Stephen Colbert Mocks CBS’ Reboot Fever, Ugly Legal Battle With Viacom at Net’s Upfront

But “Late Show” host’s best joke pairs Steve Bannon and a long-running reality show

Stephen Colbert
Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Montclair Film Festival

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Be CBS’ favorite late-night host during upfronts and practice, practice, practice some killer zingers.

The Eye’s 2018-19 upfront presentation to advertisers Wednesday included a special edition of “The Late Show” — err, the “Late Afternoon Show” — with host Stephen Colbert taking the stage to mock his own network’s new obsession with revivals, its messy legal battle with Viacom, and, of course, get in some jabs at his least favorite presidential administration of all time.

Read Colbert’s best jokes below.

On former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s professional prospects with the network:

“I want to extend a special welcome to my CBS family, our amazing advertising partners, our incredible affiliates, and, of course, any former members of the Trump administration who are looking for jobs at CBS. A word of warning to Steve Bannon, the ‘Amazing Race’ is not about what you think it’s about.”

That whole ugly Viacom thing:

“Of course we couldn’t do any of this without our advertisers and our affiliates. And I look forward to all of you joining us for the afterparty over at the Plaza. There’s an open bar. We can have a few drinks. I promise you the cocktails will not be diluted. And when we’re over there I will give you my honest opinion about the big fight that is going on right now. Everybody is talking about it. It’s the elephant in the room, and I’m sure they don’t want me talking about it right here on stage. But you know what, to hell with it. You know which side I’m on — it’s Yanny! You Laurel people are insane!”

CBS getting revival fever:

“In addition to the big hit ‘MacGyver,’ this fall CBS will have the reboot of ‘Magnum P.I.’ and, as you saw, ‘Murphy Brown’; guaranteeing that we will be the No. 1 network in 2018 and 1988.”

Tooting his show’s horn:

“I’m proud to say, that for 15 months, the ‘Late Show’ has been the No. 1 in late night … In fact we’ve been No. 1 since inauguration day and I would like to apologize for wishing on that cursed monkey’s paw. But of course it takes a lot of people to make a show like ours a success. It takes the writers, it takes the producers, it takes the crew. It takes whatever White House staffer keeps giving the president his phone back. Thank you for your service.”

On the storm that keeps on comin’:

“So quite a year. So much has happened since we were all together here at Carnegie Hall last year. One year ago, just one year ago, you had no excuse if your boss caught you Googling Stormy Daniels. And, it sounds like some of you were caught. And tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the Mueller investigation. Now, the first traditionally is the paper anniversary, and with any lucky, that is what Mueller is gonna be serving Donald Trump with.”

Read more about what TheWrap saw and heard at CBS’ upfront presentation here.