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- September 8th: The pilot episode.
- The cursed amulet forcing Stephen to do a promo for Sabra hummus.
- Stephen eating Oreos as a metaphor for stories of Donald Trump's behavior (just one more). Eventually he gives up and tips the entire package into his mouth.
- "... we will try to honor [Letterman's] achievement by doing the best show we can and occasionally making the network very mad at us."
- September 14th: During a monologue about the Dalai Lama, Stephen makes a horrible pun, and then, in a nod from The Colbert Report, tries to get a high-five from a mysterious hand under his desk. Nothing happens, so he has to yank the hand back up and slap it.
- September 15th: When former Texas governor Rick Perry quits the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Stephen gives him a Hunger Games-style sendoff, called "The Hungry For Power Games", complete with Caesar Flickerman wig and champagne glass.Stephen: May the margin of error be in your favor.
- September 16th:
- Stephen's take on the 2016 Election candidates being inspired by Ronald Reagan... in particular, Ted Cruz's weird homage to Reagan's famous "Bear In The Woods" 1984 campaign ad... an incoherent mess involving a scorpion. Colbert creates his own take involving spiders.
- Carol Burnett appears as an audience member when Stephen asks warm-up questions and claims that he's ripping her off. When Stephen points out that you can't own the concept of questions, she produces a patent. Since he can't argue with paperwork, he steps aside and lets her do it instead.
- Kevin Spacey coming out early to surprise Carol Burnett and doing a spot-on Jimmy Stewart impression for her.
- Kevin Spacey finally answers the question of who he, as Frank Underwood, is really addressing when he monologues to the camera: Donald Trump.
- September 22: After weeks of ridicule, Donald Trump finally appears as Stephen's guest. Stephen and Trump play a game of "Who Said It?" using quotes from Trump and the Stephen Colbert character from The Colbert Report. The last one stumps them both, actually being a quote by Charles Manson.
- September 25th:
Stephen: [deadpan] There he is going through the two stages of grief — "zip-a-dee" and "doo-dah".
- Then-Speaker of the House John Boehner walks out onstage to announce his resignation, humming "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah" all the while. Stephen's response is a doozy. For one thing, the segment is titled Zip-a-dee-doo-BYE. For another, Stephen had this to say:
- September 28th: Stephen Colbert vs. a Myers-Briggs personality assessment expert. It is just as hilarious as you think it is. If not more so.
- September 30th: John Oliver had no idea that his show even had a website, let alone that people might interact with said website in a meaningful way.
- October 2th: Stephen heroically fails to keep a straight face after mentioning "Chairman of the Oversight Committee and seductive beaver mascot, Jason Chaffetz".
- October 14th:
- Colbert remarks that the Democratic debate had no salty language, except from the back wall, which kept repeating "f CNN" (an unfortunate juxtaposition of Facebook and CNN's logos together).
- Jack Black makes his entrance by sliding in on his knees. Afterward, Stephen offers some Advil.
- In response to rock stars outraged at politicians playing their songs, Stephen and Jack sing their generic, All-American song "My Kind of America".
- October 26th: On tonight's edition of "The Hungry for Power Games", Stephen gives his "touching" sendoffs to Democratic contenders Lincoln Chaffee and Jim Webb. However, this time, Stanley Tucci, who plays Flickerman, stops the skit to tell Stephen that his performance is more in line with Effie Trinket. So, Stephen switches his Flickerman wig for Trinket's.
- October 27th: In his interview with Hillary Clinton, Stephen shows the audience some potential Hillary costumes for Halloween, specifically, some of her embarrassing past wardrobe choices.
- November 2nd: Stephen and Allison Janney perform the Foreigner song "Hot Blooded" as a dramatic conversation.
- November 4th: While interviewing Daniel Craig, Colbert notes that James Bond's car insurance fees must through the roof with how many vehicles he destroys through the series. After a commercial break, we're treated to a skit of Craig as Bond trying to get a rental car from a rental clerk played by Colbert. During the skit when Craig pulls Colbert over the desk to threaten him, he completely starts Corpsing and has to bury his face in Colbert's shoulder as he tries to regain his composure.
- November 12th: After watching a news report with some seemingly arbitrary blurring, Stephen pushes the limits on what he can show on late night prime time.
- November 13th: Stephen makes proclamations in his big, furry hat, but this time, John Cleese joins in, making proclamations using his own big, furry hat.
- November 16th: After spending much of his monologue (alternating between solemnity, and hilarity) discussing the November 13 terrorist attacks in France, he explains why they're still letting an acrobatic cat group close the show:Stephen: Is tonight an appropriate night for Acro-Cats? Is there ever an appropriate time? No, there is not! So absolutely, let's have them on. Because you know what I don't think ISIS would like? Acro-Cats. They're cute and silly — two things ISIS hates. The only thing they have in common with ISIS is that they're a bunch of pussies.
- November 18th: Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is the next presidential nominee to quit the 2016 primaries, so in tonight's "Hungry for Power Games" segment, Stephen replays Jindal's original announcement video, which was filmed on a distant camera obscured by some tree branches, and Stephen imposes a tree branch in front of Jindal in various news clips.
- November 25th: Chef Daniel Boulard shows Stephen how to prepare a turducken, and it looks even weirder than you'd think; even weirder, Boulard decides to get creative and add two extra layers of white meat and dark meat by putting a quail and a squab, respectively, inside the chicken. Stephen can only manage mild bemusement at it all.
- December 8th: When a Turkish doctor gets arrested for comparing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Gollum from The Lord of the Rings, defending his actions by saying that Gollum was actually a hero, Stephen, the ultimate LOTR nerd, shows his support delivering a passionate Atticus Finch-style monologue.
- December 9th:
- Downton Abbey actors Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, and Allen Leech perform a scene using American accents instead of their natural British accents.
- Stephen and French actress Marion Cotillard held a segment, "Things That Sound Way More Intriguing When Said in French," which as the title implies, has them saying intriguing-sounding phrases in French that turn out to have mundane meanings in English. By the end, Stephen and Cotillard are wearing French berets and thin mustaches (yes, even her), and their last phrases turn out to be, "For the life of me, I have no idea of what's going on at the end of Inception" for Cotillard (a movie she starred in), and "I have a historic case of swamp ass" for Stephen (which causes Cotillard to crack up offscreen). Then at the end of the segment, he hands her a loaf of French baguette and is about to say goodbye, but after he realizes that she's playing Air Guitar with her baguette, decides to join in with a baguette of his own.
- December 11th: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Stephen perform his Spiritual Successor to Hamilton on the life of Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence that nobody knows (or cares) about outside of the US state of Georgia.
- December 16th: Stephen mocks the GOP debate with a gag dub of Franklin D. Roosevelt at a 1932 political convention.Roosevelt: I understand why my opponent is called Hoover... because he sucks! Oh!
- January 5th & 12th: Stephen covering the ludicrous saga of the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon by Ammon Bundy and his band of bumbling Right-Wing Militia Fanatic pals. Everything about it is hilarious. There's a Call-Back to "The Ballad of Cliven Bundy" from The Colbert Report. There's a joke about future grandkids named Rando, Pervin and Krampus note . The whole thing is about the general poor planning and incompetence of the "militia" itself and Stephen finds them so pitiful that he orders a shipment of Oreo cookies for them from his "Oreo Hotline".
- January 12th:
- Saoirse Ronan teaches Stephen how to do an Irish accent and how to pronounce Irish names.
- Colbert's "Powerball Tips" for winning the billion dollar jackpot, which includes such gems as pick only winning numbers, buy as many tickets as you can, and not picking non-numbers such as ampersands and the eggplant emoji.
- January 20th:
- How unambiguously happy Stephen is to have Sarah Palin back in the political game, because she is comedy gold and makes his job almost unbelievably easy.
- When Sarah Palin gives a rambling speech supporting Donald Trump for president, Stephen gives his own rapid-fire speech endorsing several other candidates without losing his breath.
- January 26th: Stephen and Laurence Fishburne engage in "Fish Burns", dishing out insults to various fish.
- January 28th: When Donald Trump decides to boycott Fox News' next Republican presidential debate, Stephen gives him the opportunity to hold his own debate against... Donald Trump.
2011!Trump: [on who's the better moderator] No, I could never beat you. That wouldn't even be close. There would be no contest. You have done a great job, by the way. I mean it.2016!Trump: I have zero respect for Megyn Kelly, I don't think she's very good at what she does, I think she's highly over-rated.
- One highlight of this is 2011!Trump vs 2016!Trump on Megyn Kelly. The contrast in words, tone, cadence, facial expressions and atmosphere all come together to make a great bit of comedy:
- February 4th: Stephen and Samantha Bee go over a list of euphemisms about a woman's private areas.
