Late Night Tackles Trump and North Korea
August 13, 2019

"The United States and Canada have one of, if not the, closest relationships of any two countries in the word," Jimmy Kimmel said on Tuesday's Kimmel Live. "But we also have Donald Trump, which complicates things." He explained that starting in 2017, Trump has sent a handful of handwritten notes to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, one of which was so odd Trudeau thought he was being pranked.

"Just to recap, Trump tore the cover off a magazine, wrote on it in Sharpie, and mailed it to the prime minister of Canada — like the Zodiac Killer or something," Kimmel said. "Justin Trudeau, by the way, isn't the president's only pen pal. Trump was bragging this weekend about a love letter he received from his man in North Korea." He did not believe that, as Trump insisted on Twitter, Kim apologized for testing short-range missiles, and he was a little perplexed at Trump's cheerful and friendly response to said missile launches. "I don't know what his plan is with this, but the president has shown Kim Jong Un so much affection," Kimmel said, "I mean, watch this and try to imagine him saying any of this stuff about Melania."

Trump was clearly "jazzed" about Kim's letter, and also about it being "hand delivered," Stephen Colbert said at The Late Show. "For a guy who's the leader of the free world, he's awfully impressed by the concept of mail." Trump's tweets about the letter adopted Kim's language about U.S.-South Korean military exercises, he added. "That is your president calling our military's training to defend South Korea from a murderous, nuclear-armed madman 'ridiculous.' What an inspiring commander in chief."

"But Trump really believes he and Kim are best buds," Colbert said. "In fact, at the fundraiser, he claimed, 'People say he only smiles when he sees me.'" Just for fun, he rained on Trump's love parade. Watch below. Peter Weber

March 1, 2019

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended their second summit early with no deal. "Trump literally got more done in his summit with Kim Kardashian than Kim Jong Un," Jimmy Kimmel said on Thursday's Kimmel Live. "There's no agreement. Kim will not give up his nuclear program. Trump comes home tiny-empty-handed." Trump still painted a positive picture of the summit and his "warm" and "friendly" relationship with Kim, he added, and it was a little strange.

"How about Trump calling Kim Jong Un 'quite a guy' and 'quite a character'?" Kimmel asked. "Yeah, what a character: He poisoned his brother and put his uncle in front of a firing squad — what a hoot!" But Trump seems committed to carrying on, and he's getting some help. "This is all so nuts," he said. "Imagine waking up from a coma, like 15 years ago, and hearing Dennis K. Rodman is helping President Trump campaign for a Nobel Peace Prize for his summit with the leader of North Korea. I'd probably ask to be put back to sleep."

Trump and Kim, "they actually remind me of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper — there's a real warmth to their relationship," Kimmel said. "But the president left, he flew home today — or maybe he was extradited, I'm not sure. After the testimony from Michael Cohen yesterday, it could be either."

Just for laughs, Kimmel set Cohen's testimony to a Droopy the Dog cartoon.

"It really seemed like they were getting along, but Trump took off before the summit was finished," Jimmy Fallon said on The Tonight Show. "I don't want to call it a breakup, but for the whole 20-hour flight home Trump was blasting Taylor Swift." Still, he added, "after hours of negotiating, Trump just couldn't get Kim to make a deal. So between Kim Jong Un and Nancy Pelosi, we found Trump's biggest weakness: pantsuits." Watch below. Peter Weber

March 1, 2019

"When President Obama left office, he warned Donald Trump that Kim Jong Un's nuclear threat would be his biggest challenge — well, that and learning to read," Trevor Noah said on Thursday's Daily Show. "It turns out Obama may have been right" — though not in the way he envisioned.

The sudden failure of the second Trump-Kim nuclear talks was shocking, "because my boy Trump has been telling us that he and Kim Jong Un are good, and I mean, like, real good," Noah said. "You see? Trump and Kim fell in love. And I know that sounds weird, but when you think about it, Kim Jong Un is totally Donald Trump's type, right? All of Trump's best relationships are with people who are half his age and don't speak English."

"When the summit started, it seemed like love was still in the air," Noah said. So "what turned their love affair sour? Well, it's the same thing that turns most relationships sour: They both just wanted different things." He acted out their "classic relationship dilemma" in some detail, with Kim as the man in the pair and Trump lamenting, "I need to build a wall around my heart!"

"Trump still believes that they can work things out," and it's "so tough to watch," Noah said. "We really have all been there: You told your friends this was going to work out, and despite the warnings, you still carried on. And now you're trying to save face because you think everyone's judging you — which we totally are. But instead of dragging this out, Donald, I think it's time to accept that maybe, just maybe, Kim is just not that into you."

"Everything about this summit was weird," from the White House press pool's broken bus to Trump's handshakes, Late Night's Seth Meyers said. And while it would be nice to get "a coherent explanation of where things stand, given the stakes," he said, maybe things fell apart because "Trump was distracted by the big story looming over the summit," Michael Cohen's "explosive congressional testimony." Watch Meyers elaborate below. Peter Weber

October 2, 2018

At a rally in West Virginia on Saturday night, President Trump told his gathered fans that he and brutal North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un "fell in love." It was Kim's way with words, Trump explained. "He wrote me beautiful letters. And they are great letters. We fell in love." On Monday, The Late Show imagined Kim's reply, and — as in real life — he's just not that into Trump.

