But those gifts pale in comparison to the veritable comedy orgy that was 2008, some observers say.
Four years ago, Tina Fey's bang-on "Saturday Night Live" impression of Sarah Palin became a global phenomenon. Fey's most memorable punchline — "I can see Russia from my house" — was, and likely still is, often mistakenly attributed to Palin herself.
This year, aside from Romney's recently revealed assertions that 47 per cent of Americans are freeloaders, there's less fodder for the likes of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and David Letterman, says an academic who has studied the influence of "The Daily Show" on American politics.
"Late-night comedy is not as much of a big deal this year as it was in 2008 — there's less raw material to work with in terms of the targets of the jokes, and there just seems to be less buzz about it," said Jody Baumgartner, an associate politics professor at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.
"It's always been tough to make real fun of Barack Obama — there's just not that much material there. What are you going to make fun of him for — because he makes good speeches? He's too good-looking, too charismatic, what?"
Romney's gaffes, meantime, aren't easy to pithily ridicule — although Colbert did his best last week, donning a top hat, tails and a wealthy man's posh, clipped speaking manner as he ridiculed the Republican's secretly videotaped remarks.
"Saturday Night Live," meanwhile, all but left the remarks alone, offering up only a parody of "Fox and Friends" that featured the morning talk show's hosts making outlandish excuses for Romney's comments.
Bill Horner, a political science professor at the University of Missouri who's working on a book about SNL's impact on presidential politics, said he was surprised by how feeble the jokes were on last weekend's episode.
"Their only reference to the 47 per cent remarks was the 'Fox and Friends' parody, and that was flat, so if they're not going to make more out of that major Romney controversy, I'm not sure this season will have much impact," he said.
The show was also gentle with Ann Romney, portraying her as a secret Beyonce fan who defended her husband against charges that another Republican could have done a better job uniting the party's fractured base — a real-life defence that's been mounted by several legitimate pundits.
"It was almost sympathetic," Horner said.
The show still has some buzz, he said, pointing out that a sketch portraying the country's undecided voters as woefully stupid has "certainly made the rounds" since it aired.
But late-night comedy isn't must-see TV anymore, Horner said, in an era of mass media fragmentation. Rather than tune in, many Americans now mine their social media accounts or email the next day to catch the best parts.
"Things do get clipped and forwarded around; they still get seen, so late-night comedy still does have an influence," Horner said.
"But I just don't think the public's interest is as high this time around; I can tell just from dealing with students that they're not as engaged this time around. This election cycle isn't as compelling as 2008, with that great confluence of events coming together and resulting in Tina Fey's legendary imitation of Sarah Palin. That hasn't happened this time."
Not even after Vice-President Joe Biden's wife touched off titters in the audience last week while introducing her husband at a campaign event in New Hampshire.
"I've seen Joe up close," Jill Biden said, while holding her hands apart in the way grumbling fishermen do when describing the size of the one that got away. Laughter ensued as husband and wife exchanged embarrassed, laughing glances.
"It's in my remarks, really," Biden sheepishly chuckled.
A recent study by the University of Michigan asserts that jokes by late-night comedy television hosts can be just as effective as regular political news in spurring discussion among viewers.
Comedy shows "may serve as an important catalyst for revitalized civic life," said Hoon Lee, one of the study's authors.
"This is an important finding, because then political candidates may be willing to use comedy programs to enhance their images."
But spurring discussion doesn't necessarily change minds.
"Regardless of reports to the contrary, political parties still matter in this country even to people who claim they're independent," Baumgartner said.
"Most people — well over 80 per cent — are going to vote for a party's candidate in most elections most of the time."
By September during presidential campaigns, most polls show 80 per cent of people already know how they're going to vote, he added. And programs like Stewart's "The Daily Show" and spinoff "The Colbert Report" attract fewer than five million viewers a night.
"Late-night comics could have an impact in the weeks before an election, but an enormous impact? No," Baumgartner said.
"Research has shown that if comedians make fun of a politician, public opinion of that politician may suffer. Tina Fey's imitation of Palin was a prime example of that. But does that mean partisans aren't going to vote for that person? Not really. We found in our study that having seen the SNL skit, opinions were lowered of Palin, but it did not necessarily have an effect on people's intended vote."
Horner agreed that most late-night comedy shows are "preaching to the choir, and aren't going to change anyone's minds."
Nonetheless, both campaigns are ever mindful of late-night television, believing it offers a way for candidates to boost their public image while connecting with the younger voters. Showing up on late-night comedy shows, even if it's to poke fun at themselves, has become standard procedure for those running for president.
Obama was the first sitting president to appear on late-night comedy shows, showing up on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in 2009, then "The Late Show with David Letterman" followed by the "The Daily Show."
John McCain, meantime, famously earned Letterman's wrath when he cancelled an appearance on his show in September 2008, saying he had to leave New York for Washington to deal with the financial meltdown. But in fact, the Republican presidential nominee was still in town, preparing for an interview with Katie Couric.
Obama was on Letterman again last week, while Romney bemoaned the fact that Letterman "hates" him in his infamous remarks to a Florida fundraiser in May.
"I've been on 'Letterman' a couple of times," Romney said in the video. "I've been on Leno more than a couple times, and now Letterman hates me because I've been on Leno more than him. They're very jealous of one another, as you know."
Letterman denied any such hatred, and raised the possibility of Romney making a similar visit to his set before the Nov. 6 election.
"I don't hate Mitt," he said last week. "I think now more than ever he and his lovely wife, Mrs. Mitt, are more than welcome to come on the show. If you think you're going to get to the White House, you've got to spend time in this chair."
The late-night comedy shows are undoubtedly hoping for a spectacular gaffe by either campaign to make the 2012 silly season as epic as 2008.
But even Seth Meyers, the head writer for "Saturday Night Live," recently acknowledged that another Palin-esque extravaganza was unlikely. Meyers did, nonetheless, express delight with Eastwood's "Palin-like gift" at last month's Republican convention when the grizzled actor addressed an empty chair, pretending it was Obama.
"There's never going to be anyone quite like that again," Meyers said of Palin in a radio interview.
The SNL writing team "knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, where a presidential candidate chose a vice presidential running mate that looked exactly like the most famous person on our show."
So huge was Fey's Palin, Meyers said he believes both Republican and Democratic operatives will forever think twice before choosing a running mate who resembles an SNL regular.
"Somebody from the campaign would probably say: 'Hey, we shouldn't do this.'"Suggest a correction