Fighting despair on gun control, Stephen Colbert assails the Senate with insult comedy

Stephen Colbert tells mean jokes about the Senate to protest gun control impotence
(Image credit: Late Show)

The Senate considered and quickly blocked four gun control measures on Monday, and on Tuesday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert was ticked off. "It's easy to feel hopeless," he said, noting that the Senate couldn't even pass "fig leaf" gun legislation. "I don't understand you, senators," Colbert added. "Ninety-two percent of Americans want to expand background checks for gun buyers, and you just ignore them. Since when does 8 percent of the population get to have total control of an issue? That's like taking your entire family on a cross-country car trip and letting Grandma choose all the music."

Instead of just griping, or trying to explain the Senate's motivation, or trashing Senate Republicans, Colbert took off the gloves — meaning he picked up a mic and mocked the Senate. "You think a terrorist watch list is when you put Homeland on your Netflix queue," he said, with a funk riff playing in the background. Some of the jokes were a little racy for network TV or involved bleeped-out words — "You might as well ask the gun lobby to check for a hernia as long as they've got your balls in their hands" — while others were just spitballing: "Senate, you accomplish so little that Kylie Jenner wants to know what the hell you do for a living." Colbert ended with a more-in-sorrow-than-anger look at the camera. "I'm still upset," he said, "but I feel a little better." Watch below. Peter Weber

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.