Late Night Tackles President Trump
April 17, 2019

Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show that he "was shocked and horrified" to watch Notre Dame cathedral burn in Paris on Monday, but "the news isn't all bad." There were no deaths, "and while the roof was lost and the spire collapsed, the church itself survived, including the magnificent rose window," he said, showing his team's recreation of the stained glass masterpiece on the domed ceiling of the Ed Sullivan Theater.

France has vowed to rebuild Notre Dame, and French corporations and business tycoons have already pledged more than $700 million, but "I just pray that they don't sell the naming rights," Colbert joked. "It would just not be the same to visit the Tostitos Notre Dame Cathedral at Monster Energy Ile de la Cite."

Meanwhile, as "the fire was just raging at its hottest, Donald Trump offered his, um, help?" Colbert said, reading the president's tweeted advice to use "flying water tankers" and fight the fire "quickly!" He acted out how Trump must have imagined France would react to his unsolicited counsel, but in fact, France's civil security service did respond, Colbert noted. And "for firefighters, they really know how to give a sick burn."

Trump also offered unsought advice to Boeing on Monday, and Colbert took Trump's rhetorical question — "What the hell do I know?" — literally. "Not much, which is maybe why you shouldn't be tweeting about how to put out fires and fix planes," he said. "First you should learn how to drink a glass of water, close an umbrella, and pass a flag without copping a feel."

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report will now be released Thursday, not Tuesday, as originally planned, Colbert said. "The Justice Department delayed it with no explanation. I have a feeling they're hoping to bury it over that holiday weekend, because if there's one thing Easter is famous for, it's things staying buried." He winked. Watch below. Peter Weber

April 11, 2019

Wednesday was the deadline for the IRS to turn over six years of President Trump's tax returns to House Democrats, but "he's never going to let us see those taxes," Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. And it's not because of audits or anything else, Kimmel added: "I believe the reason he won't show us his taxes is because he's not as rich as he claims to be."

Kimmel turned to Politico's recounting of a trip Trump took last year to Mount Vernon with French President Emmanuel Macron. "Trump was reportedly underwhelmed," he said. "He complained that the rooms in the house were too small, the staircases were too narrow, and the toilets were colored white instead of gold, the traditional presidential color."

Trump also asked the tour guide if Washington was really rich, "which is a good question, if you are in kindergarten," Kimmel said. "Then he said if George Washington had been smart, he would have put his name on Mount Vernon, [because,] he said, 'You've got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.' That's why he put his name on Donald Jr., because otherwise no one will remember him."

Trump "does know Washington has a whole city named after him?" Kimmel asked. "It's called Washington, and he lives in it. If he was your uncle, it would be funny, right?"

Yes, Trump reportedly said of Washington, "If he was smart, he would've put his name on it," Seth Meyers said at Late Night. "Trump then added, "But I guess he was stupid,' before returning to Washington, D.C.'"

"When a staffer said, 'Sir, where you live is named after him,' Trump said, 'You mean, George Washington's real last name was Mar-a-Lago Golf Course?'" Jimmy Fallon joked at The Tonight Show. Watch his entire monologue below. Peter Weber

April 4, 2019

President Trump savaged windmills on Tuesday night, and Wednesday's Late Show reminded everyone why Trump might be scared of the wind.

Yes, at a Republican dinner where he also had the chutzpah to roast Joe Biden for being handsy, Trump "started attacking windmills," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Yeah, you heard me, windmills," and some of the attacks were a little out of left field. "I really can't believe that I have to say this, people, but noise from windmills does not cause cancer," he said. "In fact, at this point, it's probably one of the only things that doesn't cause cancer."

It turns out, windmills are "Trump's arch enemy," Noah said. "They're part of his origin story, like a superhero whose parents were killed by a very slowly moving fan." Trump's "got all kinds of reasons" for dissing windmills, "starting with the danger they pose to America's most precious resources, television," he said. Also, national security and ... birds.

"To be fair to Trump, windmills do kill birds, and some people are legitimately concerned about it," Noah said. "But I don't think Donald Trump is one of those people." He dug into why "Donald Quixote over here is in a war with windmills," and it turns out "it was never really about birds or television; it was always about golf," he said. And that knowledge could save the world.

