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  • >> Stephen: HEY, EVERYBODY!

  • WELCOME TO "A LATE SHOW."

  • I'M YOUR HOST, STEPHEN COLBERT.

  • MMM...

  • OOOH...

  • WELL, IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

  • HOW LONG HAVE I BEEN GONE?

  • >> A WEEK.

  • >> Stephen: A WEEK.

  • I MISSED YOU.

  • I HOPE YOU MISSED ME.

  • SO MUCH HAS CHANGED IN THAT NOTHING IS CHANGING.

  • BECAUSE THE BIG STORY TODAY IS I'M STILL HERE

  • YOU'RE STILL THERE, AND WE'VE BEEN THAT WAY FOR ALMOST A YEAR.

  • WE'RE APPROACHING THE PANDEMIC'S FIRST ANNIVERSARY.

  • TRADITIONALLY, THE GIFT IS PAPER, ON A ROLL, NEXT TO A

  • TOILET.

  • BUT EVEN AS THE DEATH TOLL CROSSES HALF A MILLION, THERE IS

  • GOOD NEWS: PRESIDENT BIDEN EXPECTS TO SURPASS HIS GOAL

  • OF 100 MILLION SHOTS IN 100 DAYS, AND LAST WEEK, THE DAILY

  • INOCULATION AVERAGE CLIMBED TO 1.7 MILLION SHOTS PER DAY.

  • SO, THE MAIN QUESTION ON EVERYONE'S MIND IS: WHEN WILL

  • THINGS BE NORMAL?

  • ONE PROFESSOR AT JOHNS HOPKINS SAYS, "WE'LL HAVE HERD IMMUNITY

  • BY APRIL."

  • APRIL?

  • THAT'S GREAT!

  • BUT IT DOES MEAN I ACTUALLY HAVE TO GET STARTED ON MY BEACH BOD'.

  • RIGHT NOW I'M ROCKIN' MORE OF A WASHED-UP-ON-THE-BEACH BOD'.

  • MAYBE FISHED OUT OF THE RIVER, DRAGGED OUT OF THE LAKE.

  • OF COURSE, AS EXCITING AS THIS PREDICTION IS, KEEP IN MIND, IT

  • FIRST APPEARED IN "THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF TELLING YOU

  • WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR."

  • THIS MONTH'S COVER STORY: "MOST PEOPLE YOUR AGE CAN'T PULL OFF A

  • LEATHER JACKET, BUT YOU LOOK GREAT!"

  • SO, IT'S HAPPENING!

  • WE'RE GOING BACK TO NORMAL IN APRIL!

  • OR AS PRESIDENT BIDEN PUT IT SLIGHTLY DIFFERENTLY:

  • >> BY NEXT CHRISTMAS.

  • >> STEPHEN: ALL RIGHT, FINE.

  • NEXT CHRISTMAS.

  • WHATEVER.

  • AT LEAST AT THIS YEAR'S FAMILY MEALS, WE WON'T BE SAYING,

  • "UNCLE PHIL, YOU'RE ON MUTE!" WE'LL BE SAYING, "I WISH WE

  • COULD PUT UNCLE PHIL ON MUTE."

  • ANYWAY, IT'S THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT... FOR THE GRINCH

  • TO STEAL.

  • BECAUSE DR. FAUCI SAYS IT'S POSSIBLE WE'LL STILL BE WEARING

  • MASKS IN 2022.

  • GREAT!

  • WE'LL BE BACK TO NORMAL BY APRIL-- CHRISTMAS A YEAR AND A

  • HALF FROM NOW.

  • ONE OF THOSE!

  • ANY ONE OF THOSE!

  • LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY -- IF THIS WERE CLIMBING MOUNT

  • EVEREST, WE'D EITHER BE ABOUT TO SUMMIT, SET UP BASE CAMP, OR

  • THINKING ABOUT BUYING A CLIF BAR AT CVS.

  • BUT WHATEVER THAT -- YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?

  • YOU KNOW WHAT I'M FEELING, RIGHT?

  • WELL, THEN -- WHERE ARE WE IN WE'RE, LIKE, IN PURGATORY HERE!

  • WHENEVER NORMAL HAPPENS, THIS COUNTRY IS MORE THAN READY. IN

  • FACT, A NEW SURVEY FOUND THAT 38% OF AMERICANS WOULD GIVE UP

  • SEX FOR A YEAR TO GO ON A TRIP IMMEDIATELY.

  • WHICH MEANS AN ASTOUNDING 38% OF AMERICANS HAVE HAD SEX THIS

  • YEAR.

