The introduction of the candidates at the Republican debate got awkward.

Posted by POLITICO on Saturday, February 6, 2016

Video: GOP Debate Opens With Most Awkward, Bungled Introductions Ever

Is it too late for Saturday Night Live to completely rewrite tonight’s cold open?

After all, the NBC sketch series would have a field day following the immensely uncomfortable introductions given at Saturday’s Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire.

Here’s how it all went down (though our descriptions couldn’t possibly do the above video justice):

While neurosurgeon Ben Carson waits in the wings for his name to be called, ABC News moderators David Muir and Martha Raddatz instead skip ahead to introduce Ted Cruz, followed by Donald Trump (who apparently didn’t hear his name and thus stays back), Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and John Kasich.

All the while, a stagehand is ushering Carson to walk to his podium, but it isn’t until Muir awkwardly announces, “Dr. Ben Carson, please come out on the stage. He’s standing there as well” (ouch!), that Carson emerges, followed by Trump (after a second introduction) and, at last, Kasich.

To watch the embarrassment unfold, press PLAY above, then hit the comments with your reactions.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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26 Comments
  1. Jeff says:

    I don’t think they skipped ahead. I think they called Carson’s name and he just decided to stand there.

  2. Octavius Spender says:

    An allegory for the clusterbuck that is the GOP clown show.

    • Drew says:

      Say what you will about these candidates (and most of them really are unimpressive), but at least none of them are looking at the possibility of spending time in a federal prison. I mean, the fact that we have to wonder how long Hillary could actually serve in office before being locked up is a little troubling. And she is probably going to get the nomination!

      • Simon Jester says:

        Hillary’s not looking at even a day in a federal prison, whether or not she wins the nomination.

        • Drew says:

          Okay, you can support her all you want, but the fact is that some very serious actions were taken by Clinton and her team. They can’t (and shouldn’t be) brushed under the carpet just because she’s running for President or has a legacy name.

          • Simon Jester says:

            It’s got nothing to do with which candidate I support, and everything to do with having an understanding of how our political system works. You appear to be rather naive on this score.

          • Drew says:

            Not naive. I know that she won’t actually go to prison, but I wanted to put things bluntly in my comment. She is a Clinton. She and her husband have already gotten away with a slew of crimes, from perjury to rape. The elite don’t live by the same rules as the rest of us. I know that. But I wanted to avoid a whole history lesson in my first comment

          • Simon Jester says:

            “I know that she won’t actually go to prison” — Gosh, I wish I’d said that. Oh, wait, I’m the one who did. Glad you’ve come around.

          • Drew says:

            My original comment mentioned the *possibility* of going to prison. There is a small chance that she will have to pay for her crimes. It probably isn’t likely, but there is that small chance that she will get what she deserves.
            So I haven’t come around to anything. This is where I’ve always been.

      • ninamags says:

        And Rice and Powell will be right there with her, right??

  3. D.L. says:

    Like watching Mack Sennett’s, “Keystone Cops!”

  4. JosiahBartlet4President says:

    Pretty much sums up what the Republican party is like these days: a big confused mess.

  5. Kelly says:

    I’m sorry, that looks like it was a staging problem by the people putting on the show, not the debate participants. Politics can be blamed for a lot of things these days but this looks like ABC or whomever was in charge of production should be skewered for this mess-up!

    • Simon Jester says:

      It wasn’t a staging problem — there is backstage video that clearly shows Carson missing his cue when his name is announced, then Trump missing *his* cue because Carson was still standing in front if him, then Kasich not wanting to move past the other two.

      • Drew says:

        It was bad for Carson and Trump, but it was really about the production involved. The men obviously missed their cue to go, and the hosts weren’t paying attention to who was coming onto the stage or what was going on around them (and apparently didn’t have ear-pieces for the director of the show to talk to them). They should have made sure that each person was out before calling the next one.
        Then again, at some point, Carson and Trump should have just gone out. I mean… c’mon.

  6. Gary A Lee says:

    SNL did show this on their news segment…

  7. The Beach says:

    I’m not a fan of any of these guys but I did enjoy Christie calling Rubio out over his constantly scripted answers.

  8. Heather says:

    You guys conveniently cut off the beginning of the video. This video begins right after they announced Ben Carson’s name. And he just stands there. The producers didn’t screw anything up. Look up the full video elsewhere to see what really happened.