New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went seeking the “Colbert Bump” last night in what turned out to be a relatively brief, bland interview.
After the requisite cracks about socialism, and a hopeful question about the looming Long Island Rail Road strike — “are you sending in the Pinkertons with the truncheons?” — Colbert shelved the normally hard-edged ribbing he usually delivers, letting de Blasio offer a quick platitude about finding a “resolution” to the ongoing labor dispute before moving on.
De Blasio has been taking flak in recent days for vowing to go ahead with his upcoming 10-day vacation to Italy despite the threat of a strike. And for a moment it seemed like one of Colbert’s finger-wagging tirades was on the way when he pointed out that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg “was in office for three terms, never took a week off.” But Colbert let him slide on that question, too.
All in all it was a pretty weak showing from both sides — doesn’t everyone prefer to see Colbert’s guests squirm? De Blasio has shown himself to be better in the past, as in a February appearance on The Daily Show, when he quipped about Che Guevara posters in city hall and ably deflected host Jon Stewart’s withering (and let’s be honest, totally justified) attacks for his habit of eating pizza with a knife and fork.
An appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in March was a little less successful, as the mayor clashed with hosts over charter schools in what many saw as a tense interview.
The most Colbert-ish exchange the two had Wednesday actually came before the show started, in a Twitter schtick in which Colbert browbeat the mayor into making the (previously scheduled) appearance to begin with.
.@BillDeBlasio I demand you come on my show! Stop dodging me, Mr Mayor!
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) July 14, 2014
Sure, @StephenAtHome. How about Wednesday?
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) July 14, 2014