Stephen Colbert has been on a roll. Coming off a four-week winning streak over Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, his Late Show kicked off the week with a bang by bringing out Jon Stewart to deliver a double takedown of President Donald Trump and the media that has been struggling to figure out how to cover him for the past year and a half.
On the night that Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress, Colbert decided to throw away his script and go live in order to respond to the president as quickly as possible. Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear may have delivered the official Democratic rebuttal to Trump, but it was Colbert who was first out of the gate as the comic voice of resistance.
“Now, technically, this was not a State of the Union, because I think in this timeline, the Confederacy won,” Colbert joked at the top of his show, before hitting CNN for “trolling the nation” pre-speech with the chyron, “Trump Leaves White House Soon.” “Not cool, CNN,” he said.
“Of course, it’s a really big night, and some in Congress dressed for the occasion,” Colbert added. “The female members of the House Democratic Caucus wore white in honor of women’s suffrage. While the Republicans wore white in honor of who elected them.”
The theme of Trump’s address, Colbert said, was “‘Renewal of the American Spirit,” which really just sounds like a Chinese bootleg of ‘Make America Great Again.’” On Trump’s announcement of a freeze on “non-essential government workers,” the host asked, “So, Kellyanne Conway is out?”
Later in his speech, Trump said he wanted to give priority to immigrants who can “support themselves” financially. “Just like the Statue of Liberty says, give us your tired, your poor, but not so poor they can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment,” Colbert said. As for Trump’s “optimistic” vision that “everything that is broken in our country can be fixed,” he replied, “Well, there’s one problem we can’t solve for four years, but other than that, I agree with you.”
When Trump said “we must support the victims of crime,” Colbert added, pointedly, “Unless they are plaintiffs against me. Those women are lying.” The president urged the country to leave the “trivial fights” behind, but Colbert predicted he’d be back tweeting things like, “Suck it, Nordstroms!” within the day.
“As we come to the end of tonight’s address to Congress, I think we can all agree on one thing,” Colbert said, gritting his teeth. “One down, seven to go.”