By Ryan Cormier, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal
WILMINGTON, Del. - It's not bad being Joe Biden these days.
Not only is his first term as vice president in the books and a full second term before him, Delaware's biggest star has been buoyed recently by his high-profile negotiations that helped avert the fiscal cliff and his leading role in crafting a plan to combat gun violence.
While Biden prepares to be sworn in publicly on Monday by Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, we look back on Biden's first term through his appearances in pop culture.
After all, he is a favorite target of late night joke-slingers and has been known to, well, step in it, producing some trademark gaffes, which help keep him on the lips of David Letterman and the like.
Aug. 22: Barack Obama names Biden as his running mate at a rally in Springfield, Ill. Jay Leno reacts on "The Tonight Show:: "A lot of people in the media are saying Biden was the logical choice. Biden got, what, 8,000 votes in the primaries? Hillary got 18 million. Well, that's logical. Did Ralph Nader and his 20 votes turn him down?"
Sept. 10: When Biden asks Missouri state senator Chuck Graham to stand at a rally before realizing Graham is a paraplegic, it becomes the first Biden gaffe to land on the gossip website TMZ. The cringe-inducing video of the moment is featured under the headline, "Joe Biden - Sit Happens."
Oct. 2: When Biden debates Sarah Palin, she famously asks him if she can call him Joe. That gives "The Late Show" and Letterman an opening to rib Biden about his loose lips: "Before the debate, Sarah Palin goes up to Sen. Biden and asks, 'Is it all right for me to call you Joe?' and he says, 'Is is it all right for me to call you smoking hot?'"
Oct. 13: Biden returns to Delaware to attend the Democrats' annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. Not only does Sen. Tom Carper lead the crowd in a chant of "JoeBama! Joebama!," but diners are faced with a dilemma: do I eat Biden's face or not? The newly minted vice president's likeness was printed on a candy atop the night's cheesecake and chocolate mousse deserts.
May 9: As a longtime goofed-up character in the satiric articles of The Onion, the comedy writers unfurl perhaps their best faux Biden article yet: "Shirtless Biden Washes Trans Am In White House Driveway." Along with a Photoshopped photo showing him doing just that, he's quoted as saying, "Gotta get her looking good so I can impress the chicks when I'm cruising down Pennsylvania (Avenue)."
Nov. 17: Biden becomes the first sitting vice president to appear on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and Stewart greets him with the "Amtrak experience:" he's served a can of Tab and a mushed cheese sandwich wrapped in plastic wrap.
Nov. 30: After Michaele Salahi crashes a state dinner at the White House, "The Colbert Report" flashes a photo on screen of Biden in the arms of Salahi and Colbert zings him with, "Amateur hour at the White House. I mean, who lets Joe Biden in? And all this just to get on 'The Real Housewives of Delaware'? Hope it was worth it, Joe."
March 23: At the signing of President Obama's health care reform, microphones famously pick up Biden telling President Obama that the moment was a "big f----n' deal." Among the many jokes about the moment, NBC's "Late Night" includes host Jimmy Fallon saying, "Joe Biden got himself in a bit of trouble. Did you hear about that? In response, NBC picked Biden to host the show, 'Big F-ing Deal or No F-ing Deal.'"
June 2: At the Sesame Workshop's 8th Annual Benefit Gala in New York, Biden and his wife, Jill, meet some of the most famous characters from "Sesame Street," like Grover, Cookie Monster and Elmo. The gala also marked the 30th anniversary of Sesame Place, leading Biden to show off his pipes and sing happy birthday to the furry puppets.
July 5: Biden appears on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and admits he watches late night shows: "I don't mind you making fun of me. There are some other guys I'm not crazy about making fun of me." Neither bring up Leno's joke about Biden he told five months earlier: "With all this snow, President Obama told all non-essential White House employees they didn't have to come in. Well, actually just Joe Biden."
Jan. 23: Ryan Seacrest interviews Biden on his syndicated radio show and asks him if he he has any advice for fellas on Valentine's Day. Biden's response? "Pay attention and jewelry helps."
Sept. 4: In "No Easy Day," the memoir about the raid that ended with the killing of Osama bin Laden, SEAL Team 6 member Matt Bissonnette writes Biden told "lame jokes that no one got" and added that Biden, a known nondrinker, reminded him of a "drunk uncle at Christmas dinner."
Sept. 9: An Associated Press photo of Biden with his hands on a female biker at an Ohio diner as two male bikers look on goes viral. "That's a picture of someone campaigning," Seth Myers deadpans on "Saturday Night Live." Jimmy Kimmel cracks, "If he wins this thing, he's going to win it one unwanted back massage at a time."
Oct. 9: Five words: Joe Biden Cabbage Patch Kid. The somewhat creepy doll was sold to benefit Rock the Vote.
Oct. 14: Following Biden's lone debate with Rep. Paul Ryan, Jason Sudeikis' Biden impression on "Saturday Night Live" hits its peak as he yells at the younger Ryan, "There's gym strong and there's old man strong. You wanna know my workout? When the Amtrak breaks down in my morning commute, I strip down to my tighty-whities and I push that (expletive) all the way to Washington! I am monkey strong, brother!"
Oct. 15: Biden makes a cameo as himself on NBC's "Parks and Recreation," showing off his acting chops. Wilmington native and "Parks & Rec" co-star Aubrey Plaza tells The News Journal she was impressed: "He was so funny, you'll see. He is a great improvisor and has really good timing."
Nov. 1: Letterman's Top 10 list -- "Top 10 Good Things About Voting Early" -- is read by Biden just days before Election Day. Our favorite entry ribs Biden for his oft-repeated claim about President Obama's resolve: "You know who votes early? People with a backbone like a ramrod."
Jan. 3: Biden makes headlines with his ebullient glad-handing at the swearing-in ceremonies for incoming senators at the U.S. Capitol. The most talked about moment comes when he tells North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, "Spread your legs, you're going to be frisked."
The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal