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  • >> Stephen: HEY, EVERYBODY!

  • WELCOME TO "A LATE SHOW."

  • I'M YOUR HOST, STEPHEN COLBERT.

  • I HOPE YOU'RE DOING OKAY.

  • IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU.

  • IT HAS BEEN-- IT'S BEEN A ROUGH YEAR.

  • HOW ROUGH?

  • WELL, IN THE LAST 24 HOURS, THE BIGGEST STORIES ALL INVOLVE OLD

  • MEN CRYING.

  • IT'S LIKE BEING AT DENNY'S THE DAY THEY DISCONTINUE THE $6.99

  • SUPER SLAM.

  • THE FIRST WEEPING SEPTUAGENARIAN: PRESIDENT JOE

  • BIDEN.

  • AND IT IS OUR GOOD GRACE THAT HE IS WILLING TO WEEP.

  • BECAUSE YESTERDAY, THE PRESIDENT

  • COMMEMORATED THE HEARTBREAKING NUMBER OF AMERICANS WHO HAVE

  • DIED DURING THE PANDEMIC.

  • >> TODAY, WE MARK A TRULY GRIM, HEARTBREAKING MILESTONE,

  • 500,071 DEAD.

  • THAT'S MORE AMERICANS WHO DIED IN ONE YEAR IN THIS PANDEMIC

  • THAN IN WORLD WAR I, WORLD WAR II, AND THE VIETNAM WAR

  • COMBINED.

  • >> Stephen: THAT IS A HORRIFYING AND TRAGIC NUMBER THAT WAS

  • COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE, THAT WE COULD ALL SEE COMING, AND WAS

  • CLEARLY THE RESULT OF FAILED LEADERSHIP.

  • AFTER ALL, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN WAY MORE CASUALTIES IN WORLD

  • WAR II IF PATTON'S SPEECH WENT LIKE THIS:

  • >> NOW, I WANT YOU TO REMEMBER THAT NO BASTARD EVER WON A WAR

  • BY DYING FOR HIS COUNTRY.

  • SO DON'T LET THE NAZIS DOMINATE YOUR LIFE.

  • THEY'LL BE GONE BY THE SPRING.

  • NOW, TAKE THE ADVICE OF MY FAVORITE PILLOW SALESMAN, AND

  • EAT YOUR BLEACH.

  • IT'LL GO THROUGH YOU LIKE CRAP THROUGH A GOOSE.

  • >> Stephen: IT WAS A DEVASTATING, BUT POWERFUL SPEECH

  • BECAUSE OF BIDEN'S WILLINGNESS TO SHARE IN OUR NATIONAL GRIEF

  • BY NAMING HIS PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH UNIMAGINABLE

  • LOSS.

  • IT'S HARD FOOTAGE TO PLAY ON A COMEDY SHOW LIKE THIS, BUT IT'S

  • NUTRITIOUS TO THE SOUL TO SEE A PRESIDENT FINALLY FACING OUR

  • EMOTIONAL REALITY.

  • AND IT'S REFRESHING.

  • BECAUSE THE PREVIOUS GUY'S EMOTIONAL RANGE RAN THE GAMUT

  • FROM ANGRY TO HANGRY.

  • TO PUT THE MONUMENTAL LOSS HE WAS ADDRESSING INTO PERSPECTIVE,

  • THE U.S. HAS ABOUT 4% OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION AND RECORDED

  • 25% OF THE COVID CASES AND 20% OF THE FATALITIES.

  • IF A RESTAURANT HAD THE HEALTH RECORD THE UNITED STATES DOES,

  • THE LETTER GRADE OUT FRONT WOULD BE "NOT AVAILABLE-- INSPECTOR

  • DEVOURED BY RATS."

  • BUT DESPITE THE HISTORY OF BADNESS, THERE ARE REASONS FOR

  • HOPE.

  • THE VACCINATIONS ARE SPEEDING UP.

  • AND, YESTERDAY, WE LEARNED ANOTHER ONE IS ABOUT TO COME ON

  • THE MARKET, BECAUSE JOHNSON & JOHNSON ANNOUNCED IT CAN

  • PROVIDE 20 MILLION VACCINE DOSES BY LATE MARCH.

  • THAT IS SUCH GREAT NEWS, I COULD CRY!

  • BUT I KNOW JOHNSON & JOHNSON HAS A STRICT POLICY OF "NO MORE

  • TEARS."

  • OH, AND THERE'S MORE GOOD NEWS: THE SEVEN-DAY AVERAGE NUMBER OF

  • CASES IS DOWN 75%, DAILY HOSPITAL ADMISSION RATE DROPPED

  • 60%, AND IN THE PAST WEEK, DEATHS HAVE DROPPED NEARLY 39%.

