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  • >> Stephen: HELLO.

  • WELCOME, WELCOME.

  • GATHER AROUND ONE AND ALL.

  • I'M YOUR HOST, STEPHEN COLBERT.

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE ON THIS NIGHT SO FILLED WITH

  • DRAMATIC BREAKING NEWS.

  • ♪♪♪ LET'S GET TO THE NUMBER ONE

  • STORY TRENDING IN AMERICA: MR. POTATO HEAD IS NO LONGER A

  • MISTER.

  • AGAIN -- AND I'M NATIONAL MONUMENT MAKING THIS UP, THE

  • NUMBER ONE STORY TRENDING IN AMERICA.

  • ARE WE LIVE?

  • WHY DIDN'T GO WE LIVE?

  • WHY AREN'T WE LIVE?!

  • MR. POTATO HEAD IS NO LONGER A MISTER!

  • AND NOT, AS I ORIGINALLY ASSUMED, BECAUSE HE FINALLY

  • FINISHED HIS PH.D...

  • HIS POTATO HEAD DOCTORATE.

  • NO, IT'S BECAUSE HASBRO IS GIVING THE SPUD A GENDER NEUTRAL

  • NEW NAME: POTATO HEAD.

  • BUT IF IT'S NOT ASSIGNED A GENDER, WHAT BATHROOM WILL IT

  • USE?pNATURALLY WHEN THIS NEWS HI TWITTER, THE WORLD'S TOP IDIOTS

  • WEIGHED IN.

  • PIERS MORGAN TWEETED, "WHO WAS ACTUALLY OFFENDED BY MR. POTATO

  • HEAD BEING MALE?

  • I WANT NAMES.

  • THESE WOKE IMBECILES ARE DESTROYING THE WORLD."

  • YES, THEY'RE DESTROYING THE WORLD!

  • HOW WILL CHILDREN GROW UP WITHOUT A STRONG MALE POTATO

  • ROLE MODEL?

  • WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE TOTS?

  • PIERS, I HAVE TO ASK, WHAT PART OF THIS IS INHERENTLY "MALE" TO

  • YOU?

  • I MEAN, TRUE, THE SOFT CURVES DO RESEMBLE MY TORSO, BUT THAT'S

  • BECAUSE AFTER 11 MONTHS OF PANDEMIC, I'M MOSTLY POTATO

  • MYSELF.

  • SPEAKING OF THE PANDEMIC, I'VE GOT GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS.

  • THE GOOD NEWS IS SCIENCE.

  • THE BAD NEWS IS EVOLUTION.

  • I'LL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT IN TONIGHT'S EDITION OF MY "I

  • REALLY WISH IT WOULD END" SEGMENT, "CATCH A THIRD WAVE:

  • ENDLESS BUMMER."

  • ("BEAUTIFUL DREAMER") >> ♪ BEAUTIFUL FEVER

  • ONE HUNDRED AND THREE.

  • PLEASE GO AND LICK ALL OF THE ELDERLY

  • SNEEZE ON A DOOR KNOB DON'T VACCINATE

  • BREATHE ME INTO ALL OF YOUR LUNGS

  • I CAN'T WAITTHANK YOU!

  • THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

  • I'LL BE HERE ALL YEAR!

  • OW!

  • OW OW!

  • OKAY!

  • STOP, STOP!

  • THIS IS BECOMING ABUSIVE NOW!

  • OKAY!

  • I'M GOING, I'M GOING!

  • ( LAUGHTER ) >> Stephen: ANIMATORS DON'T

  • REALIZE I CAN'T SHOOT THAT FAST.

  • I'M NOT LEGLESS OVER HERE.

  • >> OW!

  • >> Stephen: I HAVEN'T HIT YOU YET.

  • >> BUT YOU'RE GOING TO.

  • >> Stephen: NO, I'M NOT.

  • EVIE'S HERE.

  • WATCH OUT!

  • IT'S A TOY!

  • HE CAN'T POKE ANY EYES OUT.

  • CHRIS HAS GGLES ON.

  • LOOK AT THAT.

  • HE'S NO FOOL.

  • HE'S GOT GOGGLES ON.

  • MARK, HOW YOU DOING?

  • YOU'VE GOT THE NINJA SKILLS.

  • CAN YOU CATCH THIS IN MIDAIR?

  • >> THAT'S VERY IRRESPONSIBLE OF YOU.

  • >> Stephen: I'M VERY IRRESPONSIBLE.

  • THIS WILL ALL BE EDIT UTO, NO DOUBT.

  • FIRST UP, THE BAD NEWS -- THE CORONAVIRUS KEEPS EVOLVING

  • INTO MORE CONTAGIOUS AND DEADLY STRAINS.

  • FIRST, WE HAD THE BRITISH VARIANT, THEN THE SOUTH AFRICAN

  • VARIANT, THE BRAZILIAN, THE CALIFORNIAN.

  • OF COURSE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO TRAVEL THE WORLD TO GET THESE.

  • THEY'RE ALL AVAILABLE AT DISNEY'S NEW THEME PARK:

  • EP-COUGH.

  • WELL, NOW SCIENTISTS HAVE FOUND A NEW CORONAVIRUS VARIANT IN NEW

  • YORK CITY.

  • IT'S A LOT LIKE REGULAR COVID, BUT ONCE IT'S IN YOUR BODY, IT

  • GENTRIFIES YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM UNTIL EVEN THE WHITE BLOOD CELLS

  • CAN'T AFFORD TO STAY.

  • THE NEW STRAIN WASN'T JUST DISCOVERED HERE, RESEARCHERS

  • BELIEVE IT IS "HOME-GROWN, PRESUMABLY IN NEW YORK."

  • SURE, NEW YORKERS DEMAND THAT THEIR VIRUS BE LOCALLY-SOURCED,

  • FARM TO TABLE, SUBWAY TO LUNGS.

  • YOU DON'T WANT ONE OF THOSE "BRIDGE AND TUNNEL" VIRUSES.

  • RESEARCHERS SAY THE NEW STRAIN IS MORE CONTAGIOUS AND MAY CAUSE

  • MORE SEVERE DISEASE.

  • IF YOU CAN GET IT HERE IT WILL BE MUCH MORE SEVERE

  • WORSE THAN THE FLU NEW YORK, NEW-- ♪

  • (COUGH) DESPITE ALL THE NEW VARIANTS,

  • THERE IS GOOD NEWS.

  • YESTERDAY, THE F.D.A. ANNOUNCED THAT JOHNSON & JOHNSON'S NEW

  • COVID-19 VACCINE IS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE, AND ONLY REQUIRES A

  • SINGLE DOSE.

  • YOU ONLY NEED ONE SHOT?

  • THAT MUST BE A REALLY POWERFUL INJECTION.

  • AND, I'M BEING TOLD WE HAVE FOOTAGE OF THE FIRST RECIPIENT:

  • ( CRYING ) ( GASPING )

  • >> IF YOU'RE ALL RIGHT, THEN SAY SOMETHING.

  • >> CAN I GO TO A RESTAURANT NOW?

  • >> STEPHEN: SO, THE VACCINES ARE WORKING.

  • THE NEXT CHALLENGE IS TO GET PEOPLE TO TAKE THEM, BECAUSE

  • ACCORDING TO ONE RECENT POLL, ABOUT ONE IN THREE AMERICANS SAY

  • THEY DEFINITELY OR PROBABLY WON'T GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE.

  • YES, A THIRD OF AMERICANS ARE TOO CONCERNED ABOUT THE HEALTH

  • IMPLICATIONS TO GET A VACCINE, BUT THEY'LL LINE UP FOR ARBY'S

  • NEW MEAT MOUNTAIN.

  • ARBY'S!

  • WE HAVE -- NO SHAME!

  • ( LAUGHTER ) TODAY, IN ORDER TO GET MORE

  • PEOPLE TO TAKE VACCINES, THE AD COUNCIL LAUNCHED A NEW

  • CAMPAIGN.

  • IT TAKES A LOOK: >> AS THE COVID-19 VACCINES

  • BECOME AVAILABLE, YOU MIGHT BE ASKING YOURSELF, SHOULD I GET

  • IT?

  • AND IF I DO, WILL I GO ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT PUTTING MY FAMILY

  • AT RISK?

  • YOU'VE GOT QUESTIONS, AND THAT'S NORMAL.

  • THE FACT IS, THE VACCINES ARE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE.

  • THEY'RE GOING TO SAVE LIVES.

  • BECAUSE GETTING BACK TO THE MOMENTS WE MISS STARTS WITH

  • GETTING INFORMED.

  • IT'S UP TO YOU.

  • >> STEPHEN: IT'S A NICE SENTIMENT, BUT "IT'S UP TO YOU"

  • IS WHY WE HAVE THIS PROBLEM.

  • WE NEED EVERYONE TO GET THE VACCINE.

  • HOW ABOUT SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE FORCEFUL AND HONEST, LIKE

  • "DON'T KILL GRANDMA!", OR "NO ONE HAS POLIO-- CAN YOU

  • GUESS WHY?" IN O.G. CORONAVIRUS NEWS, THE

  • CHINESE GOVERNMENT CAUSED A STIR RECENTLY WHEN THEY ROLLED OUT

  • THEIR ANAL SWAB CORONAVIRUS TEST.

  • THERE WERE ALWAYSABLE GASUPS IN THIS ROOM WHEN I READ THAT.

  • SEEMS LIKE AN INDIRECT WAY TO GET TO THE NOSE.

  • EXACTLY HOW LONG ARE THOSE Q-TIPS?

  • THE CHINESE CLAIM THAT THE ANAL SWABS ARE MORE ACCURATE, BUT

  • THEY PROMISED THE TESTS WOULD BE RARE.

  • WELL, EVIDENTLY, MEDIUM-RARE BECAUSE U.S. OFFICIALS IN CHINA

  • HAVE TOLD THE STATE DEPARTMENT THAT THEY HAD BEEN SUBJECTED TO

  • THE ANAL TESTS.

  • A CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON CLAIMED THAT CHINA

  • HAS NEVER ASKED U.S. DIPLOMATS IN CHINA TO GO THROUGH ANAL SWAB

  • TESTS.

  • THE KEY WORD IS "ASKED."

  • NOTORIOUSLY, THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T WAIT FOR

  • PERMISSION.

  • EXHIBIT A: THIS GUY.

  • HIS BIOPSY SHOULD BE BACK ANY DAY NOW.

  • WE TOOK AWAY HIS GENITALS.

  • WE DIDN'T BLUR THEM, WE LITERALLY REMOVED THEM

  • DIGITALLY.

  • LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WHEN WE FOUND THIS GRAPHIC EARLIER

  • TODAY, THE MAN, YOU KNOW -- IT'S THE BODY AND THE PART OF THE

  • BODY THAT'S DOWN THERE.

  • WE THOUGHT CBS WASN'T GOING TO LET US SHOW THAT, BUT I DIDN'T

  • KNOW THEY WERE GOING TO YANK THEM.

  • I THOUGHT A TASTEFULLY BLUR OR BLACK BAR OR SOMETHING.

  • WHAT IF WE COME TO?

  • THE U.S. SAID THEY AREN'T GOING TO TAKE THIS LYING DOWN, OR EVEN

  • BENT OVER.

  • A STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON SAID THEY'RE "COMMITTED TO

  • GUARANTEEING THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF AMERICAN DIPLOMATS

  • AND THEIR FAMILIES WHILE PRESERVING THEIR DIGNITY

  • CONSISTENT WITH THE VIENNA CONVENTION ON DIPLOMATIC

  • RELATIONS."

  • YES, THE VIENNA CONVENTION IS VERY CLEAR.

  • SAYS IT RIGHT IN THE PREAMBLE: NO BUTT STUFF.

  • SPEAKING OF ASSES: THE JANUARY 6 INSURRECTION.