Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee plans to sign sweeping legislation that will restrict where drag performances can take place – with the notable exception, Stephen Colbert pointed out, of his own body.
Colbert’s “The Late Show” monologue on Wednesday focused on the fact that the state’s top executive was on the verge of signing the drag-queen ban when the press unearthed a photo of a teenaged Lee dressed in a wig, skirt and pearls in 1977.
“Admittedly, those were some great gams,” Colbert joked. “I’m sorry, but those pearls. Governor, remember what Coco Chanel famously said about accessories: ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and stop trying to score political points with your base at the expense of real human beings, you dick.'”
Reporters in Tennessee this week were questioning the governor about the legislation when they showed him a yearbook photo of himself as a high school senior dressed in women’s clothing. According to the Associated Press, Lee was visibly angry when confronted with the image.
“What a ridiculous question that is,” Lee said to reporters. “Conflating something like that to sexualized entertainment in front of children, which is a very serious question.”
Colbert had more than just Lee’s dress-down moment to work with when poking fun at the Tennessee legislation.
“Specifically, the bill criminalizes adult-oriented performances by male or female impersonators, which means the citizens of Tennessee will finally be safe from Reba McEntire,” Colbert said while showing a picture of the country music star dressed as KFC patriarch Colonel Sanders.
“Oh yes,” Colbert added, “Reba is exposing our children to tempting buckets of breasts and thighs.”
Watch Colbert’s full “Late Show” monologue in the video above.