Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles President Trump

Stephen Colbert brings gallows humor, double entendres to the North Korea nuclear showdown

"I don't want to be alarmist, but we're all gonna die," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. This is inarguably true, but Colbert was referring to the mounting nuclear tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and he started his recounting of events with the Washington Post report on North Korea's advances in miniaturizing nuclear warheads. "My god, Dennis Rodman, did you do nothing?" he joked. "But don't worry, the story gets worse."

Colbert stepped back, noting that of the 15 U.N. Security Council members who voted unanimously to levy new sanctions on Pyongyang, North Korea said it would only target one, the U.S., for nuclear retribution. Colbert turned this into a weird sexual thing: "Look, North Korea, stop trying to make us a thing, all right? I'm not saying what we have isn't special, but it's not exclusive. The United States, we sanction a lot of other countries, okay? I tell you, we sanctioned Russia just last week, and it felt pretty great. Listen, they threaten us in a way you never will — you should see the size of their missiles. You know what, maybe — I'm just thinking — maybe you should start threatening other countries, too, get out there, you know?"

Colbert did a sight gag with wolves and strangulation, then turned to the U.S. response. "Thankfully, faced with the greatest challenge of his presidency, Donald Trump stepped up and in a moment of pure statesmanship, de-escalated the rhetoric and brought calm to our worried nation," he said, pausing a beat. "I'm just kidding." After he played Trump's actual response, it was back to the gallows humor. Watch below. Peter Weber