- February 8th: Stephen takes forever to walk onstage after being introduced, parodying Republican presidential nominee Ben Carson's oddly delayed walk-on in the Republican debate the Saturday before.
- February 10th:
- The show starts with Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders helps Stephen introduce the evening's guests, including himself ("He is electrifying!").
- In response to MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes accidentally calling Bernie Sanders "Bernie Sandwiches", Stephen goes on a sandwich-themed Hurricane of Puns to describe Sanders.
- February 18th:
- March 1st: Stephen and Mythbusters co-creator Adam Savage test the myth of whether a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building could kill a person down below by shooting Adam in the butt with a pneumatic air gun. Myth: busted.
- March 2nd: Talking about The Bachelor, Stephen mentions the guy is conflicted between two of the women. Stephen says that if he's ever in that position, he knows who he'll pick — his wife.
- April 19th: Colbert points out that Bernie Sanders has made a lot of good points ... literally, as demonstrated by his new video game Bubble Burst Bernie.
- May 2nd: Stephen starts the show by congratulating Larry Wilmore for his performance as host of the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 30th.Stephen: I am confident that Larry will receive the ultimate recognition for his work: Never being invited back.
- May 16th: Stephen reviews the Eurovision Song Contest and thinks America should win next year's contest with "The Living Life" as sung by "Nórnaäs" (Stephen in a glittery cape and wig).Stephen: Why can't we compete? We're the most European country in the world; we invented the frappuccino and the g-string. We eat way more pizza than Italy, and we're this close to electing Benito Mussolini.
- It gets funnier when you read the comments and bask in the butthurt Eurovision fans who don't get the Affectionate Parody.
- May 20th: Stephen's reaction to Trump winning the GOP Nomination and basically comparing him to "White Trash/Reality Show" tropes... Cue the spoof Donald Trump GOP Convention ad done in the style of a local 'Monster Truck Rally'-type commercial....complete with Trump roping and branding a naked Ted Cruz, "Doctor Ben Carson's Freakatorium", a MMA-style Cage Match between Trump's wives (Ivana, Marla and Melania) and Trump's prospective Running Mate, ''TRUCKASAURUS!'' note
- May 21st: Similar to Sarah Palin's speech, Stephen makes another one after Kanye West appeared on the Ellen Show.
- June 11th: Stephen does a field report from America's Cup practice event held in New York the previous month, goofing around on Team USA's sailboat as he goes incredibly fast, and singing "What do we do with the drunken sailor".
- June 22nd: Stephen has another go at CBS when a drawing of two frogs is unnecessarily blurred.
- July 18th: So how does Colbert celebrate the Republican National Convention? First, Jon Stewart makes a cameo, and then, Colbert, as in The Colbert Report Colbert, returns in glorious fashion.
Stephen: I know I'm not supposed to be up here, but let's be honest, neither is Donald Trump.
- The night before the Republican National Convention, Stephen successfully trolls the RNC as his "Hungry For Power Games" character Caesar Flickerman, even getting onstage to say this:
- July 20th: In a Call-Back to an interview Colbert did with her a few months back, Laura Benanti appears as Melania Trump to clear the air about the accusations that she plagiarized her speech at the RNC from Michelle Obama...with an even more obviously plagiarized speech.
Melania: And one more thing: LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT'S A SATURDAY
- Extra funniness: her pausing after beginning the speech to pose for the cameras.
- And at the end:
- July 24th: Stephen attempts to replicate his RNC podium stunt at the DNC but security is onto him. Eventually, he just starts walking and running back and forth in front of the stage because a large group of very burly men have no choice but to follow his every move.
- July 27th:
- In response to Bill Clinton stating that people who hate Hillary Clinton were commentating upon a two-dimensional, "cartoon" version of her in his DNC speech, Colbert introduces a spin-off of Cartoon Donald Trump, Cartoon Hillary Clinton.
- Colbert explains that a company heavily implied to be Viacom had complained about him using Colbert, the character, in the previous week's episode because they considered him to be their intellectual property ("Which is surprising, because I never considered that guy to be much of an intellectual"), and announces its retirement in favor of Stephen Colbert's identical twin-cousin, Stephen Colbert. Afterward, he did a Word segment, but renamed "WERD".
- August 26th: During his opening monologue Colbert talks about Mylan jacking up EpiPen prices. When he quotes what the company said about the price hike, a "visual approximation" is used to represent the company — Skeletor, specifically.
- September 26th: In a special live post-presidential debate broadcast, Colbert talks about Donald Trump's constant sniffling throughout the debate, as if he were on cocaine or something, and Colbert doing his own impression of it.
- The two times that Stephen pulls out the conspiracy chalkboard to highlight Donald Trump's latest controversial remarks.
- June 15th: With Trump blaming Obama and Muslims for the Orlando nightclub shooting, Stephen illustrates his logic by connecting the dots, resulting in a diagram shaped like a swastika.
- October 18th: With Trump alleging there's a big conspiracy against him comprised of Wikileaks, international bankers and special interests, the media, and the Hillary Clinton campaign, Stephen illustrates it in a Venn diagram. That comes out shaped like a penis and testicles. With the "D" in "Donald Trump" forming the tip of said penis diagram.
- November 24th: Max Greenfield comes on as a guest, wearing soccer referee kit, and explains to Stephen how he's recently been given the job of a youth soccer referee, in spite of the fact that he knows nothing about the game and has never even played soccer in his life.Stephen: So, do you have any thoughts on the election?Max: Well, I've actually learned a few things from this whole experience. One is, nobody wants to see me do a better job than me. Really. That's true. And if by some chance I do do that — look, if I'm even a decent referee, I tell ya, I will immediately declare myself the greatest referee of all time and you will never hear the end of it, and I am so hoping that that's what happens.Stephen: Well, good luck.Max: Thank you, and I also think, you know... maybe, if we were a little bit nicer to our referees, just a little bit, then more qualified people would want to be the referee, and perhaps, we would be able to explain to our six- and seven-year-old children why all the most important calls on the field are being made by Schmidt from New Girl.
- December 6th: After Stephen notes that he's often seen as a father figure, he decides to stage a "family meeting," but he does so accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden. What follows is Does This Remind You of Anything? galore:
- First:Colbert: Look, look, Pops and I are worried about the sudden changes, we know you're worried about the changes the family is going through.
Biden: It happens to every family, but I'm telling you; this terrible feeling you're having right now it's not permanent. It will be over in four years, maybe eight. There's an old saying in the family: Life is like a grandfather clock.
Colbert: Exactly, life is like a grandfather clock — maybe the pendulum has swung all the way to one side, but before you know it, it will swing back to the other.
Biden: Point is, you should probably get a new clock, or better yet, just look at your phone.
- There's even a shout-out to one of Biden's most famous phrases:Colbert: We overheard you using some salty language the other day. We know you're better than that.
Biden: We know you're better than that. We don't want to hear those swear words from you; "hogwash," or "baloney," or "malarkey."
Colbert: Joe, Joe, we're on CBS! They're going to bleep half of that!
Biden: Hey, look, I'm sorry; I'm so gosh darn disappointed.
[Colbert gasps and covers his mouth, audience laughs]
Colbert: That is the angriest I've seen this man! Are you happy? Look what you did!
Biden: I'm sorry, I'm sorry!
Colbert: Look what you did to your Pop! You made him say the D-word! Are you going to be okay?
Biden: I— I think so.
- Then:Biden: You know... kiddo... don't think that I haven't noticed you've been cutting some corners when you've been moving the lawn lately. [ ] The saying is "Any job worth doing is worth doing well."
Colbert: Okay, you have to always do your best to mow the lawn. It doesn't matter that somebody else is about to get the job of mowing the lawn after you, even though as far as you can tell, that person has never touched a lawnmower in his life.
Biden: Look, kid, it doesn't matter who is mowing it, the point is that it's the greatest lawn in the world, and no matter our differences, we're all responsible for its upkeep. And— and I've got to believe that in their heart, the next mower is— is going to do the best they can to make sure that lawn, that everyone feels safe to have a picnic on it.
Colbert: That's a beautiful metaphor.
Biden: Metaphor? Metaphor? Look, I'm talking about mowing the lawn. What are you talking about?
Colbert: Same thing, I'm talking about the same thing.
- Stephen comparing Donald Trump to an inflatable tube man.
- Stephen took a week off after Donald Trump was inaugurated. Then he came back to, well, everything.
