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Colbert Rings in a New COVID Variant With a ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Parody (Video)


On Tuesday, Stephen Colbert paid tribute to a new mutant variation of COVID-19 in New York City with the only possible way to make a COVID-19 story fun: A shout out to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Now if you’re not living in New York and missed the news, here’s some background. A new joint study from Caltech and Columbia universities suggests that a new COVID-19 variant, “B.1.526,” has emerged in New York and could show some resistance to various vaccines. Now, it’s extremely important to note that the study hasn’t been peer reviewed, additional research may disprove it. And experts say the vaccines remain effective enough to prevent hospitalization.

Even so, the news media has of course reported it widely as the NYC variant is one of several popping up in locations around the world. And on “The Late Show” on Tuesday, the juxtaposition with the word “mutant” and the NYC setting clearly reminded Colbert of another famous NYC-based mutant thing, the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

So it is that he rolled out a pretty funny parody of the impossible-to-get-out-of-your-head theme song from the first animated series based on the influential “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” comic book, which aired in syndication from 1987-1996. And accompanying the song was a spot-on parody of the cartoon’s clunky animation style. And it ends with a great punchline — the reveal that the evil Shredder was prepared for the pandemic all along.

Here are the lyrics:

New York Mutant COVID Variant
Your probably already carry it
Coming for your sweet grandparents
Suddenly you can’t smell – COVID power

New York’s most feared respiratory disease (sorry, vape lung)
A toxic topping on your pizza cheese (the chef sneezed)
We can give the city a chance
Even if Cuomo can’t keep it in his pants

New York Mutant COVID Variant
Killing all your chance at merriment
I know that he’s pretty scary but
Shredder was the safe one, what a twist.

Watch the clip here: