Stephen Colbert on George Santos: ‘You can read his memoir, I Am Malala’

Late-night hosts discuss the Republican’s fictional résumé, and a suggestive new statue of Martin Luther King Jr in Boston

Stephen Colbert

“As crazy as the world seems, and she do seem crazy, it’s comforting every so often to be reminded that actions still have consequences,” said Stephen Colbert on Tuesday evening. “And even when those consequences are awful, it’s nice to know that you weren’t crazy when you pointed out those consequences were careening down the highway toward all of us like a jackknife manure spreader.”

His case in point: the Republican party, which for years “said nothing while the former president told over 30,000 verifiable lies,” the Late Show host explained. “That’s 20 lies a day! I don’t always get in 20 steps a day.”

“So no one should be surprised when that party is the party that produces newly elected representative George Santos,” the New York lawmaker whose web of lies and fictional résumé have led many of his own party to call for his resignation.

And the lies keep coming; in a recently unearthed 2020 podcast, Santos bragged about graduating from NYU with an MBA. “If you want to learn more about his inspiring time in grad school, you can read his memoir, I Am Malala,” Colbert joked.

Santos also said he hated “to see the youths today and see them sitting on their behinds and acting like, you know, ugh this is so hard.”

“Yeah, you lazy youth!” Colbert mocked. “How many accomplishments did you make up today? One? Two? George Santos tells 10 lies before breakfast!

“You think it’s easy hiding checks and keeping track of which sport you pretended to play and which college you pretended to attend?” he added. “No! But you gotta dig down like George did so he could make his parents proud. His sweet, sweet parents Rosa Parks and the Fiddler on the Roof.”

The Daily Show

After a month-long absence following the end of Trevor Noah’s tenure, The Daily Show returned on Tuesday night with a series of guest hosts, starting with Saturday Night Live alum Leslie Jones.

For her first night behind the Comedy Central desk, Jones took aim at a newly unveiled statue in honor of Martin Luther King in Boston. The statue is supposed to celebrate, somewhat abstractly, the embrace shared by the civil rights leader and his wife Coretta after he won the 1964 Nobel peace prize. But Jones had a different interpretation – “Has anyone in here ever been eaten out?” she asked the studio audience.

Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) is our first guest host and she's got some thoughts on that new MLK Jr. statue...

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 18, 2023

“Because they are celebrating you right now in Boston!” she continued. “Listen, I know Dr King went down in history, but this is not how you show it.”

Lest people think anyone could make the joke, Jones added: “White people, you don’t need to say shit about this statue! You need to sit your ass in the back of the bus for this one.

“This is a civil rights icon,” she continued, “… going down on his wife. You show some damn respect!

“OK, Black people, what the fuck we gonna do?” she joked, because “you know it’s messed up when Black people and the Proud Boys hate the same statue.”

Noting that people also hated the Eiffel Tower when it was first revealed in Paris, Jones concluded by wondering if “it’s just a matter of time” before people come around. “In time, maybe we’ll see this statue for what it really is: Martin Luther King going down on his wife.”

Jimmy Kimmel

In Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel laughed at the former president’s outrage over classified documents retuned to the National Archives by Joe Biden’s lawyers. “Donald Trump is at peak ‘are you kidding me?’ right now,” Kimmel explained. “He has been swimming at the bottom of the Maga reptile tank,” appearing on far-right shows like Revolver News, America’s Top Ten Countdown with Wayne Allen Root, the Dr Gina show and others.

On a show called The Water Cooler, “even he was reluctant to answer this preposterous question” – which was whether Joe Biden should be prosecuted for a handful of classified documents accidentally not returned from his private residence in Delaware. “Well, I don’t really want to get into that,” Trump responded, adding of Mar-a-Lago: “You could say it’s an armed fortress.”

“Hmm, you could say that,” Kimmel mocked. “It’s not an armed fortress, but you could say anything. You could say it’s a bouncy house.

“Mar-a-Lago is not an armed fortress,” he added. “It’s a social club that anybody who pays a $200,000 membership fee can be part of. It’s a wedding venue with ketchup on the walls, is what it is. Just because it has a moat of ranch dressing doesn’t make it a fortress.”

Seth Meyers

And on Late Night, Seth Meyers reported the latest in Biden’s classified documents saga, which is that the White House said it doesn’t keep visitor logs for Biden’s personal residence in Delaware. “If you want to know who visited, you’ll just have to watch Jay Leno’s Garage,” he joked.

In a new podcast episode, Trump confirmed that he heard Ron DeSantis might challenge him for the Republican nomination, and said he’d “handle that the way I handle things”.

“So get ready, Ron, he’s going to cheat on you,” Meyers joked.

Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said recently that Mitch McConnell is an “enigma” who he “saw smile once, back in 2017”.

“Said McConnell: I remember it – it was at the end of Marley & Me,” said Meyers.

Guardian staff

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