Speed Reads

state of the union 2018

Stephen Colbert briefly annotates Trump's long State of the Union address

"We are live right now, and barely conscious after a 90-minute speech," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show, broadcast after President Trump's first State of the Union speech. "Going into this evening, the bar for success was pretty low," he said. "He just had to stay on script no matter what, and he did." Oddly, "the first lady traveled to the speech in a separate car," Colbert noted. "I guess Melania didn't want anything from the Burger King drive-thru."

Colbert then played excerpts from the speech, cutting in with quips and jabs. Trump started out with assurances to hurricane victims that America stands with them, for example, and Colbert said "that is going to be a comforting message to the people of Puerto Rico — once they have electricity to turn on their TVs." When Trump touted his energy policy, one part caught Colbert's ear: "Seriously, sir, war on 'clean coal'? You can't start or end a war on something that does not exist. 'Soon, we will end our wars on Sasquatches, unicorns, and moderate Republicans.'"

Trump said all Americans deserve to know "the dignity of a hard day's work," and Colbert laughed, slipping into his Trump voice: "Then they can tell me about it when I get home from golf." And Trump's pledge to end "chain migration"? "Yeah, booooo ... families?" Colbert said. "I'm not sure, but I think Trump's immigration plan is hot singles only." Trump had some tough words for terrorists, and Colbert made fun of cable news pundits: "Where does he find the courage to call people who bomb hospitals 'evil'? Truly, today Donald Trump became president of the United States." Trump did not mention the Russia investigation, Colbert said, but if he, his family, and his aides end up going to prison, "at least he's got a plan." Watch below — it is, after all, 80 minutes shorter than Trump's speech. Peter Weber