  • THAT IS WONDERFUL-- IF YOU IGNORE THE FACT THAT THESE

  • NUMBERS ARE COMPARABLE TO LAST SUMMER'S PEAK.

  • ALL RIGHT!

  • WE'RE BACK WHERE WE WERE WHEN WE THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET ANY

  • WORSE, BUT WE WERE WRONG!

  • WOO-HOO!

  • JIMMY, HIT THE FIREWORKS!

  • YEEEEAH.

  • ICA BOOM!

  • I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE BANKING DOWN MY ENTHUSIASM.

  • APPARENTLY, THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ITSELF HAS

  • REFUSED TO PUBLICLY CELEBRATE THE PROGRESS WE'RE MAKING

  • BECAUSE THEY FEAR "IT WILL PROMPT PANDEMIC-WEARY

  • AMERICANS TO RELAX TOO SOON."

  • ( AS BIDEN ) "DON'T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN,

  • JACK!

  • OL' CORONA COULD JUST BE PLAYIN' POSSUM!

  • OKAY?

  • THE BOTTOM OF THE TRASH CAN, YOU THINK IT'S A DEAD RAT, THEN IT

  • JUMPS UP AND GRABS YOU BY THE EARS.

  • THEY GOT OPPOSABLE THUMBS!

  • START BURROWING IN YOUR EYE SOCKET!

  • ANYWAY, STOP, DROP, AND ROLL-- DON'T DO DRUGS.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) READING IS FUNDAMENTAL.

  • ONLY DOPES DO DOPE."

  • LAUGH ONE OF THOSE IS APPLICABLE.

  • THE POINT IS, I KNOW IT'S BEEN ALMOST A YEAR, BUT WE CAN'T LET

  • UP NOW.

  • AND SOMEBODY OUGHT TO TELL THAT TO NEW YORK GOVERNOR AND MAN

  • JUST DARING YOU TO PULL HIS FINGER, ANDREW CUOMO.

  • BECAUSE, YESTERDAY, THE GOVERNOR ANNOUNCED THAT, FOR THE FIRST

  • TIME IN NEARLY A YEAR, MOVIE THEATERS IN NEW YORK CITY WILL

  • BE PERMITTED TO OPEN.

  • IT'S ALL PART OF CUOMO'S NEW COVID RESPONSE PLAN, "OPERATION:

  • PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT THE NURSING HOME THING."

  • ( AS CUOMO ) "I WAS A MEME!

  • REMEMBER?

  • DO I HAVE A NIPPLE RING OR DON'T I?

  • WHERE ARE MY CUOMOSEXUALS AT?" NOW, I AM NOT A PUBLIC HEALTH

  • EXPERT, NOR DO I RUN A MOVIE THEATER, BUT THIS SOUNDS

  • QUESTIONABLE TO ME.

  • THE WHOLE REASON CASES ARE GOING DOWN IS THAT WE'RE NOT DOING

  • THINGS LIKE GOING TO THE MOVIES.

  • BUT IT'S HARDLY WORTH IT JUST TO BE COMPLETELY CONFUSED BY

  • "TENET" ON THE BIG SCREEN!

  • OF COURSE, THE GOVERNOR PROMISES THERE WILL BE PRECAUTIONS.

  • FOR INSTANCE, THE THEATERS WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED TO OPERATE AT

  • 25% OF THEIR MAXIMUM CAPACITY, WITH NO MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE PER

  • SCREENING.

  • SO, IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE NEW LIAM NEESON MOVIE "MARKSMAN,"

  • YOU SHOULD BE SAFE.

  • BRING 49 FRIENDS.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) ARE YOU A BIG FAN?

  • ARE YOU A BIG MAN.

  • ARE YOU LOOKED FORWARD TO SEEING "MARKSMAN"?

  • YOU'RE AFRAID LIAM IS GOING TO BE MAD ABOUT THE JOKE.

  • LIAM AND I ARE FRIENDS.

  • YOU CAN'T TELL FROM THAT JOKE, BUT WE'RE FRIENDS!

  • HE DOESN'T WRITE THEM.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) HEHE HAS A CERTAIN SET OF SKILLS

  • THEY DO NOT INVOLVE WRITING MOVIES.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) IN ADDITION, MASKS WILL BE

  • MANDATORY, AND THEATERS WILL BE REQUIRED TO HAVE ENHANCED AIR

  • FILTRATION SYSTEMS.

  • AND YOU'D BETTER HOPE THESE PRECAUTIONS WORK, BECAUSE TESTS

  • FOR THE CORONAVIRUS WILL NOT BE REQUIRED.

