Late Night Tackles President Trump
March 19, 2019

"The president does not drink, so he celebrated St. Patrick's Day by tweeting like the manic leprechaun-artist he is," Jimmy Kimmel said on Monday's Kimmel Live. Among Sunday's barrage of 29 tweets were two attacking, once again, late-night hosts. "And besides the fact that Trump hinting that the FCC should look into censoring late-night comedy shows because he doesn't like us making jokes about him is genuinely disturbing — this is what Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un do — what might be the craziest part is the episode of Saturday Night Live he was tweeting about ... not only was it a rerun, it was a rerun of their Christmas episode," Kimmel said. "He does know it's not Christmas, right?"

And "the idea that late-night shows are colluding with Russia is ridiculous," Kimmel said. "I mean, I know I'm not colluding with Russia." He threw to his writers' room, which confirmed the lack of collusion with a unanimous "nyet."

"Late-night shows colluding with Russia — that is insane, and completely paranoid," Stephen Colbert agreed on The Late Show. And, of course, he had to alert Moscow that Trump was onto him, earning a turnip. Sunday's tweetstorm generally suggests Trump "might have carpal thumbal, or mental illness, or a need to distract us from something else more Mueller-y," he suggested.

There's "so much going on" with those late-night tweets, Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. For example, "it's interesting how he only complains about jokes that are about him. Like, he's never said, 'Leave my children alone!' In fact, he's probably like, 'Hello, SNL, do you take submissions? I have a few Eric jokes I could send.' And also, what does he mean, late-night shows are colluding with Russia? Really? The country that's famously known for their sense of humor? ... Also, we're colluding with the Democrats? What does that mean? They're the only people less funny than the Russians! You think comedy shows are getting material from these guys?" He made a persuasive case. Watch below. Peter Weber

March 15, 2019

Stephen Colbert noted on Thursday's Late Show that former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas) just became the umpteenth Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential race. "He did not get into a lot of specifics" on his first day campaigning, he said, but "we did get a sneak peak at his renewable energy plan: Generating electricity from the wind given off by his hand gestures."

Colbert noted that Thursday, for the second day running, Trump got up early "and complained about the late night talk shows," and he had some critiques of Trump's latest tweet. "First of all, sir, three 'very weak and untalented late night hosts'? It's not just 11:30 on network anymore. James Corden, Seth Meyers, Sam Bee, Trevor Noah, Conan, Desus and Mero are just as weak and as untalented as me and the double Jim-Jims. I mean, for Pete's sake, John Oliver is so weak he has to wear a hidden whale-bone strut in his jacket just to hold up his giant British noggin."

Jimmy Kimmel also took issue with Trump's late-night tweet, joking on Kimmel Live: "I don't know why he would call Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers 'weak and untalented' — those guys are friends of mine and I think that's rude." Also, Trump's "idea of us fighting over table scraps?" he said. "It's more like a Hometown Buffet in hell. It's like you get all the crab legs you can eat but you're never allowed to stop eating them. ... He wonders what we're going to do when he's not president anymore? I can't speak for anyone else; I know that I am going to Disneyland on that day."

Kimmel called the bipartisan Senate rebuke of Trump's "bogus" emergency declaration "the most embarrassing beating he's taken since Stormy Daniels got him with a magazine," called Trump's mockery of Beto's gesticulations proof that Trump is "jealous of adult, man-sized hands," and had a hearty laugh at old Pat Robertson's fake-half-Mexican critique of Beto: "He said the same thing when Lincoln ran for president." Peter Weber

March 7, 2019

"Today in Washington was Day 4 of the Michael Cohen Tells All special," Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live, and among "the areas of interest in this Cohen testimony was his claim that one of the many weird things [President] Trump ordered him to do was to send letters warning Trump's high school, colleges, and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores."

"I would bet Trump's grades are so bad he couldn't even get into Trump University, but there's really only one way to find out," Kimmel said. He welcomed the superintendent of the New York Military Academy (NYMA), Dr. Ned Stewart (Fred Willard), who had Trump's grades, SAT score, and some off-color humor.

What could Trump "possibly be hiding?" Stephen Colbert asked on The Late Show. "We all assume he failed everything. Did they invent an easy class for him or something? 'Okay, Donald, welcome back to our special science course, Rock or Not a Rock?'"

