"Obama's back, and so are the haters," Trevor Noah said on Thursday's Daily Show. The former president is taking a lot of heat for giving a speech to Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald for a fat paycheck, but Noah wasn't buying the outrage. "Obama's getting $400,000 to be a keynote speaker," he said. "He's probably going to give a very important policy speech entitled 'The Four Boats I'm Going to Buy.' Now look, I know that people may say that it weakens public trust when politicians cash in immediately after leaving office, but at least Obama waited until he left office, unlike [President Trump], who's using the White House like an ATM machine. And yeah, don't get me wrong — I agree that the system must change, but it doesn't change with Obama. People are like 'Why doesn't he not accept the money?' No, f— that!"
"So the first black president must also be the first one to not take money afterwards?" Noah asked. "No, no, no, no, no, my friend. He can't be the first of everything. F— that, and f— you." Go ahead, he added, "make that money, Obama." Noah did start to make a broader point: "Instead of focusing on how Obama can make so much money from Wall Street for a speech, maybe we should be asking why Wall Street has so much money to give people for a speech: the loose regulations, the intensive lobbying and favorable — you know, the truth is, we can't get into all of this, there's too much, there's too much else that's going on that we have to talk about today."
He spent the next four minutes on quick takes of two events: Ann Coulter vs. Berkeley ("they should just let her speak, because you realize she doesn't actually want to speak, she wants to be stopped from speaking") and the odd all-Senate White House field trip to be briefed on North Korea, which turned out to be a mostly substance-free dog-and-pony show. "Donald Trump just called them there," Noah said, laughing, "and I wouldn't be surprised if just brought them to be, like: 'Did you guys know there are two Koreas? It's a lot more complicated than we thought, folks, a lot more complicated, a lot more.'" There's some slightly NSFW language. If that doesn't bother you, watch below. Peter Weber
On Tuesday night, Pope Francis gave a surprise TED Talk to the annual TED conference in Vancouver, Skyping it in from Rome. "I think it is impressive for an 80-year-old to set up his own webcam," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "It's not like he can get help from his grandkids." After ribbing the pope a bit more, Colbert teed up the main feature. "A lot of people were surprised that the pope decided to do this, but the truth is, religious figures actually have a long history of giving TED Talks," he said.
What followed was a pitch-perfect TED Talk from "Jesus of Nazareth, Carpenter/Savior." "I come here today as a simple carpenter, who also happens to be the son of God," Jesus began. "But I didn't get here today through nepotism." Unlike Pope Francis, Jesus has visual aids and cool party tricks/miracles. "First up, we've all been there, right?" he said. "All you've got are a few loaves and couple fishes, and you have to feed a crowd of thousands. But what if I told you that you can do it! Now, I know what you're thinking: Geez, me? No, Geez-us." Just wait until he gets to the bottled water. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel are comically unimpressed with the new Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino
The marketing people at Starbucks have apparently decided that no publicity is bad publicity, judging by the product they rolled out Wednesday. "Starbucks has introduced a new drink called the Unicorn Frappuccino," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show, "because the name Sugary Affront to God was taken." The colorful new concoction is made with pink powder, mango syrup, and a sour blue drizzle, and it changes color and flavor as you mix it around. It also seems tailor-made for mockery.
"This was Starbucks' attempt to take over social media, they say, with a drink that's made to be Instagrammed," Colbert said. "Well, I wanted to know how it actually tastes, so we went and got one." He brought it on stage. "Mmmm, oh, I wish I was dead," he said. "Tastes like I French kissed Tinkerbell." There was nothing wrong with kissing Tinkerbell, he assured everyone, though maybe that was the Frappuccino talking.
On Thursday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel called the drink an "abomination" and "the first Frappuccino that looks like a windbreaker from the '80s." But he did more than just spitball. "It's only available through April 23, or until someone dies from drinking it, whichever comes first," he said. "And if the Unicorn Frappuccino doesn't strike your fancy — and you would think it would — Starbucks has another new item designed specifically to suit our troubled time." After watching his fake Starbucks ad, a rainbow of fruit flavors may not sound so bad. Watch below. Peter Weber
"When I saw your Donald Trump for the first time," Stephen Colbert told Alec Baldwin on Tuesday's Late Show, "I think, like a lot of people, when I saw your Trump I went 'Oh, thank God — somebody has cracked that nut.' Do you like doing it?" Baldwin didn't really answer directly. "Well, it's amazing," he said. "It's kind of eerie, actually. More than anything I've ever done, people come up to me and say something on the streets," usually "thank you." His 3-year-old daughter keeps his ego in check, he assured Colbert.
"What's your hook-in?" Colbert asked. "Like, what's the thing that you have to do? Is it your face? Is it the hair? Is it the hands? Is it the voice?" Baldwin said it's the face, crediting the people at Saturday Night Live with helping him get into character, after soliciting his participation, which only happened because a movie fell through. "It's totally a caricature," he explained. "You know, you just pick a few things," like cocking an eyebrow and contorting your face "like you're trying to suck the chrome off the fender of a car." He demonstrated, to the delight of the audience.
