Donald Trump finally met with Kim Jong Un on Monday, and it was exactly as surreal and, well, weird as expected. That meant that late-night hosts, including Stephen Colbert, had nothing else on their minds Tuesday night because just trying to figure out what in the world was going on with this one thing. Colbert devoted ten whole minutes to the subject during his “Late Show” monologue, something he very rarely does.
“Today we all woke up in a different world, because late last night — yesterday morning — Donald Trump held his long-awaited summit with North Korean dictator and stuffed animal of himself, Kim Jong Un. And from the beginning, Donald Trump signaled he was serious about peace, because he didn’t greet Kim with his normal alpha male hand battle,” Colbert said, referring to how Trump often jerks on the other person’s hand when shaking. With Kim Jong Un, by contrast, Trump did a normal handshake. “Instead, he disarmed his handshake. Look at that! Come on, give him the Nobel Peace Prize now.
“After a brief one-on-one meeting, the two leaders got down to the most important item on the agenda: lunch! Including, ‘Korean stuffed cucumber.’ Well, there’s your headline: ‘TRUMP ATE A VEGETABLE.’ Wow! They said it couldn’t be done! They scoffed! By the way, Korean stuffed cucumber is stuffed with Koreans. Kim is a monster.”
Colbert then went through another particularly odd part of their meeting.
“The two leaders got along great. Trump even showed Kim the inside of his Cadillac. ‘What’s it going to take to talk you out of your nukes and into this Cadillac? Okay, look, my manager’s gonna kill me, but so would your nukes, so.’ Then the moment came that the world was waiting for: the signing of the ‘histor-ish’ agreement. So that’s it. The agreement’s signed. Bring home the aircraft carriers, boys. Go to Times Square and kiss a nurse. But first…ask. A lot has changed since World War II.”
“The Late Show” then played a montage of TV news analysts discussing what exactly this summit accomplished, with the consensus being “not a whole lot.”
“The two countries also ‘committed to hold follow-on negotiations.’ So, the result of this meeting was to agree to another meeting,” Colbert said. “It’s not exactly a nothing burger. It’s more like a bun that says, ‘We agree bilaterally to the potential future placement of meat somewhere in the toasted zone.’ Trump downplayed what America gave up.”
The next clip saw Trump say: “Only a person that dislikes Donald Trump would say that I’ve agreed to make a big commitment.” Which prompted Colbert’s best zinger of the evening.
“Fun fact: that line is straight from his wedding vows,” Colbert joked. “It’s a love story. It’s a love story. And Trump explained how he was in the right state of mind for these delicate negotiations.”
Cue the clip of Trump saying, “I haven’t slept in 25 hours.”
“He was going to sleep on the plane plane, but they had ‘Boss Baby.’ Of course, there is the small detail that Trump is entering into a deal with a homicidal boy-king. But Trump is just working with what he’s got.”
This time “The Late Show” played a portion of Trump’s interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC after the summit, in which Stephanopoulos recapped some of Kim’s known atrocities and asked, “How do you trust a killer like that?”
To which Trump replied: “George, I’m given what I’m given, okay?” Which sparked another incredible zinger from Colbert.
“He’s given what he’s given, okay? Kim kills his own people, but it’s not like he kneeled during the national anthem,” Colbert said.
The most stunning part of the whole thing for Colbert was when Trump seemed to be at least somewhat aware of his own propensity to pretend he didn’t say things that he said.
“Honestly, I think he’s gonna do these things,” Trump said in the clip “The Late Show” played. “I may be wrong. I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say ‘Hey, I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”
Colbert was stunned.
“Did he suddenly become self-aware?” Colbert said, trying to process that quote by switching to a Trump impersonation. ” ‘If I’m wrong, I’ll make up an excuse. Then I’ll start to believe the excuse. Then I’ll attack anyone who remembers what I used to say because it was all Obama’s idea.’ ”
You can watch all of Colbert’s monologue about Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un in the video embedded at the top of this post.