Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles coronavirus

Stephen Colbert interviews 'Joe Exotic' of Tiger King fame, chides governors undermining social distancing

Stephen Colbert said he is, unfortunately, getting used to taping his Late Show from home, but it is the very least he can do during the COVID-19 outbreak. Also unfortunately, Republican governors in 11 states still haven't issued stay-at-home orders, "but some Republicans are coming around," he said, pointing to Florida's Ron DeSantis, persuaded to finally act not by "the data or the scientists" but "Trump's demeanor," and Georgia's Brian Kemp, who said "he's finally going to take coronavirus seriously because some brand new information had come to light."

The information, of course, isn't new. "Everyone knows the virus can spread before people are symptomatic — that's why were social-distancing," Colbert said, showing a clip of the director of the CDC — based in Kemp's state — telling Congress that very thing back in February. "Can you tell how long ago that was? I'll give you a hint: It happened in a room full of people!"

Wisconsin's Democratic governor (and GOP-led legislature) are also not helping, refusing to postpone next Tuesday's election. "Democrats want to remove barriers like this all over the country," Colbert said. "In the recently passed stimulus bill, Nancy Pelosi — my guest tonight — tried to get funding to move the entire country to vote by mail, but that was roundly rejected by the president, and he explained why," telling Fox & Friends the surge in voters would doom Republicans. "Wow, you can't say that out loud!" Colbert said. "You're supposed to pretend that you won the election because people like you."

"It can be hard to know what to discuss on a quarantine show since there's really only one big story that everybody's talking about," Colbert said: "Of course I mean the Netflix documentary Tiger King," centering on "a bizarre former zoo owner named Joe Exotic," with whom "we have managed to secure an exclusive interview. Please welcome, live from Grady County Jail, where he is currently serving 22 years worth of court-ordered social distancing, the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic." (Or, in this case, Thomas Lennon in a mullet.)

Social distancing is no joke — but you can watch a short cartoon about it below. Peter Weber