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With several late-night programs on holiday, Stephen Colbert returned from a week off to discuss “major news about the most powerful man in the world”.
That would be Superman, whose maker, DC Comics, announced a new motto for the 83-year-old superhero character: “Truth, justice, and a better tomorrow.” The change tweaks his long-running catchphrase: “Truth, justice, and the American way.”
“You know, it makes sense to change it,” said the Late Show host. “If Superman really followed the current American way, he would fly to school board meetings to scream about how the vaccine gave him heat vision.
“Changing the slogan for this cartoon has made a lot of people angry – which, of course, is the American way,” Colbert continued, noting that the “American way” wasn’t Superman’s original motto – it was added by the Superman radio show during the second world war.
“But a lot has changed since the 1940s,” said Colbert. “Back then, Superman was also doing ads for cigarettes – ‘be like Superman: smoke Chestertons and you’ll never die!’”
In a statement, DC Comics said the slogan change was intended to “honor Superman’s incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world”.
“Or, as Fox News put it: ‘New communist Superman cancels Mr Potato Head’s Christmas penis,’” Colbert joked.
“Of course, I’m kidding – but not by much,” he added before a montage of clips in which Fox News hosts compared the motto change to endorsing “Communist China” and “the Taliban way”.
In other sensational news, the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele once again drew attention to his infamous dossier on Trump’s connections to Russia that alleged collusion between the Trump 2016 campaign and the Kremlin.
The explosive yet unsubstantiated dossier claimed, among other things, that Russian intelligence had a video of the former president with prostitutes urinating on a bed in Moscow where Barack Obama once slept. The so-called “pee pee tape” was never released, “no matter how many times I prayed”, said Colbert. But in an interview with ABC News, Steele said the tape “probably exists”.
“My heart cannot take this,” Colbert joked. “You cannot get me to talk about this until the actual tape has been released – or at least streamed.”
At a donor retreat last week, Trump denied, sans context or prompting, that he enjoys so-called “golden showers”.
“Um, no one asked you?” Colbert reacted. “And when no one is bringing up the thing that you famously denied, you shouldn’t bring it up either. You don’t hear Paul McCartney beginning his concert by saying, ‘Hello New York, I did not secretly die in 1966 and get replaced with a lookalike from Canada, eh.’”
Trump also reportedly denied the tape’s existence on the basis of wife Melania’s distrust of the story. “You know the great thing, our great first lady – ‘that one,’ she said, ‘I don’t believe that one,’” he said.
“Yes, she doesn’t believe that one,” Colbert mocked, imitating the former first lady: “Having prostitutes pee on a bed does not sound like my husband. Now, getting spanked by Forbes magazine with him on the cover and then raw-dogging that porn star at a celebrity golf tournament two weeks after I gave birth to our child? That’s the man I married.’”