How Stephen Colbert Reacted To The Controversy Over His Donald Trump Joke

stephen colbert donald trump jokes late show

Stephen Colbert is no stranger to being in hot water, as his satire-gone-rogue brand of comedy does not dissuade emotional responses. An overwhelming outcry followed a joke he told earlier this week during a monologue about Donald Trump, in which he...well, he made a rather foul remark, and people once again dusted off that #FireColbert hashtag and called for CBS to wallop the Late Show host with pink slips. Addressing the issue on Wednesday night's monologue, Colbert offered an expected non-apology, saying this:

If you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine. At the end of that monologue, I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don't regret that. I believe he can take care of himself. I have jokes, he has the launch codes. So it's a fair fight. So, while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be. Now, I'm not gonna repeat the phrase, but I just want to say, for the record: Life is short. And anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the President and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But that.

Remorse, thy name is anything but Stephen Colbert, who preceded that response by introducing himself and then questioning whether he actually was still the Late Show host or not. And when he threw his hands up in the air to celebrate his continued reign, you just knew that nothing he said next would offer a legitimate olive branch to anyone that'd railed against him in the previous day and a half. At least not those mad about him insulting the POTUS directly.

Referring to the most damning insult he spouted, one that involved Vladamir Putin, Stephen Colbert chose not to use the phrase again, thus not stirring more homophobia claims. He then offered a quaint little message about how love is all you need. Wait, that was The Beatles, but it's mostly the same idea. Colbert then plunged into talking about the FBI's James Comey, and peace befell the entire world.

While it does cause wonder for the somewhat stodgy CBS to be on board with allowing a backlash like this, it's not so suspect for Stephen Colbert. When #FireColbert was going strong back when he was on Comedy Central, both the host and the network were fine to milk the controversy for ratings' worth, and it worked well enough. Given how heated the ratings game has gotten between The Late Show and Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show in recent months, no surprises are embedded in Colbert stoking the flames in his signature style.

You can watch the monologue in question in the video below.

You can watch The Late Show with Stephen Colbert every weeknight on CBS. And if you need to know what you can watch elsewhere on the small screen, head over to our summer TV schedule to find all the new and returning shows.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.