NBC’s “Law & Order” has been in syndication for so long that it’s nearly impossible not to know by heart the show’s opening lines: “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”
And with those words so familiar to viewers everywhere, host Stephen Colbert used it to craft a joke in his opening monologue on “The Late Show” Thursday night, ripping into Donald Trump and his allies attempting to use the Justice Department to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Colbert set up his bit by playing a clip of the Jan. 6 Select Committee hearing from earlier in the day, where GOP congressman Adam Kinzinger quoted Trump, who is reported to have responded after hearing multiple times from the Department of Justice there was no evidence of fraudulent votes: “‘Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.’”
“Sure. Because that’s how the law works. That’s why the opening to ‘Law & Order’ goes like this –” Colbert said setting up the bit.
“The Late Show” then played its own version of the famed opening theme.
“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups,” a man said in the parodied “Law & Order” intro. “The Justice Department who accuses a crime with no proof and the Republicans in Congress who make up crap to justify it.”
Watch Colbert’s full monologue above. Check out the “Law & Order” bit at around the 4:33 mark.