Stephen Colbert on the US supreme court: ‘We don’t live in a democracy’

Late-night hosts discussed the attempt to dismantle Roe vs Wade and the latest unhinged Omicron conspiracy theories

Stephen Colbert

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert started by discussing one of the week’s biggest stories: the possible dismantling of abortion laws in the US. The supreme court has been discussing the landmark case Roe v Wade, in relation to a Mississippi case brought in front of them. He remarked that “it is looking rough for Roe”.

Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s final appointee to the supreme court, used mandated Covid vaccinations as a comparison to comments about abortion. “Vaccines are mandated because Covid is contagious,” Colbert said. “No one ever says, ‘Can you put a mask on your belly? I don’t want to catch baby.’”

Colbert summed up the issue of a heavily right-tilting court by saying: “I don’t want to get too technical but we, what’s the word, don’t live in a democracy.”

He reminded his audience that five of the nine justices were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote.

The rise in Omicron cases has had anti-vaxxers coming out with their latest theories, an excuse to “make up crazy crap” such as noting that it must be a hoax because the letters can be reassembled to make the word moronic.

“That theory is incredibly Omicron,” he joked.

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel spoke about congress trying to avoid a shutdown due to finance issues. “I don’t understand this,” he said. “Donald Trump isn’t president any more – why are we still running the country like one of his businesses?”

This week has also seen the German government institute a new lockdown for those who refuse to get vaccinated. “It’s always a bit scary when you hear the words Germany and lockdown in the same sentence,” he said.

Trump appeared on Fox & Friends this week to give “a lesson in revisionist history” as he claimed that people were fighting to get the vaccine while he was in office, despite the fact that the vaccine became available after he was no longer president.

“The only thing people were fighting over when you were president was toilet paper,” Kimmel joked.

But he added that “it hardly seems possible, but there’s an even dumber Donald Trump out there” before showing footage of Donald Trump Jr, also on Fox, making wild claims about Fauci and the economy.

“He sure does talk about the economy a lot for someone who never had to go out and get a job,” Kimmel said.

Trevor Noah

Who is Angela Merkel and why is everyone so freaked out about her leaving? If you don’t know, now you know.

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) December 3, 2021

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah hosted a segment about German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been “underestimated by everybody”.

Before she rose to power, she was often the butt of jokes because of her appearance and supposed fragility, which Noah said must sting “because Germans only make one joke a year, and they saved it for her”.

But she proved everyone wrong, and Noah said that “if there’s one thing we’ve learned from movies it’s that you should never underestimate the shy, mousy woman: She’s All That, The Devil Wears Prada, The Blair Witch Project”.

He showed a montage of male leaders trying to disrespect Merkel, from Putin to Trump. “The way these leaders treated her is embarrassing,” he said before remarking that it’s a tough situation to sort as “there’s no HR for world leaders”.

“Luckily as a German, Merkel wasn’t fazed by the sausage-fest,” he said before saluting her: “You kept things stable, you stood up for democracy and you never once appeared on Jeffrey Epstein’s flight logs.”

Guardian staff

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