- February 16th: Bob Odenkirk's appearance on the show culminates in a sketch that wouldn't be out of place in Mr. Show: Bob Odenkirk Playing Stephen Colbert, and Stephen Colbert Playing Bob Odenkirk.
- March 7th: Jarrod Carmichael likens living in America to "finding out your grandmother died while you're getting a blowjob". Stephen responds with a Yakko-Warner-esque "Good night!" and walks offstage before coming back to ask Jarrod what he's talking about. Jarrod's response is "It's bittersweet."
- March 14th: Colbert satirized Rachel Maddow's (very heavily promoted) reveal of one of Donald Trump's old tax returns with a spot-on parody impression of her general speaking and presentation style. Maddow found the parody hilarious and praised it on Twitter.
- March 21st: Bryan Cranston arrives to promote the new Power Rangers movie. He and Stephen discuss his previous involvement with the franchise, his career, and the dignity that he's maintained through each and every role... all while Cranston is wearing a cheap Red Ranger costume, which he and Stephen refuse to acknowledge. He even poses in it.
- Steven airing a clip of an old and cheesy cologne commercial Bryan did before he got serious work as an actor.Bryan: DAMN YOU, COLBERT!!
- Bryan noting he did some dub work on the original Power Rangers franchise and doing a glorious impression of his villain voice.
- The latest edition of "Rescue Dog Rescue", when Stephen and guests help dogs get adopted by making things up about them, such appreciating French cinema or killing bin Laden. This week, however, saw a Cute Kitten come onto the runway only for Stephen to put him back. The people behind the scenes send him back in a loose puppy costume with a sign taped to his back saying "I am a puppy, not a kitten in a puppy costume". Stephen completely accepts this and promptly puts the "dog" up for adoption. Funnier yet is when the kitten suddenly sneaks into the group, the audience goes wild, evidently very full of cat-lovers that night.
- Steven airing a clip of an old and cheesy cologne commercial Bryan did before he got serious work as an actor.
- April 4th: The Cold Open is a mashup of "Mah Na Mah Na" with Sean Spicer saying "phenomenal".
- April 17th, 19th, 21st & 25th: The antics of Stephen Colbert's deranged Alex Jones parody character, TUCK BUCKFORD!
- April 20th: Stephen tries the unicorn frappucino from Starbucks. His review? "I wish I were dead."
- May 11th: Colbert's reaction to Trump calling him a "no-talent guy".
- May 19th: Colbert's "Tuck Buckford" returns again with a "sincere forced apology", shaves using cottage cheese and eats hand lotion.
- May 20th: A GOP Congressman tweets about government waste. Unfortunately, the example he chose is a pond ramp meant to save ducklings from drowning, making him look like a Card-Carrying Villain. Stephen then debates the socialist implications of ducks and recommends a new slogan for the Congressman "Walker 2018: Die, baby ducks!", to which the audience cheers wildly.
- June 6th: Cartoon Donald Trump cannot, and will not stop tweeting. "ENJOY!"
- June 15th: Talking about Trump's attempt to get an investigator to drop his investigation by dropping vague threats of firing him only turned the focus on the president himself, Stephen notes that the plan to fire him... (puts on sunglasses) ... backfired! (YEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHH!)
- June 30th: Some members of the Catholic church are taking issue with fidget spinners, alleging that each of the three prongs of a fidget spinner represents an arm of the Holy Trinity, some saying that it can be used for teaching about the Holy Trinity, while others thinking that it's a distortion and a work of the Devil. Stephen reaches out to God for a comment, and God is also playing with a fidget spinner.
- July 11th: Andy Serkis reading Donald Trumps tweets as Gollum. Even Gollum is confused by "covfefe."
- Stephen's face as Serkis begins reading is the very picture of childish joy, as this proud Tolkien geek for his entire life hears Gollum begin the tweet.
- July 14th & July 25th: The saga of "Cookie Jeff Sessions"!Colbert as Sessions (July 14th): "... Pay no attention to the man behind the cookie!"
- July 18th: Keegan-Michael Key brings Key & Peele's Obama's Anger Translator, Luther back to give an epic teardown to D.C.'s powers that be.Key as Luther: [points directly into the camera] EVERY ONE OF Y'ALL IN THE WHITE HOUSE HAS LOST. YOUR DAMN. MIND!!!
- July 21st: Stephen Colbert monologues about Donald Trump Jr.'s secret meeting with the Russians and realizes that the whole thing looks like Ocean's Eleven.
- July 24th: Stephen Colbert introduces us to former White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer's replacement, Anthony Scaramucci. "Mobster Guy"/Brooklyn Rage tropes and references to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" ensue. Front stab!
- July 31st: Colbert's response to Scaramucci's firing after about ten days on the job... complete with What Could Have Been regarding all the awesome jokes and material Colbert had planned (including a brief shot of 'Cartoon Scaramucci'). Stephen then sings an impromptu Filk Song of "Bohemian Rhapsody" about "The Mooch". MOOCH! We Hardly Knew You!note Hilarious in Hindsight given what happens not long after...
- August 8th: The one and only Sean Evans appeared, not to be interviewed by Stephen, but rather to interview him in an abbreviated version of a typical Hot Ones episode. For comparison's sake, most Hot Ones interviewees make their way up the spice ladder over the course of ten sauces, starting with an uncomplicated sauce and ending with a complete mouth-burner. Here, there were only four, going from Valentina (the easiest sauce), to the Hot Ones sauce (mid-range) to Da Bomb Beyond Insanity and Blair's Mega Death Sauce (the third- and second-hottest sauces, respectively - the latter even used to be the hottest). To say Stephen got the raw deal is an understatement...
- August 9th:
- "North Korean leader and disappointed volleyball Kim Jong Un..."
- Stephen remarks that if you've been living under a rock and haven't heard Trump's recent comments to North Korea, you should probably return to it and line it with lead.
- Stephen consults God over a recent remark made by a pastor and Trump supporter that He "gave" Trump the "authority" to attack North Korea. God remarks He did, and His son is the one really endorsing love and peace and complains that he's a hippie who gives Him a hard time over quinoa wheat. God then endorses His love for the Baconator and Steven corpses.
- Stephen announces he's actually landed an interview with "The MOOCH"! And got first dibs on having him on a show for an interview since he was ousted from the White House.
- David Tennant reading lines in the voice of Scrooge MacDuck that Scrooge would say... and things Donald Trump would say.
- August 14th:
- Anthony Scaramucci appears on the show to the tune of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and is booed within seconds of sitting down. And minutes into the interview, you can tell he doesn't want to say anything to damage his position any further among the Trump Administration, even though he foresaw his firing. He's so hesitant to say anything bad about Donald Trump candidly that he spends the entire interview tripping over every single word that comes out of his mouth.
- The Mooch "jokingly" threatened to kill Colbert's writers literally seconds into the interview. It's horrifying if you think about it, but impossible not to laugh at the sheer audacity. The look on Colbert's face just screams, "Oh, this is gonna be good."
- At the end of the interview, Anthony gives Steven an acid-etched engraved knife in a hermetically sealed case as a gift. Why is it in a case, you might ask? Because Steven was afraid Anthony would actually try to stab him with it.
- August 17:
- Stephen Colbert vs. Confederate statues... especially one very weird one of Nathan Bedford Forrest (Confederate General and Founder of the Original KKK) which Stephen describes as looking like a skirt-wearing nutcracker riding a wet lizard. Noting how "Weird Nutcracker Forrest" seems to be pointing his gun towards behind him, he erupts into a bit where he gallops about, mistakenly shoots his own men then blames the Union Armynote .
- He then tackles Trump's bogus historical-marker for an imaginary Civil War battle note at one of his golf courses... Cue a Trump impersonation involving him conjuring up a weird tale of Abraham Lincoln karate-chopping into Fort Sumter only to be shot dead by Ted Cruz's dad in the year "Nineteen-Sixty-Eighteen-Whatever".
- Finally, he winds it up by explaining why comparing Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson to the Founding Fathers is stupid note and states that erecting a monument to honor the Confederacy is like erecting a monument to the iceberg that sunk the Titanic.note
- Stephen does a retrospective on General John Kelly who was the White House Chief of Staff sent in to bring order to the chaos in the White House due to Donald Trump being, well, Donald Trump. Cue a montage of various news reports from Kelly's 17 days on the job (at the time) ... not even a mighty 4-Star General of the U.S. Military can rein in the over-the-top antics of the guy acting as President.
- Stephen Colbert vs. Confederate statues... especially one very weird one of Nathan Bedford Forrest (Confederate General and Founder of the Original KKK) which Stephen describes as looking like a skirt-wearing nutcracker riding a wet lizard. Noting how "Weird Nutcracker Forrest" seems to be pointing his gun towards behind him, he erupts into a bit where he gallops about, mistakenly shoots his own men then blames the Union Armynote .