  • IT EXPLAINS THE UPDATE TO THEIR LITTLE SONG:

  • LET'S ALL GO TO THE HOSPITAL

  • AND HAVE THE DOC SWAB OUR SPITTLE

  • LET'S ALL GO TO THE HOSPITAL

  • BECAUSE WE WATCHED "THE CROODS" ♪

  • >> Stephen: DESPITE THE ENHANCED RISK, THE GOVERNOR MADE IT CLEAR

  • THAT MOVIE THEATER EMPLOYEES ARE NOT YET ELIGIBLE FOR THE

  • COVID-19 VACCINE.

  • SO, THEY'RE GOING TO WANT TO USE A LOT OF PURELL.

  • OR THE POPCORN TOPPING.

  • THAT WILL EVENTUALLY KILL EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES.

  • THIS STORY UNDERLINES THE FUNDAMENTAL INEQUITY IN

  • DISTRIBUTING VACCINES IN THIS COUNTRY.

  • FOR INSTANCE, ACCORDING TO THE C.D.C., BLACK PEOPLE AND LATINOS

  • ARE THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE HOSPITALIZED AND TWICE AS

  • LIKELY TO DIE FROM THE VIRUS, BUT BLACK AND LATINO AMERICANS

  • ARE BEING VACCINATED AT LOWER RATES.

  • SO THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING

  • ABOUT THAT.

  • THAT'S NICE.

  • THEY CREATED A PROGRAM WHERE MEMBERS OF UNDER-SERVED

  • COMMUNITIES WOULD BE THE ONLY ONES ALLOWED TO MAKE CERTAIN

  • VACCINATION APPOINTMENTS USING SPECIAL ACCESS CODES PROVIDED TO

  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS.

  • AND IF YOU USE THE CODE "UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT,

  • RIGHT, B., A., START," YOU GET A VACCINE APPOINTMENT AND THE

  • FEATHER THAT MAKES YOU FLY.

  • THIS IS AN EQUITABLE SYSTEM PROMOTING FAIRNESS, SO

  • NATURALLY, LOS ANGELES' WEALTHY ARE NABBING THE SECRET VACCINE

  • APPOINTMENT CODES FROM MINORITY COMMUNITIES.

  • IT'S ALL CHRONICLED IN THE NEW SERIES, "THE REAL ASS WIPES OF

  • BEVERLY HILLS."

  • ONTO THE NEXT CRYING OLD MAN, ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE, AND

  • MAN DESCRIBING HIS INVISIBLE RABBIT FRIEND, MERRICK GARLAND,

  • WHO VOWS TO TARGET WHITE SUPREMACISTS AS ATTORNEY

  • GENERAL.

  • AND FOR A CHANGE, IT'S NOT TO GIVE THEM MEDALS OF FREEDOM.

  • GARLAND ALREADY HAS A LIFETIME APPOINTMENT AS A FEDERAL JUDGE,

  • BUT HE'S GIVING THAT UP TO BE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND YESTERDAY,

  • HE TEARFULLY EXPLAINED WHY.

  • >> I COME FROM A FAMILY WHERE MY GRANDPARENTS FLED ANTI-SEMITISM

  • AND PERSECUTION.

  • THE COUNTRY TOOK US IN-- AND PROTECTED US.

  • AND I FEEL AN OBLIGATION TO THE COUNTRY TO PAY BACK, AND THIS IS

  • THE HIGHEST, BEST USE OF MY OWN SET OF SKILLS TO PAY BACK.

  • >> Stephen: THAT'S WHAT WE'VE COME TO IN THIS COUNTRY: THE

  • GRANDSON OF PEOPLE WHO FLED GENOCIDE IS PROMISING TO SAVE

  • OUR COUNTRY FROM WHITE SUPREMACISTS.

  • AND THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE HARD TO FIND.

  • JOSH HAWLEY IS SITTING RIGHT ACROSS THE ROOM FROM HIM.

  • SPEAKING OF MOBS OF ANGRY IDIOTS, THIS WEEK IS THE

  • CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTION CONFERENCE, OR CPAC.

  • IT'S A WHO'S WHO OF "WHO NEEDS THAT MANY GUNS IN THEIR REC

  • ROOM?" OF COURSE, WITH ALL THE CRISES

  • FACING OUR NATION, CONSERVATIVES ARE FOCUSING ON THE MOST

  • PRESSING ISSUE OF ALL: FASCISTS BEING KICKED OFF OF TWITTER.

  • THIS YEAR'S THEME IS "AMERICA UNCANCELED."

  • I DIDN'T KNOW AMERICA WAS CANCELED!

