Stephen Colbert is freaked out about Trump's North Korean 'atomic improv,' but 'God' isn't

Stephen Colbert reads about nuclear armageddon
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube/The Late Show With Stephen Colbert)

Stephen Colbert started off Wednesday's Late Show by declaring that he's happy to be alive, a useful exercise in daily gratitude, then ran through the specific reason, starting with the U.N. Security Council's tough sanctions on North Korea, North Korea's retaliatory threat against the U.S., and the overheated response from President Trump. Yes, "renowned deal artist Donald Trump," he said, "saw their threat of apocalypse, and raised them one armageddon."

Trump's threat — "fire and fury the likes of which this world has never seen" — was classic Trump, or at least the second part, Colbert said, playing a reel of Trump saying variations on things "the likes of which we have never seen before," including an airport. But the "fire and fury" part was apparently improvised, because Trump was staring at an opioid fact sheet. "Look, I get it, I've done improv, and it can be tough," Colbert sympathized. "He should have started with getting a suggestion from the audience. 'Can I have a geographical location and a way the world will end?'"

North Korea was so intimidated that they immediately threatened to annihilate Guam, a threat Colbert found unfair: "Look, North Korea, leave Guam out of this. They're a U.S. territory. That means they don't participate in the elections, okay? They didn't vote for Trump — just like most of Americans."

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"Now some are saying that Trump's atomic improv made things worse," Colbert said, but not Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said Trump is just speaking Kim Jong Un's language and Americans should sleep well at night. He pulled out a made-up book, Rex Tillerson's Sleepy Time Tales, but after reading one story, he balked. "It's just a book — we're probably gonna be fine," he said. "Anyway, sleep tight, kids, and say your prayers."

Not that Trump needs your prayers, Colbert said, pointing to the statement from Dallas Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress assuring everyone that "God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un." "Take out?" he asked. "Is that how God talks?" Like a cut-rate mafioso? "Now, I hadn't heard that God was pro-nuclear war," Colbert said, and Colbert's Late Show ceiling "God" stepped in to explain that all that peace-and-love stuff was from his "hippy Son." "One semester at liberal arts college, and all of a sudden it's 'Love thy neighbor' and 'quinoa is a super-grain.'" Watch below. Peter Weber

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