  • EVIDENTLY, SOME PEOPLE ARE TURNED ON BY A HOT BOWL OF

  • COUCH LASAGNA.

  • MMM!

  • YOU'RE LOOKING LOGY.

  • THERE WAS A LITTLE NEWS TIDBIT YOU MIGHT'VE MISSED LAST WEEK

  • WHEN THE SENATE ACQUITTED THE FORMER PRESIDENT IN HIS SECOND

  • IMPEACHMENT TRIAL FOR INSURRECTION.

  • WE WERE ON BREAK WHEN IT HAPPENED, BUT I PROMISE WE'LL

  • HAVE FULL COVERAGE OF HIS THIRD IMPEACHMENT.

  • BUT OL' DOLT 45'S NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET.

  • BECAUSE TODAY, THE SUPREME COURT DENIED HIS FINAL BID TO BLOCK

  • THE RELEASE OF HIS TAX RETURNS.

  • WOO!

  • ♪♪♪ THAT'S IT!

  • THANK YOU!

  • THAT WAS HARDLY EVEN DANGEROUS!

  • ( LAUGHTER ) OH!

  • BREAK OUT THE CHAMPAGNE GLASSES!

  • AND MY READING GLASSES!

  • THERE'S GONNA BE SOME FINE PRINT!

  • I'LL GIVE YOU THE 4-1-1 ON THE 1099'S IN OUR NEW, HOPEFULLY

  • VERY RECURRING SEGMENT: >> LOCK HIM UP!

  • LOCK HIM UP!

  • LOCK HIM UP!

  • LOCK HIM UP!

  • >> Stephen: THE NICE THING ABOUT BEING GONE, BECAUSE YOU

  • DON'T MISS A STEP -- I STILL GOT IT, BABY!

  • FOR YEARS, THE FORMER PRESIDENT -- I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE

  • ONE OF THOSE POPPER THINGS THAT REALLY ENDANGERS EVERYONE AROUND

  • YOU.

  • THIS IS WHY REHEARSAL IS HANDY.

  • FOR YEARS, THE FORMER PRESIDENT HAS BEEN DESPERATE TO PREVENT

  • PROSECUTORS FROM GETTING THEIR HANDS ON ANY DOCUMENTS THAT

  • MIGHT GET HIM IN LEGAL TROUBLE.

  • SO... ANY DOCUMENTS.

  • BUT TODAY, THE HIGH COURT RULED THAT HE HAD TO HAND OVER HIS

  • FINANCIAL HISTORY TO THE MANHATTAN D.A., WHO'S BEEN

  • CONDUCTING A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION THAT COULD LEAD TO

  • CONSPIRACY FRAUD CHARGES, WHICH ARE B FELONIES.

  • GOOD.

  • 'CAUSE HE "B" A FELON.

  • GIVEN THE POTENTIAL CHARGES, THE FORMER PRESIDENT COULD BE SENT

  • TO JAIL IF CONVICTED.

  • I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT ALL PLAY OUT IN THE NEW NETFLIX SERIES

  • "ORANGE IS THE NEW ORANGE."

  • NOBODY KNOWS WHAT THE EXACT CHARGES RELATED TO THE FAMILY

  • BUSINESS ARE YET, BUT THEY COULD IMPLICATE COMPANY EXECUTIVES DON

  • JR. AND ERIC.

  • (AS ERIC) "DAD!

  • THE JUDGE SAYS WE GET TO HAVE A SLEEPOVER!

  • FOR 10 YEARS!

  • I CALL TOP BUNK!

  • I'M GONNA MAKE TOILET HOOCH!" IT'S OKAY IF YOU HAVE TO SHIV

  • ME.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) IN RESPONSE, THE FORMER

  • PRESIDENT CALLED IT A "FISHING EXPEDITION."

  • (AS ERIC) "DAD, WE'RE GOING FISHING, TOO!

  • JUST LIKE IN THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW!"

  • (WHISTLES BADLY) I THINK I'M DOING MYSELF

  • PERIODONTAL DAMAGE WHEN I DO THAT

  • WHEN ASKED WHETHER THIS WAS A SO-CALLED FISHING EXPEDITION,

  • THE MANHATTAN D.A. RESPONDED: >> YOU'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER

  • BOAT.

  • >> STEPHEN: THINGS CONTINUE TO BE ROUGH DOWN IN TEXAS.

  • LAST WEEK, THE LONE STAR STATE WAS HIT BY A FREAK WINTER STORM

  • THAT KNOCKED OUT POWER.