The Late Show's Stephen Colbert solemnly mocked the idea of Trump grieving birds: "Here he is attending a wake for a beloved chicken. The funeral was open-bucket. 'Rest in 12-piece.'" He also rolled his eyes at the cancer head-scratcher. "Of course windmills cause cancer," Colbert deadpanned. "That's why everyone in Holland is dead. Also, noise does not cause cancer — although I believe listening to Donald Trump might cause brain damage." Watch below. Peter Weber

April 3, 2019

Democrats are about to vote to subpoena Attorney General William Barr for an unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, and last week President Trump said releasing the report would be fine with him, Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. But on Tuesday, he said "the White House will fight the release," and Colbert paraphrased Trump's argument, in Trump voice: "No obstruction, it says so right in the document — and if you try to see the document, I'm going to obstruct you."

Trump continued on about the Mueller report, and Colbert asked viewers to "notice his small slip of the brain." It wasn't hard. Keying off Trump's bizarre malapropism for "origin," Colbert unleashed a series of orange-related puns, then modified a classic knock-knock joke. "Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Orange." 'Orange who?" "Orange you ashamed we have a president who can't pronounce 'origins'?"

"And since he was talking, Trump just tacked on a random lie — because, you know, why not?" — about his father, Colbert said. "Yes, it's true, Frederick Trump was born in a very wonderful place in Germany — New York City in 1905."

"I was kind of hoping I could go the whole week without mentioning President Trump," Jimmy Kimmel said, live from Las Vegas. But then "he had a little bit of trouble with the word 'origin.'" Kimmel had a theory. "What happens is he wakes up every morning, he sees the color of his face, and the rest of the day he has that word stuck in his head. By the way, that wasn't even the weirdest quote of the day," he said, showing Trump's whopper about Fred Trump: "Donald Trump's father was not born in Germany, he was born in the Bronx. Which would mean J.Lo is from Germany, too, I guess. At this point he's just messing with us, right? He's now questioning his own father's birth certificate." Watch below. Peter Weber

March 28, 2019

President Trump has been "living it up since the Barr report on the Mueller report totally cleared him of half the charges," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "That is a huge boost, and you can see it in his approval ratings" — which are unchanged, except that a 43 percent plurality said Mueller's report made them view Trump less favorably. "So let me get this straight," he said: "After finding out that he did not collude with the Russians, people liked him less?"

Still, after being pummeled on the Mueller investigation for two years, Trump "finally has a chance to get on America's good side," Colbert said. "Step 1: Take away everyone's health care, because Trump is trying to kill ObamaCare — again." Seriously, "how dumb is this guy?" he asked. "In the midterms he got his ass kicked because health care was the top issue for voters."

"But it's not just health care," Colbert said: Trump also wants to end aid to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. And "if you want cartoon-villain bad," look no further than Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' plan to slash $7 billion from education programs — and cut all federal funding for the Special Olympics. "Now, obviously it would be easy to that that's evil — but it would also be accurate."

Zeroing-out Special Olympics funding "just sounds mean, right?" Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Because here's the thing: The $18 million that they're going to save isn't even that much money for a government. It's actually what the government spends for Trump to visit Mar-a-Lago five times. ... So at the very least, you could compromise on this issue: Send the kids to Mar-a-Lago and make Donald run for once in his life."

"In four days, Trump has gone after sick people, special-needs kids, and hurricane victims," Noah said. "I feel like right now, baby seals are like, 'Well, we had a good run, folks.'" For a different perspective on "Trump being a total a--hole," Noah brought out an expert, Michael Kosta. Watch below. Peter Weber

March 19, 2019

"The president does not drink, so he celebrated St. Patrick's Day by tweeting like the manic leprechaun-artist he is," Jimmy Kimmel said on Monday's Kimmel Live. Among Sunday's barrage of 29 tweets were two attacking, once again, late-night hosts. "And besides the fact that Trump hinting that the FCC should look into censoring late-night comedy shows because he doesn't like us making jokes about him is genuinely disturbing — this is what Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un do — what might be the craziest part is the episode of Saturday Night Live he was tweeting about ... not only was it a rerun, it was a rerun of their Christmas episode," Kimmel said. "He does know it's not Christmas, right?"

And "the idea that late-night shows are colluding with Russia is ridiculous," Kimmel said. "I mean, I know I'm not colluding with Russia." He threw to his writers' room, which confirmed the lack of collusion with a unanimous "nyet."

