Biden’s on Tonight Show: ‘What About this Joe?’

Oct 16, 2008 10:17pm

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe Reports: In a taped appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" to air later Thursday, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., joked that Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher, who was the man of the hour at Wednesday’s presidential debate, had not only stolen the spotlight from the two party nominees at the New York showdown, but also from him.

"Welcome to the show, I’m your host, Jay the Plumber," Leno had said at the start of the Burbank taping, before later noting to Biden that Joe the Plumber had replaced Joe Six-Pack as the talk of the political world, prompting Biden to wonder whatever happened to another famous Joe.

"What about this Joe?" the Democratic vice-presidential candidate asked.

"That’s right," replied Leno. "How about Joe the senator?"

"I hardly get any coverage," said Biden. "That’s why I wanted to be on this show."

Biden managed to sneak in a dig at Joe the Plumber, who doesn’t have a plumbing license.

"I don’t know many plumbers who are making $250,000 a year and worried about it," the senator said. "We’re kind of worried about Joe the fireman, Joe the policeman, Joe the real plumber with a license."

Another person who has stolen the spotlight from Biden on the campaign trail is his Republican counterpart, Gov. Sarah Palin.

"You were also the star of the highest-rated TV show of the year," Leno said to Biden of his October 2 vice-presidential debate with Sen. John McCain’s running mate.

"No, I was the co-star," Biden corrected him. "They all showed up for Sarah, not me."

"She has really captivated a large part of the American public," the Delaware lawmaker added later. "So you know, I was just the bit player in that debate."

As for McCain, R-Ariz., Biden reiterated his contention that the GOP nominee has grown "more angry than he usually is" because he is uncomfortable with "the negative stuff" his campaign has been spreading about Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill..

"He seems a little more angry than he usually is," Biden said of McCain’s most recent debate performance. "I really do like John and we do go back a long way, but I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem – - John doesn’t seem comfortable right now."

Biden, a Philadelphia Phillies fan, was torn Wednesday evening between watching the third and final presidential debate or Game 5 of the NLCS, which saw Biden’s favorite ballclub battling for the National League pennant.

"I watched the debate when Barack was speaking, then I switched to the Phillies when John was speaking," Biden joked about he how he reconciled his prime-time programming dilemma.

The Phillies defeated the Dodgers 5-1 to advance to their first World Series in 15 years.

"The Phillies did great!", Biden exclaimed to the Burbank crowd. "Sorry, Los Angeles."

The program started with Leno and Biden backstage in the dressing room, with Biden promising "I’ve made some verbal gaffes, but not this time, not this time." The Democratic vice-presidential nominee then promptly made fun of himself by introducing the show as, "Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!"

During the ensuing interview, Leno played Biden his most recent gaffe, when Biden Wednesday spelled out for the Athens, Ohio crowd "a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S."

"I knew I shouldn’t have had lunch with Dan Quayle," Biden joked. "I mean, I don’t know what happened there."

"I’ve made many a gaffe in my life and I suspect I’ll make a whole lot more," Biden assured the audience.

Leno also poked fun at Biden for his close-talking, touchy-feely habits, showing a fake McCain/Palin ad of Biden taking the Amtrak train to work in Washington – as he always does – but instead bothering other passengers with his in-your-face style.

"You take the train to work and just want to be left alone," said the ad. "But here comes Biden getting all touchy-feely. First he squeezes, then he leans, squeezes, leans. We don’t need a squeezer and a leaner in the White House. Vote McCain-Palin. I’m John McCain and I approve this message."

The senator’s appearance came exactly one month to the day after his son Beau appeared on the late-night talk show September 16.

Following the taping, Biden made the short trip through Burbank to tape an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" set to air Monday. Later Thursday night, the senator will also hold two closed fundraisers in West Hollywood.

Actor Colin Farrell appeared on both shows with Biden, but in separate interviews. The senator went first on "The Tonight Show", but second on "Ellen".

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