  • MILLIONS OF TEXANS ARE STILL WITHOUT RUNNING WATER, AND THERE

  • ARE FOOD SHORTAGES ACROSS THE STATE.

  • IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO HELP, AND I KNOW YOU ARE, WE HAVE SOME

  • SUGGESTED CHARITIES YOU CAN DONATE TO.

  • JUST HEAD OVER TO COLBERTLATESHOW.COM

  • /TEXAS.

  • AND PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY.

  • NOW, THIS MIGHT SHOCK YOU, BUT THERE ARE STATES BESIDES TEXAS

  • THAT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE PHENOMENON OF WINTER.

  • IT'S TRUE.

  • YOU CAN LOOK IT UP.

  • SO, WHY DID THEY LOSE POWER AND WATER AND HEAT?

  • IN TEXAS, ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE DEPENDENT UPON THEIR

  • ELECTRICAL GRID, AND IN AN EFFORT TO AVOID FEDERAL

  • REGULATION, TEXAS IS THE ONLY STATE IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED

  • STATES TO OPERATE ITS OWN GRID.

  • WELL, TEXANS LIKE TO HAVE THEIR OWN STUFF: GRIDS, TOASTS, AND

  • CHAINSAW MASSACRES.

  • IN ADDITION, TEXAS IS A FAN OF EXTREME CAPITALISM, SO THEY

  • HANDED THEIR GRID OVER TO THE INVISIBLE HAND OF THE MARKET.

  • MEANING THAT ANYTIME THERE'S A LACK OF SUPPLY AND A HUGE

  • DEMAND, PRICES SKYROCKET.

  • OUT OF CONTROL.

  • SO, LAST WEEK, IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS ARCTIC BLAST, ELECTRICITY

  • IN TEXAS APPROACHED $9,000 PER MEGAWATT/HOUR.

  • WHICH IS AN INCREASE OF 180 TIMES THE AVERAGE RATE BEFORE

  • THE STORM.

  • ONE MAN WAS STUCK WITH A $16,752 ELECTRIC BILL.

  • TO WHICH AMERICA'S FATHERS REPLIED, "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS

  • WHEN YOU PUSH THE THERMOSTAT ABOVE 66!

  • I'M PUTTING SOME TAPE ON IT!

  • I'M TAPING IT DOWN!

  • WE'RE NOT HEATING THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD!

  • SO, CLEARLY, THE SYSTEM IS VERY BAD FOR THE PEOPLE, BUT VERY

  • GOOD FOR THE ENERGY COMPANIES, SOME OF WHICH EARNED MORE PROFIT

  • ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY ALONE THAN THEY WOULD HAVE GAINED

  • THROUGH AN ENTIRE YEAR OF NORMAL OPERATION.

  • AS ONE ENERGY COMPANY SPOKESMAN EXPLAINED, "GOLD!

  • GOLD!

  • I'M RICH, I TELL YOU.

  • GOLD!" SO, IT'S NO WONDER TEXAS POWER

  • COMPANIES DID NOT PREPARE FOR THIS DISASTER, EVEN THOUGH

  • BACK IN 2011, FEDERAL REGULATORS WARNED TEXAS THAT ITS POWER

  • PLANTS COULDN'T BE COUNTED ON TO RELIABLY CHURN OUT ELECTRICITY

  • IN BITTERLY COLD CONDITIONS.

  • BUT YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY, "THOSE WHO FAIL TO LEARN FROM

  • HISTORY WERE PROBABLY EDUCATED IN TEXAS."

  • THAT WARNING CAME FROM THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY

  • COMMISSION OR "FERC."

  • NO ONE LISTENED, AND NOW, "ERMEGERD.

  • TEXAS IS FERC'D."

  • THE GUY IN CHARGE OF THE LONE STAR STATE BACK THEN WAS FORMER

  • TEXAS GOVERNOR AND MAN WONDERING WHAT HAPPENS TO THE SUN AT

  • NIGHT, RICK PERRY.

  • LAST WEEK, PERRY DEFENDED HIS STATE'S LUDICROUS ENERGY SETUP,

  • SAYING, "TEXANS WOULD BE WITHOUT ELECTRICITY FOR LONGER THAN

  • THREE DAYS TO KEEP THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OUT OF THEIR

  • BUSINESS."

  • THAT STATEMENT WAS SO DUMB, RICK PERRY IMMEDIATELY TRIED TO MAKE

  • HIMSELF SEEM SMARTER BY WEARING A SECOND PAIR OF GLASSES.

