Colbert to Jacinda Ardern: ‘We need you to come to America to run in 2024’

Late-night hosts discuss Ardern’s resignation as prime minister of New Zealand, George Santos’s past and Republican infighting

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert opened Thursday’s Late Show monologue with Jacinda Ardern’s resignation as prime minister of New Zealand, saying she “no longer had enough in the tank” to do the job. “It’s time,” Ardern, who has served for six years, said in her announcement.

“Wait a second – she’s leaving because it’s the right thing to do?” Colbert marveled. “She didn’t lose an election or steal classified documents or have a Boris Johnson sex party? Are you Kiwis sure you know how democracy works? Do you even have one deranged pillow salesman?

“You’re the only world leader that I’m friends with,” he lamented, playing a clip from his visit with Ardern in New Zealand (the duo drove around Auckland and also had a barbecue with Kiwi pop singer Lorde). “Don’t make me start hanging out with Justin Trudeau! Sure he’s pretty to look at, but he smells like hot yoga and poutine.”

Colbert urged Ardern to rest up, “because we need you to come to America to run in 2024. You may be a Kiwi but at 42, you are constitutionally old enough to be a president’s grandchild.”

In American political news, Colbert touched on yet another complication in the backstory of the disgraced GOP congressman George Santos. According to new reports, the New York Republican used to perform as a drag queen in Brazilian pageants. “Wow, George Santos did something interesting!” Colbert laughed. “All his other lies are super boring, like ‘I worked at a bank’ or ‘my mother is a volleyball.’”

Santos allegedly performed under the stage name Kitara Ravache. “Really? That’s what he went with?” Colbert said. “I would’ve gone with something fun, like Anita Alibi or Ivana Pawnyourjewelry.”

Santos has denied his past as a drag queen, “and I can understand why”, said Colbert. “His party, the GOP, has declared war on drag queens all over the country the past year. They don’t care that Santos is a serial liar who steals money intended for dying dogs. But for Republicans, finding out that he performs drag would be as bad as finding out that he officiated a wedding between the green M&M and a Covid vaccine.”

Seth Meyers

On Late Night, Seth Meyers relished how “GOP infighting has gotten so bad, even one-time allies are now bitter enemies”. Representatives Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, for example, were once friends but ended up on opposite sides of the fight over speaker of the House.

The two reportedly got in a shouting match in a bathroom off the House floor. “Well, I guess that answers the riddle ‘what’s worse than Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert fighting? Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert fighting in a room with an echo,’” Meyers joked.

Greene “does strike me as the type of person who would wait in a bathroom stall until she overheard someone talking shit about her and just kick open a door like a cowboy busting into a saloon”, he added.

Meyers summed up the days-long drama over George Santos as, “he lied about so many things, we don’t even know if his name is George Santos”.

Santos has repeatedly dodged questions from reporters about his possible resignation – even members of his own party have called on him to do so – by jumping into congressional elevators. “What would this guy do without elevators?” Meyers wondered. “He’s gonna have to live in one. When he gets in, he probably just presses every single button.

“This is what happens when you’re a party of Trump: you attract con artists like George Santos,” he concluded.

Jimmy Kimmel

And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel checked in on Donald Trump, who has been “doing everything in his power to whine that he, the guy who refused to return the top-secret documents he stole for so long that the FBI had to come and take them from him, has been treated unfairly”.

As Trump put it in a taped speech for supporters: “We have two standards of justice in our country: one for people like you and me …”

“Wait a minute, who is like you?” Kimmel interjected. “Nobody’s like you! You’re the only one. One thing I can say about him – he is unique. And thank goodness, I don’t think we could handle more than one Donald Trump. Could you imagine two Donald Trumps? They would, first of all, hate each other.

“I love this idea he throws out there that he’s a regular dude,” Kimmel said, “just born into billions, boarding school, Wharton business school, Joe six-pack with a gold toilet and his name on every flat surface he sees. He’s one of us!

“This is funny to watch because on the one hand, Trump’s ecstatic they found these documents at Biden’s house, but it also reminds everyone they found 15 times as many documents at his house,” he added. “So now his goal is to make it seem like that golf mausoleum he lives in in Florida is some kind of Fort Knox.”

It’s an argument that can’t stand, said Kimmel, as “Mar-a-Lago is a wedding venue. There are hundreds of strangers drunk and doing the chicken dance in that building every weekend.”

Guardian staff

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