A rich friend of Trump's reportedly pressured the NYMA superintendent to find Trump's grades and "bury them," Colbert noted. "That way, if a reporter tried to find out if Trump ever learned to read, write, or spell, there would be no smocking gun. And the demand came just days after Donald Trump challenged President Barack Obama to 'show his records,' to prove that he hadn't been a 'terrible student.' This happens over and over again: Everything Trump accuses other people of, he's guilty of himself — oh my God! Trump was born in Kenya!"

Colbert turned to Trump's "dud" of a summit with Kim Jong Un, after which Trump unilaterally stopped joint military exercises North Korea hates while Kim started rebuilding an ICBM-compatible rocket launch site. "We haven't seen negotiating skills like that since the Trojans got a killer deal on that wooden horse," Colbert said.

Kim gave his own take in The Late Show opener. Watch below. Peter Weber

March 7, 2019

"There are so many investigations swirling around Donald Trump right now that R. Kelly is like, 'I'm glad I'm not that guy,'" Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "A majority of Americans," including 33 percent of Republicans, "think he's guilty of something," he added. "But unlike his cheeseburgers, Trump is not taking these investigations lying down."

For example, Trump is "stonewalling the congressional investigation" into Jared Kushner's security clearance, which Trump approved over the objection of his staff and intelligence agencies, Colbert said. One reason they'd said no is that Kushner had to amend his application at least 40 times because he kept leaving of foreign entanglements. "But you know what they say: If at first you don't succeed, remind them that you're married to the president's daughter," Colbert joked.

Trump reportedly stepped in to ensure his daughter Ivanka got a higher security clearance, too. "Wow, she got a top-secret security clearance? All Barack Obama's daughters got was a puppy," Colbert said. "But it makes sense, because Ivanka needs classified intel on China's human rights abuses to see if it is possible to pay her workers any less."

Colbert also dug into a New York Times report about Trump's parallel presidencies, noting a few special occasions where Trump would take a short break from public office to cut a Stormy Daniels hush-money repayment check to Michael Cohen — he flubbed the Valentine's Day check punchline, comically. "I totally believe the man would lead parallel lives — he lies so much," Colbert said. "We're eventually going to find out his secret family he has stashed in the attic of Trump Tower. And if you don't like Eric and Don. Jr., wait till you meet Derek and Ron Jeenior." You can see that "disturbing" visual below. Peter Weber

March 6, 2019

"Do you think Donald Trump ever regrets winning the presidency?" Stephen Colbert asked on Tuesday's Late Show. "Not as much as we do, but maybe a little? Because right now he's being investigated by multiple congressional committees, the Mueller report could drop at any minute, and that flag he hugged is being interviewed by Ronan Farrow." (For what it's worth, Eric Trump told Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade Tuesday he has his doubts the presidency was worth the sacrifices.)

Colbert listed some of the pending investigations into Trump, his administration, his business, and his family, then showed how "Trump is feeling the pressure" by reading some of his tweets and showing a particularly "sweaty hot crazy" moment at CPAC. "Trump did what he always does when he feels down," he said. "He found comfort from his friends in the TV, tweeting this quote from Sean Hannity — see if you notice the small typo." In case you didn't, he read it and illustrated it with a Cathy comic.

"Today, Trump took some questions about the investigation, and he fell back on his favorite smears," Colbert said, but this time it was a little low-energy. "It's just so sad when his heart's not in it, you know? He's like an aging singer doing his 16th show of the week in Branson to a half-empty room: 'No collusion. Lock her up. Build the wall. Fake news. MAGA.'"

Still, "Trump tried his best to stay positive," repeating his claim that he has accomplished more in two years than any past president, Colbert said skeptically. "Really? I just want to point out on Day 149 of George Washington's presidency, they passed the Bill of Rights — and it's taken you almost two years to violate all of them." Watch below. Peter Weber

March 5, 2019

"Our president kept the crowd very warm at CPAC over the weekend," Jimmy Kimmel said on Monday's Kimmel Live. "CPAC, if you're not familiar, is basically what would happen if Judge Jeanine Pirro headlined the Fyre Festival — it's a lot of very angry white people. It is the largest gathering of people who believe vaccines are witchcraft in the world. And for two hours and two minutes, Donald Trump gave what I believe we may look back on as his 'I Have a Dream' speech."

