Stephen Colbert (finally) gives Bernie Sanders his bittersweet Hunger Games sendoff

Stephen Colbert sends off Bernie Sanders, Hunger Games-style
(Image credit: Late Show)

Tuesday night was the final pre-election installment of Stephen Colbert's delightful "Hungry for Power Games" series, and it was a long time coming. "Oh, so few remain," Colbert said, in Hunger Games character, before a photo of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. The 2016 race started out with 23 candidates, "but the bar is closing, and America has to go home with someone," Colbert said. And "sadly, today we lost the bravest tribute of all, a man we actually lost months ago, but who courageously kept pretending not to be dead." By endorsing Clinton, he said, "Bernie Sanders has fallen, and like many seniors, he cannot get up."

Colbert had some special tributes for his final tribute sendoff. Declaring Sanders a "worthy adversary of we, the elite," Colbert's Caesar Flickerman wolfed down the senator's name in caviar ("I'm going to regret that"). Sanders began his run with almost no fanfare or name recognition, he said, "but somehow, Bernie Sanders became popular with his platform of giving everyone everything they want. And he excited young voters with his pure sex appeal — he had bedroom eyes, and bedroom head." Soon, Sanders was filling arenas, "like the Rolling Stones, only younger." But it was not to be, and Colbert mussed up his Flickerman wig to honor Sanders when his words failed. After the ceremonial cannon boom announcing the end (sort of) of the tribute from District Cheddar, Colbert said his goodbyes: "Farewell, Bernie — no one else expressed the frustrations of so many Americans without blaming it on Mexicans or Muslims." Watch below. Peter Weber

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.