  • OF COURSE, THERE'S ONE GUY IN TEXAS GIVING RICK PERRY A RUN

  • FOR HIS DUMMY: SENATOR AND MAN WHOSE FACE WAS SEIZED BY AN

  • ANGRY MOB, THEN TARRED AND PUBED, TED CRUZ.

  • AT THE HEIGHT OF THE CRISIS LAST WEEK, FOLKS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

  • SPOTTED TED CRUZ BOARDING A FLIGHT TO CANCUN.

  • 'CAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY, "WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, TED

  • CRUZ GETS GONE."

  • THE SENATOR GOT A LOT OF CRITICISM, SO HE IMMEDIATELY

  • SWALLOWED HIS PRIDE, PULLED HIMSELF UP BY HIS OWN

  • BOOTSTRAPS, AND THREW HIS DAUGHTERS UNDER A BUS:

  • "WITH SCHOOL CANCELED FOR THE WEEK, OUR GIRLS ASKED TO TAKE A

  • TRIP WITH FRIENDS.

  • WANTING TO BE A GOOD DAD, I FLEW DOWN WITH THEM LAST NIGHT AND AM

  • FLYING BACK THIS AFTERNOON."

  • SEE?

  • HE WAS JUST BEING A GOOD DAD.

  • UNLIKE ALL THOSE TERRIBLE FATHERS WHO WERE HUDDLING WITH

  • THEIR KIDS FOR WARMTH.

  • REMINDS ME OF F.D.R.'S FAMOUS SPEECH:

  • >> DECEMBER 7, 1941, A DAY THAT WAS MY DAUGHTER ANNA'S FAULT!

  • COME ON, HONEY, WHY DIDN'T YOU WARN ME THE JAPANESE WERE

  • COMING?!

  • YOU'RE GROUNDED!

  • >> STEPHEN: TURNS OUT, IT WASN'T ONLY COWARDLY, IT WAS A LIE.

  • BECAUSE ACCORDING TO A LEAK FROM UNITED AIRLINES, CRUZ WAS

  • INITIALLY BOOKED TO RETURN HOME SATURDAY AND HE BOOKED HIS

  • RETURN TICKET AT 6:00 A.M.

  • THURSDAY.

  • OH, THAT'S EMBARRASSING.

  • PLUS, HE WAS IN COACH, SO THEY CHARGED HIM $25 TO CHECK HIS

  • DOUCHE-BAG.

  • AS PART OF THE FALLOUT, UNITED IS INVESTIGATING THE FLIGHT INFO

  • LEAK.

  • THAT'S GOING TO BE TRICKY.

  • "OKAY, WHO WOULD HAVE LEAKED THIS?

  • WHO HATES TED CRUZ?

  • OKAY, IS THERE ANY WAY TO NARROW THAT DOWN?"

  • AFTER TED FLEW BACK TO TEXAS, HE DECIDED TO FESS UP TO THE

  • REPORTERS: >> I STARTED HAVING SECOND

  • THOUGHTS ALMOST THE MOMENT I SAT DOWN ON THE PLANE.

  • LEAVING WHEN SO MANY TEXANS WERE HURTING DIDN'T FEEL RIGHT, SO I

  • CHANGED MY RETURN FLIGHT AND FLEW BACK ON THE FIRST AVAILABLE

  • FLIGHT I COULD TAKE.

  • >> STEPHEN: TOO LATE, YOU ALREADY DID THE BAD THING, AND

  • WE KNOW YOU LIED ABOUT IT!

  • IT'S LIKE AN OLD TIMEY VILLAIN GOING, "YOU KNOW, TYING THAT

  • DAMSEL TO THE TRAIN TRACKS JUST DIDN'T FEEL RIGHT.

  • SO I TOOK THE FIRST TRAIN BACK AFTER THE ACCIDENT SO I COULD BE

  • HERE FOR THE GRIEVING FAMILY.

  • WHICH BOX HAS THE HEAD?" IN TYPICAL TED CRUZ FASHION,

  • EVERY DETAIL THAT COMES OUT OF THIS STORY IS MORE TED CRUZ-IER

  • THAN THE LAST ONE.

  • FOR EXAMPLE, SENATOR TED CRUZ FAILED TO MENTION HIS COLLEGE

  • ROOMMATE ALSO WAS ALONG FOR THE VISIT.

  • I GOT TO SAY, THAT MAKES THE "I WAS JUST ESCORTING MY KIDS"

  • EXCUSE SOUND REALLY WEIRD.

  • (AS TED) "HEY, YOU WANNA FLY DOWN TO

  • MEXICO FOR SOME FUN?

  • ALSO, I HAVE TO LEAVE IMMEDIATELY, CAN YOU WATCH MY