After a brief hiatus, Stephen Colbert returned to the Late Show on Monday night.
The first thing the comedian tackled was President Trump’s scheduled rally in Texas in support of Sen. Ted Cruz’s midterm re-election bid. During the 2016 presidential campaign, of course, Trump called Cruz’s wife ugly, branded him “Lyin’ Ted,” and accused his father of conspiring to assassinate JFK, as one does.
“I don’t regret anything, honestly. It all worked out very nicely,” Trump said, when questioned about his Cruz smears, adding, “He’s not Lyin’ Ted anymore. He’s Beautiful Ted.”
“Come to think of it, his father didn’t kill JFK—his father had sex with JFK. Beautiful, beautiful sex,” joked Colbert. “‘Beautiful Ted’? Really?! Somewhere, Ted Nugent is weeping over his assault rifle.”
In addition to stumping for a man he doesn’t seem to like all that much, Trump has also decided to lean into bigotry, floating a plan—just in time for the midterms, mind you—that would allow essentially allow the government to discriminate against transgender people at will.
“There’s more random cruelty from the Trump administration coming down the pike. This time, they spun the wheel of discrimination and they landed on ‘transgender,’ because we just learned of a new Trump plan in which they would narrowly define gender as a biological condition determined by genitalia at birth, which means that transgender people could be defined out of existence,” Colbert explained.
Indeed, the Trump administration is thinking of composing new guidelines that say gender should be “defined on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science.” (Scientific experts, meanwhile, claim that anatomy does not determine gender.)
“Oh, now you care about science? How convenient!” the comedian exclaimed—a jab at the Trump administration’s continued denials of climate change, even in the face of a devastating U.N. report.
“It’s just a proposal, but if it’s enacted, discrimination against trans people would be OK’d across government agencies, including the Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Service, and Labor,” said Colbert.
“Look, gender is clearly a spectrum, OK? We know this,” he continued. “For instance, I identify as a man, but it’s a little fluid. I enjoy getting my hands dirty and repairing boats, then again, my favorite book is about elves and jewelry.”