Monday evening’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert opened with the host’s monologue addressing the recent arrests of some of his staffers in Washington D.C. last week. In the full ten-minute opener, which can be viewed below, Colbert clarified why his crew, accompanied by frequent collaborator Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, were in the nation’s capital.
Colbert explained his writers were conducting interviews with congressional staff in the office building across the street from the Capitol building. The interviews, which were already agreed upon by statesmen on both sides of the aisle, focused on their thoughts on the current hearings regarding the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. According to Colbert, the workers and Triumph had been cleared to not only interview the subjects but had access to conduct the interviews in their offices.
On the final day of taping, they were collecting extra footage, which Colbert described as “first-degree puppetry,” when they were apprehended by Capitol police. The news reports alleged the staffers were there without permission and attempted an insurrection of their own. Colbert comically ripped these accusations to shreds.
“First of all – what? Second of all – huh? Third of all, they weren’t in the Capitol building,” Colbert exclaimed. He then dismissed the notion that anyone was present to commit an unlawful act to disrupt the lawful transfer of power following a legit election. Instead, he reduced the act to exactly what it was: “hijinks with intent to goof.”
Taking a more serious tone, Colbert surmised that certain news organizations would rather discuss this story than the actual Jan. 6 hearings. He called the comparison between the heinous acts of sedition on that day and what his staffers were doing “a shameful and grotesque insult to the memory of everyone who died. And it obscenely trivializes the service and courage the Capitol police showed on that terrible day.”
But the laughs tracked back in when he sarcastically suggested that perhaps “there was a vast conspiracy to overthrow the government with a rubber Rottweiler.” Colbert then jokingly reminded everyone the night of the arrests was the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in asking, “Are we supposed to believe that was a coincidence? Yes.” He then lists the various macabre muppet acts throughout history including The Great Muppet Caper and the infamous riots of Fraggle Rock.
The final stretch of the monologue mentioned today’s hearing’s focused on Trump’s alleged attempt to essentially steal electorate votes in his favor. They aired clips of a recent rally where the former President not only claimed he invented the word “conveyor belt” while insulting former Vice President Mike Pence but he continued to downplay the events of Jan. 6, citing it as “a simple protest” that “got out of hand.”
Being an equal opportunity jokester, he wrapped up the speech doting a bit on President Joe Biden’s weekend bike incident.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weekday evenings at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS.