Tuesday was the first night of Hanukkah, Stephen Colbert noted on The Late Show, but it was also "a huge day in Alabama, Election Day, and now it is official: Roy Moore either is or is not our newest U.S. senator." (He's not.) Colbert said the show taped long before the polls closed, but "one thing we do know is how Roy Moore got to the polls: He arrived on horseback." Apparently riding to the polls on a horse is a Moore family tradition. "Roy Moore loves traditions from the 1800s, like child brides and the Dred Scott decision," the Supreme Court's infamous pro-slavery ruling, he joked. When his audience murmured, Colbert shrugged. "Hey, maybe he lost, we don't know."
Colbert also took a look at Moore's closing arguments from Monday night — well, specifically the tale a friend and supporter told about their visit to an underage brothel in Vietnam, and the assurances Moore's wife, Kayla, gave to show they aren't anti-Semitic. "Wow," Colbert said, trying to top her "our lawyer is a Jew" and "we fellowship with them" defenses. "We're not homophobic because my hairdresser is a gay," he said. "I mean, Jewish girls know Roy will show up at your bat mitzvah."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said she believed the women accusing President Trump of sexual misconduct and called on Trump to resign. "Of course, Trump couldn't let that go," Colbert said, reading his tweet about Gillibrand "begging" him for campaign contributions, which she "would do anything for." The audience gasped.
"That reminds me: Melania, how's that anti-cyberbullying going?" Colbert asked. He ended on a friendlier note, the bipartisan dog-costume holiday party at the Capitol. "Isn't that adorable? It's the one place on Capitol Hill you can engage in heavy petting and not have to resign," he said. He ended on a Moore joke. Watch below. Peter Weber
Time's Person of the Year is "the #MeToo movement," Stephen Colbert noted on Wednesday's Late Show, "which means that everyone who still subscribes to magazines just learned what a hashtag is." He applauded Time's "great choice," but said "a movement where sexual assault survivors are actually believed shouldn't be on the cover of Time; it should be on the cover of It's About Damn Time." As it is every year, the winner was announced on the Today show, Colbert said. "Really a shame Matt Lauer couldn't be there."
President Trump, last year's Person of the Year, came in at No. 2, and he's "gotta be annoyed," Colbert said, reading Trump's tweet on the topic. Still, "it really had to be the #MeToo movement, because it seems like every day a new man is being accused of sexual misconduct. But not today — today, it's the same man, Minnesota senator and former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken."
The straw that broke Franken's political back was a new accusation that he tried to kiss a former congressional aide in 2006, and when she ducked the kiss, he allegedly said, "It's my right as an entertainer." Nope, said Colbert. "I'm an entertainer, and I happen to always carry a copy of the Bill of Rights for Entertainers." Some of the perks he read sounded pretty good, but unwanted kissing was not among the enumerated rights. Franken will announce his future plans on Thursday, but the number of his Democratic colleagues calling on him to resign makes it seem inevitable. "The idea is so popular among Democrats," Colbert said, "that Al Franken is quoted as saying, 'I strongly believe Al Franken should resign... Oh wait! No, that's me!'" Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert returned to the air Wednesday after a weeklong break, and he'd noticed the changing media landscape. "I am one of the few men still allowed on television," he joked on The Late Show, pointing to NBC's firing of morning anchor Matt Lauer. "According to the chairman of NBC News, Lauer was fired due to 'inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,'" he said, "not to be confused with appropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, because that does not exist." Colbert went through some of the salacious details of Lauer's alleged misconduct, including a tidbit from a colleague involving a sex toy and a note. "It's bad enough he gave her a sex toy, but he also gave her instructions?" he asked. "He found a way to mansplain sexual harassment."
President Trump, of course, weighed in on Twitter, saying the heads of NBC should be fired, too, "for putting out so much Fake News." Colbert couldn't take it. "Listen up, you don't get to comment," he said. "That is the pot calling the kettle at 3 a.m. and asking what she's wearing. Plus, remember the whole Billy Bush/bus thing?"
In fact, Trump is casting doubt now that it really is him bragging about grabbing women's genitalia on the Access Hollywood bus, so Colbert played the tape. "You know, when you listen to it again, it can't be him, because anybody who said that wouldn't get elected president of the United States," he said. The fact that Trump admitted he said it and apologized only made Colbert more suspicious.
Colbert also hit some happier news, the engagement of Britain's Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markel. But he found a Trump angle there, too: "England, a word of warning. We had a cool, biracial leader for a while, too. And I can tell you, you need to savor it. Because the next princess is gonna suck." Watch below. Peter Weber
Jimmy Fallon kicked off Wednesday's Tonight Show with a pointed jab at the elephant in the room, the firing that morning of his own network's morning news star, Matt Lauer, over sexual misconduct. Well, technically Fallon began with a setup about how NBC had just rung in the holiday season by lighting the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza. "Also getting lit tonight? The HR rep over at NBC," he deadpanned. "If you're wondering where in the world is Matt Lauer, he's probably at a bar with Charlie Rose." Rose, of course, was the top male at Lauer's CBS rival morning show before he was fired over sexual misconduct.
— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) November 30, 2017
Fallon has a reputation for pulling punches, but the other late-night Jimmy, Jimmy Kimmel, was a little more expansive with the Lauer jokes. "This morning my wife looked at her phone and said, 'Oh my god, Matt Lauer' — which, of course, I assumed he was dead. I guess this is better, I don't know," he said. "What happens now? I mean, does he have to do an emotional interview with himself?" He also wondered if maybe fellow Today anchor Kathie Lee Gifford should stop slapping Hoda Kobt's butt on "spanky Tuesdays" — which, he proved, is a real thing.
"Of course, President Trump weighed in on this, as presidents do," Kimmel said dryly. "And I'll tell you, if anyone knows about inappropriate behavior in the workplace at NBC, it's Donald J. Trump. I mean, is he aware that he's him?" Of course, Lauer wasn't Wednesday's only big media termination. Kimmel's joke about Garrison Keillor fondling an NPR tote bag fell flat, but he persisted: "Can you imagine being fired from Minnesota Public Radio? It's like having your library card revoked." Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah light into Al Franken, America's latest 'high-profile sexual harasser'
"Every day it seems like we find out about another high-profile sexual harasser," Stephen Colbert sighed on Thursday's Late Show, running through the day's allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). "Come on, Franken! I guess there are no good people left, so let's just get it over with: Just tell us whatever you did, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, Malala. As a fellow comedian, I've long admired Al Franken, but I've got to say, this doesn't bode well for Louis C.K.'s Senate hopes."
During a 2006 USO tour, Leeann Tweeden says, Franken wrote a kiss with her into a skit, insisted they rehearse it, then forcibly kissed her. "Now for those of you not in showbiz, actors call that technique sexual harassment," Colbert said. He was similarly unimpressed with the posed photo of Franken reaching to grab Tweeden's breasts while she's asleep, and Franken's initial response: "'Intended to be funny but wasn't'? No, your movie Stuart Saves His Family was intended to be funny but wasn't."
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) November 17, 2017
On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah was similarly disappointed. "Al Franken, #YouToo?" He pointed to Franken's second, much more contrite statement, but said "this story is another example of how at all levels, at all levels, we men have been complicit in perpetuating the culture that devalues women. ... Because you forget, it's not just Al Franken in the picture, it's the guy who's taking the picture, his Billy Bush."
He turned to Roy Moore, "the man most wanted by mall cops," and compared Franken's apology to the Alabama GOP Senate nominee's strategy of attacking the women and Mitch McConnell. "Al Franken's going with the whole 'I'm sorry, I'm going to look at myself, I understand it's disgusting' — that's so boring," Noah said. "This guy is like, 'You know who needs to step down for what I did? Someone else!'" Hey, he added, it worked for President Trump. Peter Weber
Trevor Noah began his segment on Roy Moore on Monday's Daily Show by giving a confused two cheers to Republican senators who are running away from the Alabama GOP Senate nominee, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "Ha-ha, look at Mitch McConnell's face," he said. "He looks like a man who made a point that... I agree with... about how we should believe the victims — I'm not used to this feeling, this is weird." He spent the rest of it criticizing Moore's loyal supporters elsewhere on the right, and especially Moore's evangelical Christian base, some of whom "only use religion when it suits them."
Moore, "as a devoted member of the Christian right who's been accused of horrible acts, he knows the one place a person can find forgiveness: You've got to go to a church, and then you take a right and go down two blocks to Sean Hannity's house," Noah said, playing some of Hannity's cringeworthy radio interview with Moore. Still, "Republican politics can basically be divided into two eras: there's BG and AG — before the grab and after the grab," Noah said, referring to President Trump's Access Hollywood confession. "Because once they made sexual assault seem like a partisan issue, it enabled all of their party members to use politics as a shield for their sex crimes."
On Late Night, Seth Meyers also focused on the "grotesque lengths" Moore's supporters are taking to defend him, with some awkward clips. "Not only are the accounts of Moore's accusers credible and supported by more than 30 sources," plus an unfortunate high school yearbook signing, Meyers said. "But people who know Moore have since come forward to corroborate the fact that Moore liked to date teen girls." It's nice that McConnell wants Moore out, Meyers said, "but now the question, what specific actions will the GOP take to stop Moore?" Watch below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert reminded his audience on Thursday's Late Show about some of Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore's more controversial statements. "This guy who's constantly posturing about how devout he is and how sinful everyone else is, well, spoiler alert," he said, bringing up the "bombshell report in The Washington Post" in which "a woman says Roy Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 and he was 32."
"For those keeping track, that is an age difference of — it doesn't matter, she was 14!" Colbert said. "That is an act so heinous that it defies my ability to describe it," he added, quoting Moore's comment about homosexuality. "But I'll try: Illegal." He noted that Moore also came on to at least three other teenage girls, but said it may still end well for the former judge: "These accusations are so damning, voters are either going to force him off the ballot or make him president."
Colbert was particularly piqued at the defense of Moore from friend and Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler, who cited the age difference between Joseph and Mary. "Their whole deal is that there was no funny business!" he said. "She was the 'Virgin Mary,' okay? Hey brother, she wasn't the 'Asking For It Mary,' which is why she didn't have to become the 'Talking to The Washington Post 30 Years Later Mary.'" But Moore wasn't the only one hit with accusations of sexual impropriety on Thursday, Colbert noted, telling the audience that his guest had to cancel at the last minute: "For those of you tuning in to see my interview with Louis C.K. tonight, I have some bad news. Then I have some really bad news." Watch below. Peter Weber