“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” opened Wednesday’s episode with a gag that channeled the classic cartoon “Johnny Quest” to mock former Vice President Mike Pence.
The background? Pence received a lot of praise earlier this year for refusing to go along with Donald Trump’s attempts to overthrow the government based on lies about voter fraud. Particularly because his decision not to contest certification of Joe Biden’s victory made him a target for execution by the Trump-incited mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 shouting “Hang Mike Pence.”
Alas, it turns out people may have been too generous in their estimation of Pence. One of the big revelations this week from Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s upcoming book “Peril” is that Pence actually wanted, very badly, to help Donald Trump throw out the election and undemocratically install himself in a second term in office. According to the Washington Post, “Peril explains”:
“So intent was Pence on being Trump’s loyal second-in-command — and potential successor — that he asked confidants if there were ways he could accede to Trump’s demands and avoid certifying the results of the election on Jan. 6. In late December, the authors reveal, Pence called Dan Quayle, a former vice president and fellow Indiana Republican, for advice.Quayle was adamant, according to the authors. “Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” he said. But Pence pressed him, the authors write, asking if there were any grounds to pause the certification because of ongoing legal challenges. Quayle was unmoved, and Pence ultimately agreed, according to the book.
According to the book, Pence also expressed support for Trump’s lie that Biden’s Arizona vote tally was fraudulent, and told Quayle “you don’t know the position I’m in.” So yeah, turns out we should all be thanking Dan Quayle rather than Mike Pence that the events of Jan. 6 weren’t more horrific than they were.
Anyway, back to Colbert. As always, his cold open skit began with a supercut of news reports summing up the situation. Then came the “Johnny Quest” parody, “The Adventures of Mike Pence.” In the clip, Pence (actually a re-dubbed Race Bannon) calls up Quayle to beg for help coming up with a justification to overthrow the government. Events play out in cartoon form much like in real life, but in the end, Pence is startled by someone dropping a noose next to him.
Watch the whole thing below. And if you forgot just how awful the events of Jan. 6. were, read more here.