Stephen Colbert became the first late-night host to social distance himself from both an audience and guests when he delivered The Late Show from his bathtub two weeks ago. Since then, it has quickly become the norm, with Trevor Noah streaming from his couch, Samantha Bee broadcasting from the woods, and Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers all presenting some version of their shows from home as well.
After taking a step back to reassess over the past week or so, Colbert was back in a big way Monday night, producing his show on CBS from his New Jersey house. “It’s good to be back,” he began. “What have I missed? Anything big?”
With his son as his cameraman and his daughter as his makeup artist, the host told a handful of handwashing and social distancing jokes before delivering an important message to viewers about staying at home. “America, you got this,” he said. “You have been training for this moment your whole lives. Every canceled plan, every 2 a.m. Netflix binge, every Grubhub order from the restaurant across the street. It was for this! We’re Americans, and there’s nothing we do better than not doing things.”
For much of his seated monologue, Colbert kept his jokes in this positive, apolitical vain—until he brought things around to President Donald Trump.
“Every American is grateful for our heroic medical workers, and we want to make sure they get all the supplies they need,” Colbert said. “All of us want that. Well, except for this one guy.”
With that, he played a clip of the president accusing medical workers of stealing much-needed protective equipment. “Really?! Accusing medical workers of stealing masks? That’s like frisking Mother Teresa on the way out of the orphanage,” Colbert said. “Does he think they’re holding underground Eyes Wide Shut medical supply orgies? Where the masks wear masks? And why haven’t I been invited?”
“But in the midst of this pandemic, Trump remains focused on the most important thing: his ratings,” the host added, referring to the president’s recent boasts about the audience for his daily press briefings. “150,000 Americans are infected, 2,500 Americans have died, and he’s excited about his ratings.”
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