"Late-night shows colluding with Russia — that is insane, and completely paranoid," Stephen Colbert agreed on The Late Show. And, of course, he had to alert Moscow that Trump was onto him, earning a turnip. Sunday's tweetstorm generally suggests Trump "might have carpal thumbal, or mental illness, or a need to distract us from something else more Mueller-y," he suggested.

There's "so much going on" with those late-night tweets, Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. For example, "it's interesting how he only complains about jokes that are about him. Like, he's never said, 'Leave my children alone!' In fact, he's probably like, 'Hello, SNL, do you take submissions? I have a few Eric jokes I could send.' And also, what does he mean, late-night shows are colluding with Russia? Really? The country that's famously known for their sense of humor? ... Also, we're colluding with the Democrats? What does that mean? They're the only people less funny than the Russians! You think comedy shows are getting material from these guys?" He made a persuasive case. Watch below. Peter Weber

March 15, 2019

Stephen Colbert noted on Thursday's Late Show that former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas) just became the umpteenth Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential race. "He did not get into a lot of specifics" on his first day campaigning, he said, but "we did get a sneak peak at his renewable energy plan: Generating electricity from the wind given off by his hand gestures."

Colbert noted that Thursday, for the second day running, Trump got up early "and complained about the late night talk shows," and he had some critiques of Trump's latest tweet. "First of all, sir, three 'very weak and untalented late night hosts'? It's not just 11:30 on network anymore. James Corden, Seth Meyers, Sam Bee, Trevor Noah, Conan, Desus and Mero are just as weak and as untalented as me and the double Jim-Jims. I mean, for Pete's sake, John Oliver is so weak he has to wear a hidden whale-bone strut in his jacket just to hold up his giant British noggin."

Jimmy Kimmel also took issue with Trump's late-night tweet, joking on Kimmel Live: "I don't know why he would call Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers 'weak and untalented' — those guys are friends of mine and I think that's rude." Also, Trump's "idea of us fighting over table scraps?" he said. "It's more like a Hometown Buffet in hell. It's like you get all the crab legs you can eat but you're never allowed to stop eating them. ... He wonders what we're going to do when he's not president anymore? I can't speak for anyone else; I know that I am going to Disneyland on that day."

Kimmel called the bipartisan Senate rebuke of Trump's "bogus" emergency declaration "the most embarrassing beating he's taken since Stormy Daniels got him with a magazine," called Trump's mockery of Beto's gesticulations proof that Trump is "jealous of adult, man-sized hands," and had a hearty laugh at old Pat Robertson's fake-half-Mexican critique of Beto: "He said the same thing when Lincoln ran for president." Peter Weber

March 7, 2019

"Today in Washington was Day 4 of the Michael Cohen Tells All special," Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live, and among "the areas of interest in this Cohen testimony was his claim that one of the many weird things [President] Trump ordered him to do was to send letters warning Trump's high school, colleges, and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores."

"I would bet Trump's grades are so bad he couldn't even get into Trump University, but there's really only one way to find out," Kimmel said. He welcomed the superintendent of the New York Military Academy (NYMA), Dr. Ned Stewart (Fred Willard), who had Trump's grades, SAT score, and some off-color humor.

What could Trump "possibly be hiding?" Stephen Colbert asked on The Late Show. "We all assume he failed everything. Did they invent an easy class for him or something? 'Okay, Donald, welcome back to our special science course, Rock or Not a Rock?'"

A rich friend of Trump's reportedly pressured the NYMA superintendent to find Trump's grades and "bury them," Colbert noted. "That way, if a reporter tried to find out if Trump ever learned to read, write, or spell, there would be no smocking gun. And the demand came just days after Donald Trump challenged President Barack Obama to 'show his records,' to prove that he hadn't been a 'terrible student.' This happens over and over again: Everything Trump accuses other people of, he's guilty of himself — oh my God! Trump was born in Kenya!"

Colbert turned to Trump's "dud" of a summit with Kim Jong Un, after which Trump unilaterally stopped joint military exercises North Korea hates while Kim started rebuilding an ICBM-compatible rocket launch site. "We haven't seen negotiating skills like that since the Trojans got a killer deal on that wooden horse," Colbert said.

Kim gave his own take in The Late Show opener. Watch below. Peter Weber

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