- August 18: Stephen monologues about the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 (which would happen in a few days). First, he starts with; "... In less Apocalyptic news, the Sun's going away..." then goes into how he's looking forward to seeing the animals freak out; "... I love science and I love Astronomy and I love to see barnyard animals thrown into a complete panic because it's 2 PM and night is falling!...". He then goes into a routine of him trolling goats at a petting zoo..."What's goin' on, goats?! What's goin' on?! Where the Sun go?! The chickens are freakin' out, you know they know something's up, they always have the inside dough! Listen to the crickets! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!"
- October 9th: Stephen tries to fulfill Trump's request for "equal time" by bringing out Jon Stewart to say something positive after every joke he delivers. The best things Jon comes up with are "he's not a cannibal", "he'd rather have Trump as president than hot lava in his pee-hole", and "he's better to women than Harvey Weinstein" (and that one is met with a "maybe" from Stephen).
- Made even better by the fact that Jon looks like he was somehow tricked into this. Especially when he was about to say he'd choose lava over Trump, but Stephen forces him to suppress that thought.
- Then they get to Trump's "calm before the storm" comment and Jon loses it.
- Followed by him forcing Stephen into the pro-Trump position. Stephen can't come up with anything better than "he's not a cannibal" either.
- October 13th: The entirety of Stephen's interview with Conan O'Brien. Highlights include:
- During one of his stories, Conan flubs up, revealing they're taping the show on Wednesday and showing it on Friday. Stephen makes a motion to the camera that they'll edit that part out only for Conan to flip out on him, causing Stephen to corpse.Conan: NO! You don't edit that out, you keep that in! That's the magic! (slams fist on Stephen's desk, causing him to burst out laughing and move his seat away from him) You gotta learn, Colbert!
- Conan telling a story about how David Letterman gave him a horse named Dave as a thank-you gift. Conan neither knows how to ride a horse, nor had a place to put it, and the horse ended up being completely crazy and unrideable, costing Conan more money to take care of it. He ended up donating to the horse to an equine massage center where students massage the horse to learn how to do it, and Dave ended up falling in love with another horse named Charlie Rose.
- Conan and his crew visited the site where Christ was born only for his boom mike operator to keep accidentally knocking his mike into things.Conan: Three Stooges sketch! Thing comes around—BANG! WANG! WHOM! BANG!Stephen: You set fire to the nativity?!Conan: I'm sure, you know, Christ is somewhere saying, "Get him out of there! Get him out! Get him!"
- Conan relating the story of having to go to a busy emergency room to get a Harvard ring cut off his swollen finger and feeling self-conscious because people there have far worse injuries than him.Conan: A woman comes in with a clipboard and she goes, "Alright, what's your problem?" "I got shot in the face. A guy shot me in the face with a 22 and it went through my cheek and I'm bleeding" "What's your story?" "There were two pit bulls fighting and I tried to break them up and they tore the flesh off my arms." "What's your story?" "My friend threw acid on me!" And then she was like, "YOU?" And everyone turns around and looks at me and I go, (wimpy voice) "The ring! The Harvard ring is tight! It's a tight ring!""
- During one of his stories, Conan flubs up, revealing they're taping the show on Wednesday and showing it on Friday. Stephen makes a motion to the camera that they'll edit that part out only for Conan to flip out on him, causing Stephen to corpse.
- November 1st: "JUST SAY NO TO RUGS!"
- September 7th: Trump discusses the making of American made products and asks his fans to pick, "Made in America" or, "Made in the USA."Colbert: Yeah we should definitely pick one and then the electoral college can pick the other.
- November 2nd:
- "John Kelly's Asia Trip Itinerary"... among which are such gems as informing Donald Trump that pandas don't know kung-fu, chopsticks are not called "food nunchucks" and that they can't just take The Great Wall home with them for that "Mexico Wall" thing.
- It has been discovered that Osama Bin Laden enjoyed stuff like Disney & Pixar films and crocheting instruction videos. Cue a skit of what a crocheting instructional video by Bin Laden would have probably looked like. It involves a teapot and it's a real blast!
- Stephen monologues about how Trump, on the Asia trip, might meet "Pen Pineapple Apple Pen Guy", a Japanese comedian whose viral hit is a song about combining a pen with various fruit. It culminates with Stephen going..."I have a faaaace... I have a paaaalm... *UNGH!*... Facepalm!"
- November 15th: Concerning the allegations against Roy Moore of the sexual assault of teen girls we get a bit about a weird anti-Semitic robocall designed to make Alabama voters assume a Jewish Conspiracy is behind the allegations against Moore. The call is so ridiculously transparent, stereotypical and meant to smear The Washington Post which broke the story.note . Stephen follows it up with his satirical own take on such a call..."Hello and Shalom! This is Rabbi Moishe Menorah Schmendrickwitz. I'm calling on behalf of the Star Of David Times, because I couldn't be a surgeon like my brother. If you have any damaging information about Roy Moore that we can use for our vast Jewish conspiracy, we'll send you 10,000 bagels! Please call me at 1-666-OYYYYYY. Also, call your mother. Anyway, ''Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hassenpfeffer Incorporated!''"
- December 13th: Stephen describes what actually happened in the White House when Donald Trump sycophant and former The Apprentice contestant, Omarosa, was fired...Let's say that if the White House halls have security cameras, you'd wish the surveillance footage was released so you could enjoy it with a tub of popcorn.
- December 14th:
- The Cold Open of a little ditty called "The Legend Of Roy Moore".
- Adam Driver is interviewed about the latest Star Wars film and he and Steve "act out a scene"....sort of....with Kylo Ren and Rey action figures.Stephen!Rey: "Where are you, Kylo Ren?!"Adam!Kylo: "Here I am."Stephen!Rey: "Can you believe who my parents turned out to be? Wasn't it shocking?"Adam!Kylo: "No. I gotta go to the bathroom."Stephen!Rey: "I'll wait!"Adam!Kylo: (Has removed cape from Kylo figure) "I'm done."Stephen!Rey: "You left your... (Stephen and Adam corpse a bit)... ON THREE; Let's say who my parents were! ONE... TWO... THREE..."Adam!Kylo: "Stephen Colbert!"(Then they make the action figures smooch. Adam covers the Kylo figure under the cape and states Kylo's taking a nap.)
- Colbert once more skewers Alex Jones with another hilarious "Tuck Buckford" segment... It involves yelling at random appliances and eating fish food.
- December 15th: The episode's Cold Open is a recreation of The Silence of the Lambs with Jodie Foster reprising her role as Clarice Starling and Stephen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter; only this time, Clarice asks Lecter about the Trump's Russia ties. It's about as insane as it sounds.
- Any time they have Laura Benanti in the role of Melania Trump, one of the few things that can break Stephen during the show. Some examples include:
- The January 10 episode, when they had her in regards of the book Fire and Fury:Melania: Ah, the Trump Tower, so many hiding places... Did you know I can fit my whole body inside a wine fridge?
Stephen: I did not know that.
Melania: It's true. You can make room by moving all the wine into your stomach. [starts chugging on a wine glass as big as her face]
Stephen: Now the book... I'll... [forced to stop for a moment as it becomes clear that Benanti!Melania is gonna down the whole thing] Stay hydrated.
- Just the fact that Laura's Broadway-certified singing pipes see some use.
- Melania returns for the first time in a while in May, and there's quite a bit of material to cover, like the dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Macron:Stephen: Now Mrs. Macron said that you seemed very constrained, you can't even open a window...
Melania: Oh there is no need for me to open a window. Not until my hair grows long enough for Emmanuel to climb up on it and rescue me. (gripping her hair) GROWW!!!
(Stephen noticeably falters)
Stephen: On Fox and Friends Donald said he didn't get you anything for your birthday, he got you a card...
Melania: Oh that is true Stephen. It was a very nice card. (pulls a shiny credit card out of her neckline) It's platinum. (starts fanning herself with it and sniffing it and basically rubbing herself)
Stephen: (really about to break down now) It's a family show... CBS, madam...
- When Melania returned in July, Stephen apparently developed a defense mechanism - pulling her Blue Steel pout back at her. When she returns again in August, one of the first things she gets up to is the Backpack Kid dance, causing Stephen to break barely ten seconds after the start of the skit.
- Melania returns in November and ups her game yet again:Melania: I look forward to the annual pardoning of the turkeys - the only ones in the White House who won't be going to jail. (summons a rimshot)
Stephen: (showing signs of faltering already) Good to see you have your own drum player in the White House.
