Stephen Colbert devoted the bulk of his monologue on Monday’s episode of “The Late Show” to the topic of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Obviously, Colbert is very pro-Ukraine and anti-Russian President Vladimir Putin, and during one moment Colbert imagined some amusing escalations of Putin’s suppression of dissent within Russia.
So, by now you likely know that the Russian national legislature — basically an extension of Putin himself — has passed a series of laws sharply censoring civilians and media. One of the weirdest and worst ones is that, according to the New York Times, it is now illegal in Russia to call the invasion of Ukraine a war. Citizens must call it “special military operation” or face 15 years in prison. No really.
Colbert broke that situation down — this six minutes into his monologue, which ticked off myriad horrible things Putin and Russia are engaged in — and then joked “and if you don’t want to call it [special military operation], the Kremlin has a few other options.” Then he listed them off — obviously they were jokes made up by “The Late Show” writers:
“Special Bang Bang Time.”
“Awkward Family Reunion.”
“National Lampoon’s Eastern European Vacation.”
“Bennifer.” You know, as in Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
Colbert noted that this is apparently having the effect of Ukrainians finding that their relatives in Russia don’t even believe the war is happening. “The Russian people are so used to accepting the Kremlin’s lies that their most popular margarine is ‘You Must Believe It Is Butter.” Zing!
Watch the whole monologue above.