Still, "what a heart-warming love story," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. "It reminds me of the romantic comedy Crazy Stupid Love, only crazier and more stupid." But Kim isn't just writing letters to Trump. In fact, Kimmel said, "Kim Jong Un's behaving more like Kim Kardashi-un lately, because North Korea has announced their intent to produce the world's finest cosmetics. They're getting into the makeup business, they're building factories, and to kick things off, Chairman Un just launched his own YouTube channel." He played a sample, then predicted that "once North Korea gets the internet, they're going to eat that up." Watch below. Peter Weber

September 11, 2018

Another summit between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un is in the works, Jimmy Kimmel said on Monday's Kimmel Live, and Trump "was riding high today after getting his second letter from Kim Jong Un," and he was so excited he gushed about it in a tweet. "It's weird that he now has a closer relationship with Kim Jong Un than he does Melania, right?" Kimmel said. "The letter was handed over at the DMZ on Thursday, it was hand-carried across the world to be delivered directly to him in Washington — which, say what you like, it's very romantic. That's some The Notebook-level stuff there." He threw in a bit about Kim's latest military parade, too. You can watch that below. Peter Weber

June 15, 2018

President Trump "is still basking in the glow of his successful play date" with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show, "but it has been kind of shocking to hear all the nice things Trump said about one of the most vicious dictators alive." He played some clips, but one compliment jumped out. "Funny?" Colbert asked. "Mr. President, when they talk about how much Kim Jong Un 'kills,' they're not talking about his new Comedy Central special, 'Kim Jong Un-censored.'"

"And it's not just their leader he respects — today, North Korean television broadcast some behind-the-scenes footage of Trump meeting North Korean officials, and — wait for it — and he salutes!" Colbert narrated. "He salutes a North Korean general. Our commander in chief saluted our enemy. Either that or he was just confused. 'I'm a huge fan of your chicken, Gen. Tso.'"

Trump didn't get much concrete from Kim, but he did get a promise that North Korea will return the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War. "Finally these soldiers' families will get some closure — well done, Mr. President," Colbert said. "But, then he had to lie about it." Trump suggested to Fox News that "so many 101-year-old couples asked him for this — Trump isn't just bending the truth anymore, he's bending the fabric of space-time," Colbert said. "My father-in-law served during the Korean War. If his parents were alive, I think they would be 127 years old — or as we call them here at CBS, our target demo." He ended on Russia and the World Cup, and you can watch that below. Peter Weber

June 13, 2018

President Trump "didn't just talk the talk" in Tuesday's summit with Kim Jong Un, "he showed Kim a video that, for some reason, they made look like a movie trailer," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "The video shows Kim that peace brings all of the incredible riches stock footage can provide," he added, but it "really could have used an editor, because they repeated themselves a lot," including five sunrises. Still, "I'm worried this video isn't quite enough to convince Kim Jong Un," Colbert said, "so I've had my best editors go through the finest stock footage and huff the best ether available to create an ever more compelling trailer." It takes some odd turns.

"Everything about this summit was weird, but to me I think the weirdest part is that Donald Trump showed Kim a video on his iPad, like your mom does," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. The video "is quite a production," he added. "It looks like a Scientology recruitment video from the '90s." Like Colbert, Kimmel also made some creative edits.

"The fact is, Trump has the unique skills necessary to connect with Kim," Jordan Klepper explained at The Opposition. "The left likes to call him the reality show president. But guess what? Kim Jong Un is a reality show dictator. ... And when a reality show dictator meets with a reality show president, you don't make a peace agreement, you pitch a crossover episode." And "I cannot stress enough how amazing and actually-from-the-White House this video is," he added. "I didn't know Trump University offered a master's in screenwriting."

"The liberals want you to think that Trump is in over his head, but the president is not out of his depth," Klepper said. "He's splashing around in the deep end of the pool with the confidence of a drunk cousin who just yelled, 'F--k it, how hard can swimming be?'" Peter Weber

June 13, 2018

Stephen Colbert had some questions for President Trump after Tuesday's summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, so on Tuesday's Late Show, he stepped in for ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "Kim Jong Un got respect on the world stage, an end to military exercises between the United States and South Korea, and no timeline to give up nuclear weapons or human rights abuses. Did you get anything in return?" he asked. Trump showed off his new tattoo.

There was news from the summit, Colbert said. For example, "Trump ate a vegetable! Wow! They said it couldn't be done, they scoffed. By the way, Korean stuffed cucumber is stuffed with Koreans — Kim is a monster."

And after Trump made a fat joke and showed Kim the inside of his limo, they signed their "historish agreement," he said. According to the reviews, Trump didn't get much, including what he'd asked for. "You know he ordered a hamburger and they gave him a cucumber," Colbert joked. "Kim gave us so little, you have to promise more than Kim did when you sign the iTunes user agreement — and I'm not making that up."

"Usually when Trump signs an agreement with a foreigner, its a prenup, and those are all in writing," Jimmy Kimmel explained on Kimmel Live, speculating that Trump was so eager to look like he was making a deal, he'd sign anything. "In fact, the only thing we know they signed was a declaration of friendship — for real."

Trump explained he didn't need to record the specifics of his oral agreements with Kim "because he has 'one of the great memories of all time' — except when it comes to Stormy Daniels, then it's all a blur," Kimmel said. But the White House "tried to fill in the blanks," he said, and in Kimmel Live's imagining, Trump gave away a comically large number of things. Watch below. Peter Weber

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