September 20, 2018

Stephen Colbert interviewed Willie Nelson on Nelson's tour bus for Wednesday's Late Show, and after talking about why Willie doesn't like barber shops and other niceties, Colbert brought up politics. "You've been an activist for years, but you're doing your first free public concert for a candidate, and it's for Beto O'Rourke," the Democratic challenger to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Colbert said. Nelson corrected him, saying he's done free concerts for candidates for decades, naming Dennis Kucinich, Ross Perot, and singing cowboy Tex Ritter. "So you always back the winners," Colbert deadpanned.

Poor track record notwithstanding, not everyone is happy about Nelson's Beto concert, Colbert pointed out. "Some Texans were saying, Let's boycott Willie. A, I don't think that's real, I think that's just people talking. And B, I really like your response to those people." Nelson laughed at the photo of him flipping the bird in a Beto shirt, then said it doesn't really bother him when people threaten to boycott his music. "It's their prerogative," he said. "I may not like their music either, you know, so I don't hold any grudges against people."

Colbert brought up Nelson's new album, My Way, and asked why he wanted to do a Frank Sinatra album. "He's my favorite singer, and I read somewhere a couple of years ago that I was his favorite singer," Nelson said. Colbert had a clip from a commercial Nelson and Sinatra did in 1980, then he showed Nelson some photos of famous people and asked if he'd like to smoke weed with each of them. (The answer was yes.)

Nelson performed the Sinatra favorite "Summer Wind" on The Late Show, and you can watch that below. Peter Weber

September 13, 2018

Stephen Colbert interviewed Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) on Wednesday's Late Show, but first he caught viewers up on O'Rourke's nail-biter of a race against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The contest has gotten so close that Cruz has called in President Trump to campaign with him. "You know it's bad when you need backup from a man with a 36 percent approval rating," Colbert said. "Their backup plan to that is a celebrity endorsement from the herpes virus. Here's how scared Ted Cruz is of Beto O'Rourke — he bought ads on my show tonight to counter his interview."

Colbert looked at the various, often hilariously misguided angles of attack the Cruz campaign and Texas GOP have taken against O'Rourke, including mocking his days in a punk rock band and running an ad focusing on O'Rourke's use of the F-word. "Remember that: Beto is a dirty-minded potty mouth," Colbert deadpanned. "You must protect the values of Texas and vote for the man who likes threesome porn on Twitter."

Driving around to all 254 Texas counties is kind of like touring with a punk band, O'Rourke told Colbert. When Colbert asked about Trump's border wall, O'Rourke said "we don't need a wall" and Texas "should be able to lead" on fixing immigration laws. For example, he said, he and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) worked on "a bill to improve border security by investing in our ports of entry," creating "smart security solutions" that also facilitate "legitimate trade and travel."

"Trump says he will campaign for Cruz, despite the fact that they just despise each other," Colbert said. "Is it surreal to see enemies joining forces against you?" "Yeah, this is gonna be interesting," O'Rourke said. He endorsed citizenship for DREAMers and "universal, guaranteed, high-quality health care for everyone," but said "we're running not against anyone or anything or any other political party, we are running for this country." Watch below. Peter Weber

September 13, 2018

During times of trouble and strife, the American people look to their president for guidance and reassurance that the government can handle a crisis, but as Hurricane Florence comes barreling toward the Carolinas, they won't be getting any of that from President Trump, Seth Meyers said on Wednesday's Late Night.

On Tuesday, Trump described the hurricane as "tremendously big and tremendously wet," and praised the government's maligned response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year. At least 3,000 people died because of Maria, yet Trump called relief efforts "an unsung success," and even doubled down on Wednesday, tweeting that the government "did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico ... an inaccessible island."

None of that is true, Meyers said, including the part about Puerto Rico being inaccessible ("There's a Jet Blue flight there every half hour," he noted), but it's not surprising that Trump is having a hard time calming people down because he is so freaked out over Bob Woodward's new book, Fear. The book is filled with interviews with people who, while believing Trump is unfit for office, still work for him and claim that they are able to manage him.

This is an issue, Meyers said, because Trump is "the president. You shouldn't have to control him. You're talking about him like he just escaped from Skull Island. 'He's about to tweet something, quick, shoot him with a tranquilizer dart.'" If there's any lesson in all of this, it's that "there are no adults in the room, and even if there were, there's nothing they could do," Meyers said. "The problem begins and ends with Trump and the Republicans supporting him." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

September 11, 2018

Stephen Colbert interviewed Bob Woodward about his new book, Fear: Trump in the White House, on Monday's Late Show, and he began by asking: "Why do people talk to you?" Woodward laughed and explained that he has a couple of techniques, including patience, persistence, genuine interest, flattery, and silence. "It's a way of saying, 'You're important to this story, I take you seriously,'" he said. Reporters at the major national newspapers do great work, he said, but "they can't do the ninth interview with somebody before they publish."

Some of the people quoted in Fear deny saying the things attributed to them, Colbert told Woodward, mentioning Defense Secretary James Mattis, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and former Trump lawyer John Dowd. "These are people who are trying to survive and keep their job," Woodward said, explaining that the same officials have told reporters similar things off-the-record and he doesn't do off-the-record because he thinks it cheats the public. The Trump White House has shocked him more than any of the eight others he's covered, he added, because Trump fundamentally doesn't understand that national security is more than just the U.S. military. The fact that Trump is stubbornly wrong about everything from basic economics to national security isn't a partisan issue, he added. "We'd better wake up to what's really going on."