  • ALTHOUGH, I'M NOT SURPRISED.

  • THE LAST SEASON WAS PRETTY UNBELIEVABLE.

  • A PANDEMIC AND NAZIS?

  • OKAY, PICK ONE.

  • WE'VE JUMPED THE SHARK.

  • OOOH, NAZI SHARKS.

  • STILL, BETTER THAN LAST YEAR'S CPAC THEME: "GIVING THE FLAG THE

  • CLAP."

  • ACCORDING-- REALLY, REALLY?

  • YOU THINK I'M AFRAID OF OFFENDING THE FLAG?

  • IS THAT-- OKAY.

  • ACCORDING TO CPAC-- I JUST HAVE TO CHECK.

  • WHEN YOU TURN YOUR BACK ON ME AND WALK AWAY I HAVE TO MAKE

  • SURE THERE'S A REASON FOR YOU REMOVING YOURSELF FROM THE ROOM.

  • ACCORDING TO CPAC, IT'S TIME TO STAND UP FOR AMERICANS WHOSE

  • VIEWS HAVE GOTTEN THEM "CANCELED."

  • WHICH IS WHY THEY KICKED THINGS OFF BY CANCELING AN APPEARANCE

  • FROM ONE OF THEIR PANELISTS FOR A HISTORY OF MAKING ANTI-SEMITIC

  • CLAIMS.

  • GOOD-- CONSERVATIVES DON'T WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH ANYONE

  • LIKE THAT.

  • IT COULD SULLY THE GOOD NAME OF THE MOB WITH ALUMINUM BATS WHO

  • TRIED TO MURDER MIKE PENCE.

  • THE CANCELED MAN IN QUESTION IS A RAPPER NAMED YOUNG PHARAOH,

  • WHO WAS PULLED FROM THE LINEUP AFTER JOURNALISTS POINTED OUT

  • HIS RECORD OF PUBLICLY REJECTING THE EXISTENCE OF

  • JUDAISM OUTRIGHT.

  • OKAY, PRETTY BOLD STANCE TO REJECT THE EXISTENCE OF THE

  • WORLD'S OLDEST MONOTHEISTIC RELIGION.

  • THEY'VE BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE, AND THEY WRITE IT ALL DOWN!

  • IT'S KIND OF THEIR THING.

  • YOU KNOW WHO COULD TELL YOUNG PHARAOH THAT JUDAISM EXISTS?

  • OLD PHARAOH!

  • THERE'S A PRETTY FAMOUS OLD BOOK ABOUT IT!

  • THERE'S EVEN A NEW BOOK ABOUT IT!

  • CPAC APPARENTLY HADN'T KNOWN ABOUT YOUNG PHARAOH'S HISTORY OF

  • ANTI-SEMITISM, AND CALLED HIS VIEWS "REPREHENSIBLE," SAYING

  • THEY HAVE "NO HOME WITH THEIR CONFERENCE."

  • YES, CONSERVATIVES WOULD NEVER DOUBT THE EXISTENCE OF JEWISH

  • PEOPLE.

  • OTHERWISE, WHO'S OPERATING THE SPACE LASER?

  • SPEAKING OF SPACE, IT'S TIME FOR "SPACE NEWS: MARS EDITION."

  • IT'S BEEN A BIG WEEK FOR SPACE.

  • ON THURSDAY, NASA SUCCESSFULLY LANDED THE PERSEVERANCE ROVER ON

  • MARS.

  • AND YESTERDAY, THEY DROPPED THE HOT FOOTAGE.

  • LOOK AT THAT I HAD-DEF!

  • MAN THE FIRST INTERPLANETARY LANDING IN FULL COLOR!

  • THE RED AND WHITE PARACHUTE, JUST LIKE THE APOLLO MISSIONS--

  • BUT IT'S MARS!

  • THIS IS SO EXCITING!

  • IT'S LIKE I'M THERE!

  • I CAN ALMOST TASTE MATT DAMON'S POOP POTATOES!

  • AND HERE'S ANOTHER AMAZING SHOT OF THE JET-POWERED SKYCRANE

  • LOWERING THE ROVER DOWN TO THE SURFACE.

  • THAT'S AMAZING!

  • AND YOU KNOW THAT SKYCRANE'S GOING TO HAVE A HELL OF A TIME

  • PICKING THAT ROVER BACK UP.

  • EVEN WHEN YOU'RE RIGHT OVER IT, YOU END UP PICKING UP A

  • KNOCK-OFF BEANIE BABY, OR SOMETHING UPON

  • IT WASN'T JUST VIDEO.

  • WE ALSO GOT OUR FIRST LISTEN TO THE SOUND OF MARS FROM NASA'S