Tooning Out the News has done it again. After getting Rudy Giuliani on the phone—twice—to troll him about various controversies at the height of the 2020 presidential election, the Stephen Colbert-produced Comedy Central show managed to ensnare Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker this week, less than a month before the midterms.
In the wake of Walker brandishing a seemingly fake police badge during a debate this week, the show’s fake news anchor James Smartwood—voiced by creator R.J. Fried—decided to report that his laptop had been stolen from his car the night before and call the “police” during the broadcast.
When a voice that sounds like the actual candidate picks up, Smartwood says, “Mr. Walker, hey, this is James Smartwood from Big News. Do you have a second to chat?”
Walker asks him what paper he’s from and the anchor quickly replies, “Big News,” before launching into his bit.
“Basically, what I wanted to do is I wanted to report a crime,” he tells Walker. “I left my window down in my car last night, someone stole my laptop out of the passenger seat, and so I’m just trying to figure out if there’s any way in your—as someone who’s a law enforcement person—if there’s any way you can take a look at it.”
Without missing a beat, Walker replies, “Well, I’ll tell you what I’ll do is we’ll report your thing, and all that and stuff. That’ll be great. What we’ll do is, you got a number I can call?” He then takes down the number as Smartwood continues to ask him if might be able to visit the scene to “get some fingerprints” and check out any security cameras in the area.
“The main thing though is that I wanna get to this laptop. Is there any chance you can hop in the squad car, you know, flick on the sirens, come down here or, maybe like go undercover or something?” Smartwood asks
“Uh, what can you do, can you do anything?” Walker replies.
“No, I mean, I’m not, I’m not actually—I don’t have the authority,” the anchor says in response.
With that, Walker promises to call him back and see what he can do in his authority as an “honorary” sheriff.
“I gave him the wrong number, I don’t want him having my number,” Smartwood tells his panel after Walker hangs up, perhaps alluding to Giuliani who repeatedly called him back on his 6-year-old son’s iPad in 2020.
As for the veracity of the prank call, both a representative from Paramount and Fried himself confirmed to The Daily Beast that it was, in fact, Walker on the phone.
“It’s really Herschel Walker,” Fried wrote in a DM when asked how he managed to get the candidate on the phone with his cartoon alter ego. “I’ll ask James Smartwood, but I’m pretty sure Smartwood just dialed 9-1-1 and that’s who picked up.”
For more, listen to Tooning Out the News creator R.J. Fried on The Last Laugh podcast.