"Now, Trump isn't your first sort of questionable president you have experience with," Colbert said. He brought out a letter Richard Nixon had written to Baldwin upon his loss for George Washington University student body president, and after both comedians trotted out their Nixon impersonations, Colbert asked Baldwin if he would run for office again. Baldwin said no. "Entertainers can be presidents now," Colbert reminded him, to no avail. "Trump, it's not going to swing back," Baldwin said. "It's not going to open the door for nontraditional candidates." The pattern is crazy, safe, crazy, safe, he said, so the next president will probably be a governor. Watch below. Peter Weber
Alex Jones, "the insane radio host, is in a custody battle right now, and so he's trying to prove that he's stable enough to care for children," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "Unfortunately for him, he works in front of a camera." He played an example. "Clips like that make Alex Jones seem less like a fit parent and more like a coked-out football coach in a police standoff," he said, apparently based on real-life experience. "But in a dramatic twist now, his lawyer is arguing that Alex Jones is 'playing a character' and is 'a performance artist.'"
"I'm not sure that helps," Colbert said. "Do we really want kids to be raised by performance artists? 'No dessert until you finish eating your flag. Then tell me what it meant.' Of course not everyone realizes he's playing a character," he noted, name-checking "the most famous Alex Jones supporter," President Trump. "Here's the deal: If Alex Jones really is a character, then President Trump got phished hard. This is worse than when George H.W. Bush gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to RoboCop."
For all the mockery, though, Colbert had some sympathy. "I, for one, I feel for Alex Jones," he said. "I mean, everybody knows that for many years, I played a satirical right-wing character." Then he threw a curveball: "This happened to me all the time when I played my right-wing character, talk-radio host Tuck Buckford." He showed a "clip," and showed off a pretty spot-on Alex Jones impersonation. Watch below. Peter Weber
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had a very bad Tuesday, managing to mangle World War II history, Adolf Hitler's history with gassing innocent people, and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's name.
— Yashar (@yashar) April 11, 2017
The inadvertent Holocaust revisionism and seeming downplaying of Hitler's crimes, on Passover no less, was by far the worst part of Spicer's Tuesday press briefing, and if you're wondering what was going through his head as he fumbled through his answers, Jimmy Kimmel gave it a crack on Tuesday night's Kimmel Live.
"Sean Spicer might be the only press secretary who needs a press secretary," Kimmel half-joked. Peter Weber
On Monday, United Airlines got a lot of (unwanted) free publicity for having Chicago aviation police forcibly drag a bloodied passenger off a flight to Louisville on Sunday because the airline had overbooked and needed four seats for United flight attendants. Jimmy Kimmel said he doesn't even understand overbooking. "I've been to like 100 games and stadiums with 50,000 seats — they never sell the same seat two times to one person," he said on Monday's Kimmel Live, "but for some reason, airlines cannot figure this out."
The whole episode, from the overbooking to the odd return of the bloody and disoriented passenger to the booing of the flight crew, was "terrible," Kimmel said, but maybe "the worst part of all of it" was the response from CEO Oscar Munoz, who apologized for "having to re-accommodate these customers." Re-accommodate? he asked. "Just like we re-accommodated El Chapo out of Mexico? That is such sanitized, say-nothing, take-no-responsibility corporate B.S. speak, I don't know how the guy who sent that tweet didn't vomit when he typed it out."
The whole debacle was easily preventable, too. "They almost certainly could have gotten volunteers by offering more money or travel vouchers," maybe $1,000 instead of $800, Kimmel said. "Or $100,000 — who cares? It's not the passenger's fault if you sold too many tickets on your plane; they bought tickets. Can you imagine this happening in any other industry? I mean, imagine if this happened at Applebees." He sketched out how that might go. "United didn't even admit they did anything wrong," Kimmel said. "In fact, if anything, they seem to be doubling down on this." That was the introduction for a hard-knuckled fake new United ad. Watch below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert kicked off Wednesday's Late Show with Bill O'Reilly's $13 million sexual harassment "pickle." Advertisers are bailing, but "today Donald Trump got his back," saying in an interview, "I don't think Bill did anything wrong,'" Colbert noted. "Mr. President, I want to remind you, you just declared April sexual assault awareness month. And there's two accusations of sexual assault I'm aware of: Bill O'Reilly's, and yours."
"Maybe you're not the perfect person to weigh in on this one," Colbert said, but Ivanka Trump, with her "enlightened approach to these issues," might do. Or not. He played the clip of Ivanka defining-down "complicit" on CBS This Morning. "Nope, that's not what complicit means," he said, breaking out a dictionary. "You can't just reverse the definition to make yourself sound better. That's like saying, 'If being a Nazi means fighting for civil rights, then yeah, I'm a huge Nazi.'"
Colbert finally got to the big news of the day. "We have a deeply divided nation," he said, "but today it seems like everyone has come together to join the protest against the new protest ad from Pepsi." He walked everyone through the defunct ad, which starts with a generic protest march. "So far, we don't know what has caused all of America's hot extras to take to the streets — but I'm guessing it's a protest for Attractive Lives Matter," Colbert said. Then one of the Kardashians leaves a photo shoot to join in. "Once Kendall Jenner has made the ultimate sacrifice of wiping off her lipstick, it's super fun — until the march meets the world's least-intimidating police force," he narrated. "They're also extremely attractive — watch out, Kendall, those unarmed cops might start stripping." He ended with a riff on the ad's tagline: "'Live — for now,' especially if you're Pepsi's marketing department, because I don't think you guys are going to be there for long."
At Late Night, Seth Meyers also panned the Pepsi ad, showing a much darker alternative ending.
But at The Daily Show, Trevor Noah is more understanding. "To be honest with you guys, I don't understand why Pepsi got hammered so hard," he said. "In fact, I think all brands need to become more woke." He provides some suggestions. You can watch below. Peter Weber
Tonight at 11/10c, Pepsi tries to get woke. America says "go back to sleep." pic.twitter.com/5v80wCSF4A
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 6, 2017