, the screen’s down, Jimmy where’s my liberty bell?" he said.
Jimmy told Colbert that there is nobody to fix the screen and that all the technicians are in New York.
Colbert shouted out in frustration, "Are you telling me there’s no one in this theatre who can fix the mess we’re in?"
Clinton then appeared on the stage, saying, "I can. I can, Stephen."
The Democratic presidential hopeful then began a very technical conversation with Jimmy, and attempted to fix the screen. Clinton asked a series of questions until she suggested, finally, that Jimmy "try toggling the input."
Miraculously, the screen got restored and the audience applauded.
Clinton then turned to Colbert and suggested that he get a touch up.
"You know what Stephen," she said. "Your forehead is a little bit shiny. Make-up, make-up, can we get some translucent powder, please?"
Colbert responded, "Wow, Sen. Clinton. You are so prepared for any situation. I just don’t know how to thank you enough."
Clinton told Colbert that she loves solving problems, and that he could even call her at 3 a.m.
Colbert thanked Clinton and finishes by saying, "I am going to call her at 3 a.m. I’m sure she left her cell phone number."
In his segment, Obama evidently referenced what he earlier Thursday described as "gotcha politics" of Wednesday’s Democratic debate as well as Clinton’s ‘Colbert’ appearance.
"Sen. Obama!" Colbert exclaimed. "Won’t Sen. Clinton be happy that she fixed our screen?"
"I think the American people are tired of these political games and petty distractions," Obama said.
Then Obama called for such "political distractions" to be put "on notice" — a staple on Colbert’s show involving a list of people and things that are to be watched out for.
Colbert answered, "I have to warn you, I probably don’t have a card for distractions. … Let’s see: Dimetapp, Dionne Warwick, Deion Sanders, Dion Comma Celine, dirigibles. …
"Aha!" he said. "Distractions" — ultimately finding a proper card to put on the board.
Obama told Colbert to take James Brady off the "on notice" list to replace it with his choice.
"Manufactured political distractions, you are officially on notice," Obama concluded.
While this was Obama’s first appearance on the show, his wife made an appearance on the show on Tuesday night from Pennsylvania — after he originally turned down an invitation to appear.