Stephen: But don't you think this matter should have been handled with your husband in private?
Melania: Oh please. I haven't handled my husband's privates in years. (another rimshot)
Stephen: (faltering again) But this is a side of the public - the public hasn't seen this side of y- oh (bleep) (goes into full meltdown)
Melania: Stephen are you okay?!
- The January 10 episode, when they had her in regards of the book Fire and Fury:
- In response to Donald Trump's Twitter announcement for "The Most Dishonest and Corrupt Media Awards of the Year," Stephen submits a "for your consideration" award, taking out a full-page ad on the show's Twitter feed and a billboard in Times Square. He hopes The Late Show will sweep the nominations in all categories, including Outstanding Achievement in Parroting George Soros' Talking Points, Best Sound Mixing, Best Chex Mixing, Least Breitbarty, The Eric Trump Memorial Award for Disappointment, Fakest Dishonesty, Corruptest Fakeness, Dishonestest Corruption, and Smallest Button.
- The Dossier interviews series. Words taken directly from the Steele Dossier to make original sentences, You Tube Poop style. Come the "interview" with the Democratic memo, it mentions George Papadopoulos by name.Dossier: "... like Trump's former campaign staffer, Mr. Pa-pa-drop-top-prop-a-shop-lift-less."
- March 5: Stephen's breakdown of Sam Nunberg's breakdown. To elaborate, just minutes before the show was taped, Sam Nunberg, a former political adviser of the Trump campaign, spoke to multiple cable news outlets to say that he had been subpoenaed to testify to Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, only to announce that he did not intend to comply with the subpoena and daring Mueller to arrest him. Stephen, having just learned about it as the story was still in progress, trying to do his monologue while being as flatfooted as everyone else about Nunberg's bizarre reaction is something to behold.
- March 7: Oprah Winfrey responds to the idea of her running for President in 2020 by saying she'd only run if she had a sign from God to do so. God is more than willing to oblige.
- March 8: Amy Rutberg as Stormy Daniels, in this show's Galino & Farnes skit. Or as Daredevil fans might see it, "Marci Stahl's secret double life."
- March 28: Rather like Melania above, Dana Carvey as new national security advisor ("and dentist who realized he just killed his patient") John Bolton brings Stephen close to corpsing once or twice, which is not bad for a debut appearance.
- The mustache Carvey wears as Bolton keeps coming off, but with all his experience in impressions Carvey has a backup plan - two spare mustaches that are even bigger.
- "General Snowball" is also "alive" and purrs, barks and can eat. Carvey!Bolton feeds it hotel shampoo (drinking some himself) and later, after it got even bigger, a severed ear.
- According to the monologue of the following day's episode, CNN got confused and reported that Dana's appearance was on Saturday Night Live instead — nevermind that the episode in question was on a Wednesday — meaning that CNN really is guilty of fake news! This leads to such jokes as Stephen saying that their only excuse is if they thought "SNL" stood for "Stephen's Nightly Laughs", and signing off the segment with a "So thank you, MSNBC."
- March 29: Stephen brings up the Martin Shkreli trial, saying that the unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album whose only copy was in Shkreli's was apparently seized and handed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions of all people, leading in to the Running Gag of using that Keebler elf chocolate cream biscuit to represent Sessions ("I have always been a supporter of the Clan... and Wu-Tang as well"). Until the biscuit accidentally drops to the floor. And the head breaks off. And Stephen just soldiers on anyway.Stephen!Cookie!Sessions: [trying to reattach the head] Help, Secret Service!
- April 12:
- Stephen describes Trump's threats to Russia as him finally bring his background in pro wrestling to foreign policy, which leads Stephen to don a Masked Luchador mask and cut a promo that shows that he could've had a great second career in it.Luchador!Stephen: Now listen up, brother! You better get ready, because on Monday night at "World War Raw", I am bringing the thunder to Animal Assad, the Gas-Killing Animal, and "Rude Dude" Kim Jong-Crude! But first, I'm taking down my nemesis, the Special Counsel! And if you candy-ass jabronis think that I won't plunge the world into a global conflict that will destroy civilization as we know it, the you don't know El Trumpo Loco, brother! I am crazy, hombre! I will deport myself because I am "smart"!
- Stephen points out that Trump's threats to Syria and Russia were foreshadowed when he passed the order to pull out of Syria - and then quickly quipped "he knows Syria's not a porn star, right?" The reaction is so massive that Jon Batiste has to get out of his seat and take a moment.
- Stephen describes Trump's threats to Russia as him finally bring his background in pro wrestling to foreign policy, which leads Stephen to don a Masked Luchador mask and cut a promo that shows that he could've had a great second career in it.
- April 13:
- James Comey says Donald Trump reminded him of a mob boss his experience with organized crime, to which Colbert objects, but only as an Insult to Rocks routine. "That's not fair. Mob bosses know how to run a casino."
- April 16: The reveal of Fox News' Sean Hannity as the third client of Michael Cohen. Stephen graciously allows CNN to give the news rather than doing so himself. After the playback footage of the announcement, it cuts back to the set, with Stephen having vanished. The camera then pans down to Stephen slumped in a chair drinking wine and stroking his chest. Once he collects himself, he can barely contain his glee.
- April 17: They do a followup to the case of Attorney General Jeff Sessions holding the Wu-Tang Clan album, which starts as expected with the Keebler chocolate cream cookie again (well, obviously not the same one) - then takes an unexpected turn when Method Man and Ghostface Killa make an appearance.
- April 23:
- Stephen brings up a phone call Donald Trump got from Sylvester Stallone concerning giving a posthumous presidential pardon to boxer Jack Johnson (a black man who in the 1910s was jailed for merely bringing his white girlfriend across state lines) - before acting out what the phone call might have sounded like. He doesn't even bother to verbalize at that point.
- With a recent milestone in marijuana legalization, Stephen seeks the opinion of a pre-existing marijuana authority... Cheech and Chong!
- April 25: The show's response to the French state dinner.
- April 26 sees the return of the Big Furry Hat:President Trumps' lawyer Michael Cohen's lawyer shall get another lawyer, and so on until everyone in America is lawyers connected into one human legalpede.
Henceforth it shall be made extremely clear that "If You See Something, Say Something" does not apply to movie theaters.
- May 2 sees several firsts - the monologue brings up Trump's doctor Harold Bornstein, who doesn't get a nickname tagged on as the picture itself says plenty on its own; outgoing Trump lawyer Ty Cobb gets several nicknames as a sendoff; and this bit regarding Bornstein's "doctor's letter" that was actually dictated by Trump himself:Stephen: Let me remind you, the original letter said Trump would be "the healthiest individual ever elected"... What did Trump want in there that was too much for Harold Bornstein?! [Trump voice] "OK, say I'm 6 foot 7, I weight 180 pounds of rock hard muscle, my nipples can cut glass, my blood is liquid gold, my sperm is a registered weapon, and my penis is so manly that it has its own penis--" [corpsing]
- May 3: In the fallout of Rudy Giuliani's 'attempts' at explaining where the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels came from, flying in the face of Trump's official denial that one time on Air Force One.Stephen: [Trump voice] "Mr. Cohen received a monthly retainer [...], from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract known as a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). These agreements are, dot dot dot dot dot, dot dot dot, very common among people of wealth..." Trump is claiming he paid Michael Cohen a regular amount to hush up all the affairs he HADN'T been having. So ANYONE could just say they had an affair with Donald Trump and leave with US$130k. In that case... I had sex with Donald Trump! Yeah!
[audience explodes into cheers and applause]
- May 7: Merely breaking is one thing, but this week we get a rare, genuine and ginormous flub in this segment:Stephen: Yes, putting your face on a video screen is the exact same way amusement parks publicly shame you for crying on the log flume. [picture shows a photoshopped photo of Stephen himself on a log splash ride] And... [cue Stephen close to breaking for a moment] And here's how they track you.
CBS News: Police in Beijing have been wearing these glasses that can recognize faces that are linked to the national database to help boost arrests...
Stephen: First, that is horrifying...that someone has found a use for Google Glass. Second, facial recognition is literally what The Terminator does. [Ahnold voice] Sarah Connor, I notice you have a lot of unparkd payking tickets...
[whole show screeches to a halt as realization dawns on Stephen's face and audience laughter just keeps on growing]
- May 15: Deadpool turns up to hijack Steven's monologue. Amongst other things, he calls Stephen "Jimmy", and at the end, well, he finds out that being from the X-Men films doesn't make him immune to the Infinity Gauntlet.note
- May 16: Stephen does a new Kids' Pitch, which involves brainstorming a High Concept with the help of actual kids. Right off the bat, Ian in the back establishes himself as the Cloudcuckoolander with a pitch that includes the word "splat". One boy, Joshua, turns out to be especially chatty, being the only kids who's even heard of The Handmaid's Tale, (Stephen: "It's pretty cool, but I'd wait a couple of decades.") and the pitch is briefly derailed when he and Stephen somehow wind up discussing The Beatles.Stephen: What's the best album they've ever put out? And be careful with your answer.