"What makes you afraid?" Colbert asked Woodward, and he said "not knowing" what's going on in the Oval Office or Trump's head. Colbert asked how we can know what's going on when Trump changes his mind daily, or maybe forgets what he thought yesterday. "That's part of the problem," Woodward conceded. Colbert suggested that the last line of the book, about Dowd wanting to call Trump "a f---ing liar," kind of "buried the lede." Woodward shrugged off Trump calling him a liar on Twitter, saying he feels comfortable the truth will ultimately win. Watch below. Peter Weber

September 11, 2018

Every few months, the White House goes into denial mode, where people "working at the highest levels of government have to put down everything they're doing and hunt for the anonymous mole who just called the president a brain-dead moron," Seth Meyers said on Monday's Late Night.

Last week, President Trump faced one personal crisis after another, with an anonymous staffer writing a New York Times op-ed about how White House aides take things off Trump's desk before he can sign them and Bob Woodward previewing his new book, Fear, filled with revealing tidbits like how Trump almost tweeted his way into war with North Korea. Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate who penned the op-ed, but "the fact is, calling Donald Trump an incompetent moron is not a crime," Meyers said. "It's not even new information."

Trump was clearly spooked, as he tweeted about Woodward's book multiple times, calling it a "joke" and "fiction," and rambled when asked about the mysterious op-ed writer. "He sounds like Sherlock Holmes after a concussion," Meyers said. "'My dear Watson, we're going to find out who the suspect is and where he is and what he did and who he what and why and where.'" Trump continued to rail against the writer during a televised rally, stumbling over the word "anonymous," which didn't surprise Meyers. "He's never done anything anonymously in his life," he said. "If he had been the Gossip Girl, he would have signed the notes, 'XOXO, Donald J. Trump.'" Watch the video, featuring a plausible re-enactment of how Trump looks when he types, below. Catherine Garcia

August 10, 2018

It was more than three minutes into Jimmy Kimmel's interview with Kanye West on Thursday's Kimmel Live before Kimmel brought up West's famously warm feelings for President Trump. Kimmel noted the strong, mixed reactions when West came out as a Trump supporter and asked if he thinks Trump is a good president. West tackled the first part, talking about choosing "love" over "fear" when he put on his MAGA hat.

"What it represented to me, it's not about policies — because I'm not a politician like that — but it represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt, no matter what anyone says," West said. "Liberals can't bully me, news can't bully me, the hip hop community, they can't bully me. Because at that point, if I'm afraid to be me, I'm no longer Ye." He added that he quite enjoys enraging people, then went on to discuss his views on slavery, being caught in a "simulation," and societal views on children, with a zinger: "We are too protective. We always don't want someone to get hurt — can you imagine me talking to my publicist before I said I'm going on TV again?"

West returned to love, and said society would be better if we treated everyone as our family, and Kimmel called that a "beautiful thought" then brought it back around to Trump. "In literal terms, there are families being torn apart at the border of this country ... as a result of what this president is doing," he said. "Whether we like his personality or not, his actions are really what matter. I mean, you so famously and powerfully said George Bush doesn't care about black people. It makes me wonder what makes you think Donald Trump does, or any people at all?" West sat silently in thought for a few seconds, Kimmel went to commercial, and they didn't discuss it again during the show. Watch below. Peter Weber

August 10, 2018

When it comes to the Space Force, Stephen Colbert wants to give credit where it's due.

In June, President Trump proposed establishing the Space Force as the sixth branch of the military, and it's the "boldest idea that he got from a Buzz Lightyear Happy Meal toy," Colbert said on Thursday night's Late Show. Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech at the Pentagon about the Space Force, and Colbert said it's "no surprise Pence is a huge fan of space; it's the farthest you can get from being alone with a human woman."

After Pence was finished at the Pentagon, Trump posted a simple tweet: "Space Force all the way!" "Space Force, you know I love it," Colbert said, activating his Trump voice. "I of course would join, but I have space spurs, I can't do it." An email was sent out to Trump supporters on Thursday afternoon, asking them to vote for their favorite Space Force insignia, even though "the final choice will be made by the Electoral Space College," Colbert quipped. They had six to choose from, but that wasn't enough for Colbert — watch the video below to see his special designs, including a special U.S.-Russia logo reading, "In space, no one can hear you collude." Catherine Garcia

August 9, 2018

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) "was one of [President] Trump's earliest backers, and Trump's repaid that loyalty," sometimes with a gratuitous insult thrown in, Seth Meyers said on Wednesday's Late Night. "If there's anyone who represents the modern Republican Party, the kind of guy who has fully and completely embraced the Trump era and draining the swamp, it's Chris Collins." That was the setup for the revelation that the FBI arrested and federal prosecutors indicted Collins on insider-trading and wire fraud charges Wednesday. "That's right, a sitting member of Congress has been charged for insider trading," he said. "It there anyone close to Trump who hasn't been charged with a crime?"

Meyers explained the charges, stemming from Collins sitting on the board of a biotech company, "which right off the bat is insane. A sitting member of Congress should not be on the board of a publicly traded company. That's like finding out an NFL referee is a part-owner of the Patriots — which I wouldn't be surprised to hear!"

The "crazy thing" is that Collins committed his alleged crime from the lawn of the White House, during a picnic, Stephen Colbert said at The Late Show. "In fact, and this is true, CBS News has exclusive footage of Collins on the phone at the picnic," presumably calling his son to urge him to dump shares, he said, and "The Late Show has acquired the audio," which he played. (Spoiler: It's fake.) Collins tried to call his son 15 seconds after learning the stock would tank but didn't get through until six calls and five minutes later. "If you want to conspire with your millennial children, you don't call, you text," Colbert said, and he had a suggested text message at the ready. Watch below. Peter Weber

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