"Trump went to one of his signature moves to start it, and I know there's a lot of competition, but this, I think, this might be the dumbest thing he does," Kimmel said, showing Trump's embrace the American flag. "Donald Trump shows more affection to flags than Eric and Don Jr. have ever gotten in their whole lives."

But like everything else with Trump, "there's always an angle," Kimmel joked. "Trump isn't just pandering to his base. The reason he's a flag-hugger is because that happens to be one of his most lucrative money moves." The Franklin Mint ad Kimmel's team threw together is sadly plausible.

"The speech he gave, it covered every subject imaginable," Kimmel said. "At one point during the two-hour Don-alogue, Trump mentioned that he was speaking 'off-script,' like we didn't know that. Because if this was a script, it must have been written for Joe Pesci. ... He told jokes, he played characters, he cursed — all he needs is a few stories about growing up in the old neighborhood. This could be a Broadway show."

Kimmel also ran through some of the eye-popping allegations in a "new, new bombshell report from The New Yorker," including that Trump pressured the Justice Department to block AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner to hurt CNN, as well as the various forms of preferential treatment Fox News has given to Trump. Watch below. Peter Weber

March 5, 2019

"Last week was so great, because I'm not Donald Trump," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, following a week-long hiatus. Near the end of his vacation, Colbert started taking "sips" of the news to ease his re-entry, he said, "and the first indication I had that the orange man was feeling blue was Saturday," when President Trump "had this historically long and epically weird speech he gave at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or DBAG."

"The crazy started right off the bean, before Trump even started talking," Colbert said, showing the clip of Trump "dry-humping Old Glory. I believe that is the first time a flag has ever volunteered to be burned. ... The whole flag-hugging thing went over big in the room, except with Don Jr., who shouted: 'I hate the new baby! Take it back.' Then Trump began speaking, and speaking, and speaking. He talked for two hours and two minutes, making it the longest presidential oration in American history — which is impressive, because some of Obama's pauses were almost an hour."

In the speech, Trump called Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation "bulls--t" and pretended he was being sarcastic when he asked Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails in June 2016. "I thought I had a bad Trump impression — you don't sound like you at all," Colbert told Trump, dishing out some pointers.

Also, "you weren't joking — in fact, you were even asked about it." Colbert showed the evidence. "Okay, that's pretty damning video — that's why it's part of the new collection 'Donald Trump's Campaign Bloopers and Practical Treason,'" he joked. "Trump also did something presidents rarely do: spontaneous product endorsement," in this case for a 20-year-old product. Watch below. Peter Weber

February 26, 2019

President Trump is on Air Force One en route to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam. "I guess the bone spurs finally healed up and he's good to go," Jimmy Kimmel joked on Monday's Kimmel Live. Kim is taking alternate transportation. "It's unclear why he's taking a train and not a plane — some believe he's doing it to spare himself the embarrassment of having to ask for the seatbelt extender," Kimmel said. "But I tell you, nothing says 'excited to meet with Trump' like going 2,800 miles on the slowest possible form of transportation. And of course nobody appreciates the way Donald Trump has handled North Korea more than Donald Janice Trump himself," who has managed feats not accomplished by anybody since Dennis Rodman.

"Trump made a major announcement yesterday," tweeting a major party in Washington on July 4, Kimmel noted. "Finally, a chance to celebrate America on July 4th! It's a great idea. And if that works, who knows? Maybe we'll dress the kids up and give them candy on Oct. 31."

"Trump says this will be one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., and he's never been wrong about the size of a crowd there before," Kimmel deadpanned. "It is cute that he thinks he's still going to be president in July." But if he is, there are still more questions than answers about his big celebration, so Kimmel asked presidential party planner Gil McManus (Fred Willard) for the scoop.

Kimmel also recapped the Oscars, ending with Trump's tweet about Spike Lee's "racist hit on your president," who he said "has done more for African Americans" than "almost any other" president. "I like that, 'almost any other pres,'" Kimmel laughed. "He's like, 'You know, if it weren't for that damn Lincoln, I'd be No. 1!'" Watch below. Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads