After saying goodbye to President Obama as his “conservative pundit” alter ego the night before, Stephen Colbert was back to being himself Friday night. And the Late Show host seemed genuinely terrified about the dark vision President Donald Trump laid out in his inaugural address earlier in the day.
“So, that’s it, Donald Trump is president,” Colbert said in his monologue. “He knows the launch codes. And he hasn’t tweeted them yet, so, so far, so good,” he added, crossing his fingers.
The only nice things Colbert had to say about Trump’s speech was that it was “short” and began on a “gracious note,” when he said thank you to the world. “And the world said, hey man, do not pin this on us! We didn’t vote,” the host joked.
When Trump said that we are leaving gridlock in the past and “looking only to the future,” Colbert explained that what he really meant was, “So don’t ask me about my tax returns ever again, OK?”
“And then, like Lincoln huffing paint thinner, this stirring orator invoked an inspiring picture of the country he now leads,” Colbert said, showing clip after clip of the new president describing the country he will lead as a crime-infested land of “American carnage.”
“We get it!” Colbert shouted. “We get it, the country is a turd storm! You said that during the campaign, you can stop now. He knows he won, right? Putin must have told him.”
Colbert also commented on Trump’s decision to talk about “how much the former president sucks” while Obama and Joe Biden had to sit behind him, “as helpless as a damp Russian mattress.”
Earlier in Friday’s episode, Colbert began with a cold open in which Americans solemnly replaced framed photos of President Obama with pictures of Trump hawking steaks, along with images of Vladimir Putin and finally: a horse’s ass.