Joshua: Rubber Soul, because it only has songs by the Beatles. [...]
Stephen: But you wouldn't go with Revolver?
Joshua: Revolver. Songs that are on there are "Taxman", "Eleanor Rigby", "I'm Only Sleeping", "Here There Everywhere", "Love You Too"...
Stephen: You think Rubber Soul is better than Revolver? You're living in a dream world.
Ian: I'm living in a dream world!
- June 8: In light of Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who plays Rose on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, being forced off Instagram due to trolls, The Late Show releases their own trailer of Star Wars: Episode IX, with Rose as the main character and other twists such as Darth Maul being a feminist (complete with an image of him reading The Handmaid's Tale) and Chewbacca being female all along. Could also double as a Moment of Awesome for the trailer basically being a piss take on the racist, misogynist fanboys who have been harassing the female and POC Star Wars cast members on social media.
- June 11: Even a casual fan would know that Stephen is nothing short of vicious on Trump. This bit after the president raged at Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be his most savage yet.Stephen: Wow, he is mad. It's like Trudeau stole his girlfriend. [cue that famous photo of Ivanka Trump looking at Trudeau◊] Oh wait, he kind of did.
- June 12: Stephen says that Trump's treaty with North Korea should have gotten more out of North Korea than what Apple got when Kim Jong-un signed the iTunes user agreement... then revealing that he's not just joking, in the sense that the iTunes user agreement actually requires agreeing not to use their products "for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons". Yes, Apple actually felt the need to state that you're not allowed to use iTunes to make nukes. He then states that this is amazing... because it means that someone actually read the user agreement.
- July 14th: The guest for the day is Kate the Chemist, a scientist and unashamed pyromaniac whose approach to science is just a bit too maniacal.Stephen: *about to breathe fire* God this seems like a terrible idea.Kate: It is!
- August 1st: The monologue has Stephen mentioning that Robert Mueller stated he wants to ask Trump questions about obstruction of justice "both written and orally." The joke about the use of "orally" is so obvious that the audience is already whooping and cheering before Stephen can even get to the punchline, resulting in one of the longest beats mid-joke in monologue history.
- August 8: The only way Stephen could stay awake for a lesson on macroeconomics is on a roller coaster next to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. So he invites Krugman to Six Flags Great Adventure and has Krugman teach him while they're riding Nitro.
- August 13:
Nicki: I might f**k Stephen after the show - he gonna come back to work with a magical glow, but(The crowd erupts in cheers, and poor Stephen tries to hide)Stephen (laughing): Are we — are we still broadcasting?Nicki: I wasn't done, Stephen!Stephen: All right.Nicki: But when you see us, please don't f**king stare, just address me as Queen Nicki Colbert.Stephen: (having shook her hand in congratulations and recovered) All downhill from here...
- Nicki Minaj's interview. Stephen asks Nicki about "Barbie Dreams"; specifically that he's not on the listnote , and asks how he would be informed that he was. Though rather surprised, Nicki drops two verses on him; the first has him hiding in embarrassment as the crowd goes wild, and though he composes himself with a sip of water he can only ask, "Are we still broadcasting?", and the second verse has him shaking her hand and applauding.
- August 16: In response to Omarosa claiming that her tapes are more damning than any that Trump has, Stephen replies with this gem:Stephen: Maybe, but I bet Russia's got you both beat.
- September 5:
- John Kerry tells Stephen the first thing he heard a Senator say on the Senate floor "George Bush couldn't sell pussy on a troop train!"
- Stephen's reaction? "I *hope* we have to bleep that."
- September 19:
- With a portion of Stormy Daniels' book "Full Disclosure" having been leaked the day before taping, the episode makes a lot out of Daniels saying Trump's dick looks like "the mushroom character in Mario Kart", a.k.a. Toad:
- The opening skit uses footage from Mario Kart 8 as its base, and portrays Toad hearing about the leak on his kart radio and getting (literally) Driven to Suicide by running his kart off a cliff in grief. The offscreen explosion is all the more ridiculous if you've ever seen just what karts are capable of taking and shrugging off in the Mario Kart games.
- During Stephen's monologue, he describes Toad's artwork from◊ Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon as him reacting to the news.
- It's also Hilarious in Hindsight for Vinesauce fans. "That was his cock, Luigi. That was his cock, that's why it looked like a mushroom, Luigi!"
- Finally, if you're an avid Mario fan, just the Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure in play might amuse you considering that Toad is pretty much a staple of the entire Mario franchise and not just a Mario Kart extra racer.
- For a non-Toad related moment: Sen. Grassley's refusal to investigate Dr. Ford's sexual assault accusations against Brett Cavanaugh before holding a Senate hearing is compared to the process on the classic TV show, Order & Law...executive produced by Wolf Dick! Stephen would use that Unfortunate Russian Reversed name at least one more time when promoting Wolf's show FBI in a later episode.
- With a portion of Stormy Daniels' book "Full Disclosure" having been leaked the day before taping, the episode makes a lot out of Daniels saying Trump's dick looks like "the mushroom character in Mario Kart", a.k.a. Toad:
- September 24: when US President and political punching bag Donald Trump was at the UN addressing global immigration where he urged the members to, "Make their country great again."Colbert: See, he's just talking franchise opportunities. MAGA-Donalds, he's already his own clown.
- October 4: Stephen talks about Sen. Chuck Grassley leading GOP senators in chastising the media over their pointing out the unreasonably sparse investigation of Brett Kavanaugh - in the manner of grumpy old men of the "get off my lawn!" variant. Stephen even illustrates it further by pulling his pants up to his armpits!
- October 15: After Lesley Stahl asks Trump about the rumors of General Mattis stepping down, and Trump responds with "at some point, everybody leaves," Stephen immediately runs with the comment, taking it to Straw Nihilist levels.Colbert: (as Trump) Everybody leaves in the end. We are but dust. The stars blindly run. For each of us begin dying the moment we are retched from our mother's womb. What is life but a difficult birth astride of a grave? Bottom line: everything's going great!
- October 17th: At the very start of the show:Colbert: Say what you want about Donald Trump, and I really want to... He's still the President of the United States, [continuing over a few isolated groans and boos] and yesterday, our President sat down—Did you j-Did you just find out!? [laughter] Am I breaking news here to these people?
- October 30th: Colbert's take on Trump's fearmongering over the Latin-American refugee caravan and the emphasis on "Young strong healthy males" who are somehow simultaneously young and healthy and infected with diseases note . Much is made of the "young healthy males" being described in increasingly homoerotic proportions (as if they were Playgirl models or Chippendales Dancers or something).
- Also; The name Colbert uses for Trump ('The Great Pumpkin') and the bigots ('Latinophobic' and 'His-panickers').
- Laura Ingram gets referred to as "The first-draft of Megan Kelly" while the guy on Fox News Channel talking about the migrant's alleged plethora of antiquated diseases is referred to as "Steve Bannon's homeless brother".
- October 31st: This mock B-Movie Horror trailer....THE CARAVAN!note ....a "Trumpian" vision of the refugee caravan....which apparently consists of Thor from Teenagers from Outer Space, Tor Johnson & Vampiranote , dancing West Side Story gang kidsnote , The Mummynote , Ro-Mannote , The Gill-Man and others! It must be seen to be believed!Announcer: THE CARAVAAAAN! COMING SOOOOON....though we can't say exactly when. They're walking and they're pretty tired.
- November 14th: In response to news reports about Trump's schedule including "policy time" for Trump to focus on issues, they showed an animated segment called Policy Time with Kelly & Trump.
- November 19th: She's back. Laura Benanti reprises her role as Melania playing a literal stand up routine. She's so savage and so over the top Stephen can't stop Corpsing.
- November 26: This episode shows for the first time some of the Q&A sessions Stephen conducts with the audience prior to taping proper. Each one is hilarious, but the kicker has to be one woman asking, "When you run for president, who's going to be your running mate?" Cue Stephen breaking down and "Stephen! Stephen!" audience chant. He eventually answers his running mate is going to be the woman's dealer because she must be high.
- December 5: There's a telling moment during the funeral of George H. W. Bush when the Obamas and Clintons go from chatting merrily to dead quiet once they're joined by the Trumps.
