What has easily been the biggest “will they/won’t they” event of the television season is finally coming up next week — Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in Singapore — and Stephen Colbert opened his monologue on “The Late Show” Thursday night clowning Trump for thinking he can just do this thing without really trying.
“We are just days away from Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong-Un. Truly historic. The stakes are almost as high as Trump and Kim’s cholesterol. They’re calling this one the Lipitor in Singapore,” Colbert joked, referencing old nicknames for boxing matches like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier’s “Thrilla in Manila” back in 1975.
“Quick reminder: the fallout of this meeting could be actual fallout. But don’t worry. As Trump explained during a joint press conference with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe today, he is primed and ready.”
“The Late Show” then played a clip of Trump talking about the meeting, saying, “I think I’m very well prepared. I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about attitude.” The clip prompted laughter from Colbert’s audience.
“Yes. Yes. You don’t have to prepare. Complex diplomacy with an international adversary has always been about ‘tude. Who can forget Reagan’s famous words,” Colbert said, as the clip of Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” speech began to play, but with some key changes.
In the altered version of the clip, instead of uttering his iconic line, “The Late Show” dubbed the clip to make him say: “Mr. Gorbachev, how you like me now! Talk to the hand, b—-.”
“That’s going to be fine, obviously,” Colbert deadpanned after the clip. Then He moved on to his next subject: Melania Trump.
“Good news, Melania Trump was seen in public yesterday. Yeah, we love her. She also saw her shadow. That means at least six more weeks of marriage,” Colbert joked. “Yesterday she and the president met with FEMA officials to discuss hurricane preparedness, which is appropriate because she disappeared after a Stormy. And the president started the meeting by welcoming her back.”
They then played the clip of Trump doing just that, which was met with applause from those in attendance.
“Wow. Must be nice to get applause just for showing up to work. Am I right?” Colbert said, clearly soliciting a response from the crowd, which was happy to oblige with cheers. “Thank you. Thank you. It was a very short meeting about hurricanes, and it was not about hurricanes. Donald Trump started off by bragging: ‘We saved $1.6 billion on air force one. Can you believe it? I got involved in the negotiations. The press refuses to report that, but that’s okay. People were really surprised.’
“You know who was super-surprised? The Pentagon, who have not been able to explain where Trump got such a figure. Where would he have gotten that figure? Huh. Has anyone checked his butt?”
Colbert then pantomimed, ah, sticking his finger up Trump’s butt, a gesture that CBS apparently deemed too crude to show because the broadcast blurred his hand — he may have been flipping a bird. He then, unblurred, pantomimed pulling a cork out of a bottle.
“Just taking a core sample,” Colbert explained.
You can watch Colbert’s monologue from Thursday’s episode of “The Late Show” in the video embedded at the top of this post.