- December 20: The "A Very Special Counsel Christmas" cartoon segment is pretty great from beginning to end, and yet one of the more subtly ludicrous parts is the fact that the special ends with Santa and the elves singing the final measures of the Hallelujah Chorus.
- New for 2019 is the new segment "MEANWHILE...", in which Stephen covers a string of headlines in the same way many other late night shows do their monologues, which he introduces by explaining the process in which these leftover headlines are collated, like the "leftover pasta" from the "tuna casserole" that is the monologue, which he turns into a "macaroni necklace" or something similar.
- June 12th: MEANWHILE......Wal-Mart is launching a service that has employees deliver groceries directly into your home. It's perfect for anyone who felt that the one thing lacking from their Wal-mart experience is home invason.
...New research shows that millenial dads have pathetic DIY skills compared to baby boomer dads... more than half of millenial dads prefer to call a professional. Maybe... maybe because milennial dads grew up watching baby boomer dads attempt to do it themselves.
...The Marathon brewing company is marketing a new beer called 26.2, purported to be "by runners, for runners". It's 26.2 because you know you've had enough when you're puking in the street with bleeding nipples.
- September 11: It starts out with Stephen describing the opening monologue as a "glorious ikebana arrangement", while Meanwhile is described as a "hobo wedding centerpiece" made up of wilted flowers and rubbish.
- The news of a runaway snake in a high school inolves the on-screen overlay of a snake somwhow peeking too close to Stephen for his own comfort. Then they manage to go further above and beyond by "dramatising" the event in the form of a fictitious and exaggerated high school teen drama, only with a snake (basically Snakes on a Plane without the budget).
- June 12th: MEANWHILE...
- January 8th:
- Trump gave a special primetime address about border security that was widely derided. In preparation for it, the show parodies Bird Box by showing a mother having her two kids blindfold themselves so as to be unable to watch the speech...only to freak out at the realization that they can still hear the speech.
- Talking about the Trump administration's grossly exaggerated numbers of illegal border crossings, Stephen eventually cites an article mentioning that 1 in 12 Americans has a felony conviction. He proceeds to comment that by that math, 33 people in the Ed Sullivan Theater with him are criminals. Cue Tranquil Fury Reaction Shot from Stay Human drummer Joe.
- January 10th: Trump hasn't let up on the border security issue and is now talking about another caravan forming all the way in Honduras... which immediately becomes an excuse for Stephen and Jon to bring back the Caravan dance for the first time this year.
- January 15th: Trump has been going to great lengths to hide any details on his meetings with Vladamir Putin, but one thing slipped through; a crayon drawing of Trump and Putin atop a pile of hamburgers with a flag that says "Friendship Mountain". Stephen then takes the time to point out that his writers made that drawing yesterday morning, before Trump actually appeared before a giant pile of hamburgers (or as Trump spells it, "hamberders").Context
- January 22nd: Commenting on the revelation that photos of Trump were altered, doing things, like making him look thinner or his fingers look longer, Colbert suggests that they go further. He takes one of the photos and makes Trump thinner and buttons up his suit. Colbert then replaces Trump's red tie with a neater, blue one. Stephen then asks if there's anything that can be done about the face... Trump's head is then replaced with Obama's.
- January 23rd: Ragging on Trump's newly-tweeted slogan of "Build a wall and crime will fall," Stephen reveals that it was just the first line of a poem, which he proceeds to read from Trump's "My Tremendous Poems" notebook:Stephen: [in Trump voice] "Build a wall, and crime will fall,"
Yelled the loneliest man of all.
Until I get my slats of steel,
I'll feed you uninspected veal,
And tell you tales of Latin killers
I heard about from Stephen Miller
To stop the scary murderers
Who want to steal my hamberders.
I will not let the shutdown end
'Til I get my demand: one friend.
[serious "Aw"s of sympathy from the audience]
Stephen: Really? Really? ... That's... you care about him. That's very nice of you. That's very sweet. That's upsettingly sweet of you.
- Right before that bit above, Stephen comes up with appropriate, Trump-friendly places where Trump can make his State Of The Union Address....such as a ball-pit at McDonalds, a golf-course sand trap and Red Square in Moscow! After stating that Trump would likely do it at a rally, we get a "commercial" for what it would be like....cue the stuff with monster trucks, Truckasaurus, etc.
- January 30th: After rattling off a list of examples where Trump says one thing and his intel chiefs say the opposite, such as Trump saying ISIS has been defeated while his intel chiefs say it's resurgent, Stephen sums up their disagreements on threats to the U.S. thusly.Stephen: (singing as Trump to the tune of "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"): You say resurgent, I say detergent
You say the Persians, I say "No Curlersion!"
Resurgent, perversion, diversion, a sturgeon
Let's build the border wall!
- January 31st: During a segment about Trump's denial of reality, Stephen shows a clip of Trump proposing alternate names for his border wall, including "Peaches", which Stephen finds hilarious. He then looks to Jon, whose face has to be seen to be believed. This then escalates to its logical conclusion, with Stephen and the audience chanting "Build the Peach", which brings Stephen dangerously close to corpsing, while Jon (presumably) maintains the aforementioned face.
- February 3rd, a.k.a. the Super Bowl LIII episode: Stephen's Super Bowl party in the cold open, featuring Patrick Stewart and Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty (who is apparently longtime friends with Stewart). Then Stephen's doorbell rings, and he opens the door to see, much to his confusion, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer there, along with their podium!Context The canned responses which betray the fact that Schumer and Pelosi are very clearly not trained actors somehow only adds to the hilarity. But then Stephen asks why they showed up:Pelosi: We figured your little get-together needed us.
Stephen: Uh, why — why's that?
Pelosi & Schumer: [suddenly looking over the tops of sunglasses] 'Cause we're the party leaders!
[electric guitar sounds]
Stephen: Gritty! [cut to Gritty putting down an electric guitar] Well, I'm glad you're here. Why don't you come on in?
Pelosi: [looks at her phone] Oh no. There's more trouble in Washington.
Schumer: We gotta go.
Schumer: Juice it, Nancy! [he and Pelosi take the podium and push it ahead of them as they leave the doorstep]
Stephen: Thanks-thanks for stopping by.
- February 19:
- Stephen points out the irony of Bernie Sanders' speech of not picking people for president based on what they are (say, skin color or gender):Stephen: [in Bernie Sanders voice] Yes, like Dr. King, I have a dream; a dream where this diverse nation can come together and be led by an old white guy.
- This episode was also the night featuring former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and there are several great moments to be had:
- Right at the start:Stephen: I imagine you never thought that you would be on a late-night talk show.
McCabe: Never in my wildest dreams. Or nightmares.
- A little later:
- Stephen also acknowledges that Trump is singlehandedly saving the publishing industry with how many of his former subordinates are writing tell-all books about their experiences.
- Discussing the fact that McCabe ordered a classified "backup plan" to protect evidence for the Russia investigation, Stephen presses for more information, even if just superfluous:Stephen: Is it, like, on a thumb drive inside a brick, you know, someplace? Dupont Circle? Did you have to do spy stuff to hide it, or...?
McCabe: [chuckles] It's on those tape reels that turn to smoke at the beginning of the... show.
Stephen: Yeah, you joke, but now I know those are real.
- Stephen asks if anything in the previous two years has made McCabe less suspicious of wrongdoing by Trump with Russia. McCabe instantly answers "No," and then almost sheepishly asks if he answered too quickly. Stephen is quick to reassure him that he didn't.
- Right at the start:
- Stephen points out the irony of Bernie Sanders' speech of not picking people for president based on what they are (say, skin color or gender):
- February 23rd sees a first for the show as Stephen illustrates the inherent problem with putting a climate change denier in the government's climate change panel, by rewording the "first they came for the X, and I did not speak up" quote but instead using CO2, and then helium... with the help of a helium balloon he actually inhales and then speaks with. And then keeps doing that for the rest of the monologue, until it wears off.
- March 12. They find a golden one-in-a-million picture of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holding up her gavel while at the same time having a creepy combination of a Kubrick Stare and a big fat grin on her face, which Colbert immediately declares to be her "daring the president to place his nuts on the stump." Everyone present goes into a complete meltdown.
- March 13:
Stephen: That's not good. I don't even like it when the seat in front of me tilt down suddenly. "Sir, I just want to watch Infinity War, I didn't want to lick it."
- Discussing the autopilots of Boeing's maligned 737 MAX 8 planes causing them to tilt down suddenly:
Stephen: [in Trump voice] They will be grounded until further notice. No TV, no XBox, no driving the car--c'mon, you're a plane.
- Stephen also riffs on Trump's declaration to ground the aircraft indefinitely:
Stephen: The comedy I do is not one-sided. I can make fun of the president... [cuts to a side camera] FROM... [cuts to the opposite side camera] EVERY... [cuts back to the main camera] ANGLE!
- Later on, Stephen breaks out his calculator to "add up" the number of months in prison Paul Manafort has been sentenced to. After he's done pressing buttons, he waits for the calculator to finish printing out the receipt. It takes about seven full seconds.
- In response to Trump tweeting that late night humor is one-sided:
- Near the end of the monologue, Stephen is talking about how Trump followed a "Make America Great Again!" tweet with a "Keep America Great" tweet only 27 seconds afterward. Naturally, Stephen deduces that whatever Fox News showed to Trump during that small period made America great at that very moment. His team checked and discovered it was a commercial for Arby's.
- March 16. They address the rumors of First Lady Melania Trump sending out a body double to public appearances, with the long-awaited return of - rather ironically - Laura Benanti as Melania Trump.Melania: Why would anyone impersonate Melania Trump? For what? Attention? (beat) Applause? (says nothing while motioning for applause) Besides, it would take some kind of Tony Award-winning actor to pull off this kind of role.
(brings out an actual Tony Award for everyone to see... and immediately starts licking it)
Stephen: Ma'am, ma'am... (really breaking now) It's a family show. Ma'am...
- When Stephen asks Melania about the President's plan to ban the Chain Immigration plan despite her parents benefited from that same plan, Melania has an Oh, Crap! look before running away...only to return again, except this time she's played by Christine Baranski. When a skeptical Stephen asks if she really is the real Melania Trump, Baranski's insists she really is the real Melania and it would take a two time Tony Award Winning actor to pull that kind of role. Yet when asks if she loves Trump, Baranski's is unable to say it before calling it quits and speaking in her real accent. And to make it funnier, after Baranski leaves, another fake Melania takes over, except this Melania is played by a man!
- "Barr She Blows", the show's response to the Barr letter.
- May 16th:
- Probably the absolute last thing you would ever think would come out of Stephen's mouth: a fully genuine and unironic "Thank God Donald Trump is our president!"Context
- In honor of the finale of Game of Thrones, Jon Batiste wrote a song recaping the whole series....except he never watched the show and only knows it from memes. Cue a cheesy 1980's throwback musical number (with Batiste dressed as Purple Rain era Prince and sounding a bit like Rick James) that's pure Critical Research Failure with lines like:"Once upon a time in England....1836...Peter Dinklage built a magic chair with a bunch of swords and sticks...."
"....The wizard, Jon Snow will turn you to ice!...."
"....Elsa from FrozenActually... loves AquamanActually... , the wizard Gandalf was there too!...."
"....It's puppy dogsActually... and Blue Man GroupActually... and once, Ed Sheeran was there!Actually... ...."
"Fun and friendship! Magic and more!....Whenever you're House Stark or House Gryffondor!...."
"One of HBO's greatest hits, It's Lord of the Rings with boobs!"
- Along with this; Joffery is The Nutcracker Prince, The White Walker General is "Old Man Winter" (who built the wall after being insulted by the Nutcracker Prince), Cersei is a crying Peter Pan (who lives in Dracula's castle), and Jon Batiste lampshades the fact that everyone (except two people) are white.
- June 4th: They cover Trump's latest trip to the UK by pointing out the "Carnival of Resistance", the astounding number of anti-Trump protests waiting for him:Stephen: They are planned in 14 cities and towns; including Oxford, Chester, Stoke-on-Trent, Bangers-on-Mash... uh... Mr. Bean-ington?... Stopher-Salisbury-Mac-and-Cheese-inshire... Sussex-upon-Buttsex... (forced to stop and fight corpsing)
- June 5th:
- Trump is still in the UK, and gifted with a Winston Churchill-worthy bowler hat that's somehow (possibly deliberately) too big for him, leating to Stephen describing him as "the secret painting in Pharrell's attic".
- Apparently they're edging in on the America's Funniest Home Videos market with a new segment called "Keep In Mind: Everyone's Fine". Which Stephen has to repeat three times, as he presents video footage of a heli-medevac mission that goes ass-shaped in a way you never knew asses could be shaped.
- June 6th:
- With Trump still on an extended visit to Europe, the cold open gives us a look at some of his postcards:
Mike Pompeo - The Queen had no dragons. Fake News! -Donald
- From England:
Don Jr. and Eric - Wish you weren't here. -Dad
Wilbur Ross - Who's the hot chick on the Pound? Much cuter than old bag at Palace. -D.T.
Mick Mulvaney - Has America tried the "monarchy" thing? Could be fun! -King(???) Donald
My lawyer - Got a little handsy while kissing Blarney Stone... Prepare $130,000 check. -The Trump
- From Ireland:
- And from France:
- Stephen opens the monologue by acknowledging that it's D-Day, where "we beat the Nazis once and for until very recently."
- With Trump still on an extended visit to Europe, the cold open gives us a look at some of his postcards:
- June 26th:
- The cold open sketch features Primarymon, a parody of the Pokémon Trading Card Game with the Democratic nominee candidates on cards.
- Colbert says he tuned into NBC early and learned about the debate's "new format": cue a clip of Ellen's Game of Games with a contestant being kicked into a pool of foam with a giant boot.
- While talking with New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about the repeated subpoena defiances by Trump and his administration (more specifically that of Kellyanne Conway), Stephen asks how exactly can Congress enforce subpoenas. AOC responds that they can fine her or even possibly imprison her. This prompts an audience member to yell "Lock her up!" just like what Donald Trump and some of his supporters continuously yell about Hillary Clinton. Cue audience cheers as Stephen pleads with them to not start chanting that.
- July 16: What might be the shortest cold open ever: in response to Trump's speech telling congresswomen to leave if they don't like it in America, the Lincoln memorial statue responds "Sounds good!" and hauls ass outta there.
- In July 2019, a new Running Gag takes the place of the Caravan dance, whenever Stephen presents news about "The Squad!"note , which originally had Stephen doing the Caravan dance again until he realised it should be a more Charlie's Angels-looking thing... and then realises he's not nearly fit enough for the high kicks.
- August 16: Lee Pace, knowing full well that he and Stephen were in the same movie once, attempts a greeting in the old Elvish... and immediately fluffs it. Trust Stephen to take what would have been an awkward moment and make it funny again.
- August 9th: A cute animated Cold Open involving the re-edit of that old "Duck & Cover" PSA with the turtle....only this time, the turtle is Mitch McConnell. An American Eagle (The angry American people) then carries him away....Turtle McConnell: "Muh shoulderrrrrrrrnote ...."
- September 16th: While describing new rape allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, Colbert Freudian misspeaks in a big way:Stephen: "With the help of his friends"!? I can't even get my friends to help me move! I offer penis...
[solid thirty seconds of audience laughter as Stephen facepalms]
Stephen: I offer pizza... pizza, with no penis, I assure you...
- October 3rd: President Trump deliberately brings in the President of Finland to deflect from the impeachment inquiry, and one reporter asking him about the President of Ukraine and the Bidens caused Trump to respond with an indignant "Are you talkin' to me?" Cue a beautiful Eye Take from Jon Batiste amidst the audience reaction.Stephen: You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one being impeached so you must be talkin' to me...
- Stephen explains why the Republicans' "Trump was just joking" stance on his public calls for China to look into the Bidens doesn't work:Stephen: I just want to point out, uh, that I tell jokes for a living. And, y'know, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. But rarely do people I work with have to go on the Sunday news shows and explain that I was joking.Jon Batiste: Well, no. Except for that one time.[Cut to Batiste on Face the Nation]Jon Batiste: Look, Stephen was just joking when he said the President of Russia's name was "Vladimir Poopin'". [pulls out his harmonica and does a stinger chord] Take it, Bob Woodward!
- November 7th: When Stephen discusses that Trump's former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is planning on running for his old Senate seat for Alabama, he decides to interview Sessions... which actually means bringing back the Keebler elf cookie he had previously used to represent him. Made more hilarious in that the two sides of the cookie started to come apart as Stephen held it, so he asked for another one, only for that one to be broken, so he asked for yet another one, only to discover that there weren't any more cookies left. ("We had like, eight for rehearsal!")
- Stephen occasionally does Q&A sessions before the show with the audience, he of course gets Lord of the Rings questions, which tends to lead to him totally geeking out.
- After invading the actual show (see above), Method Man and Ghostface Killa jack Colbert's gimmick and brainstorm some "alter egos" for people in the news. Bear in mind they are old masters at this.
- M. Night Shyamalan breaks down Frasier.