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  • WELCOME, DOWN HERE, UP THERE, ALL AROUND THE WORLD, TO "THE

  • LATE SHOW."

  • I AM YOUR HOST, STEPHEN COLBERT.

  • ( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ) WELL, IT'S BEEN WHAT, IT'S BEEN

  • 48 HOURS, LET'S SAY, AND AMERICA IS STILL REELING FROM

  • MONDAY'S LEAKED SUPREME COURT DECISION OVERTURNING "ROE V.

  • WADE."

  • IT CAME OUT OF NOWHERE.

  • BECAUSE WITH INFLATION, THE PANDEMIC, RISING FASCISM,

  • UKRAINE, THIS WASN'T EXACTLY AN ISSUE ON THE FRONT BURNER.

  • IN FACT, BACK IN 2021, A GALLUP POLL ASKED WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT

  • THE MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM FACING THE U.S. WAS, AND FEWER

  • THAN HALF OF 1% ANSWERED ABORTION.

  • BY MARCH OF 2022, THAT NUMBER WAS ZERO.

  • CLEARLY, AFTER 50 T TURBULENT YEARS, "ROE" WAS FINALLY NO

  • LONGER A FIVE-ALARM FIRE.

  • BUT THE CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY DECIDED TO FOLLOW THEIR STANDARD

  • PROTOCOL: IN CASE OF NO EMERGENCY, BURN, BABY, BURN.

  • IF PEOPLE DIDN'T CONSIDER THIS A PRESSING ISSUE BEFORE, THEY SURE

  • DO NOW.

  • LAST NIGHT, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE SHOWED UP TO PROTESTS IN

  • WASHINGTON D.C.; NEW YORK CITY; AUSTIN, TEXAS; AND LOS ANGELES.

  • CALIFORNIA.

  • ( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ) THAT'S A LOT OF PEOPLE.

  • THAT'S A LOT OF PEOPLE.

  • USUALLY, YOU ONLY GET CROWDS LIKE THAT WHEN DELTA ANNOUNCES

  • THEY'VE BEGUN PRE-BOARDING.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) "I REFUSE TO STAY SEATED UNTIL

  • YOU CALL MY ZONE!

  • OF COURSE. AFTER YEARS OF PACKING THE SUPREME COURT WITH

  • THE EXPRESS INTENTION OF OVERTURNING "ROE V.

  • WADE," REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS TOOK A VICTORY LAP.

  • JIMMY, SHOW THEIR CELEBRATION: OH, RIGHT.

  • I FORGOT.

  • THEY'RE COWARDS.

  • BECAUSE THEY KNOW IT'S REALLY UNPOPULAR.

  • SO THEY DIDN'T TALK ABOUT THE ACTUAL DECISION.

  • INSTEAD, REPUBLICANS FOCUSED ON THE UNPRECEDENTED NATURE OF THE

  • LEAK ITSELF.

  • LOOK, I CAN UNDERSTAND THE ARGUMENT THAT THIS LEAK IS BAD

  • FOR THE INSTITUTION OF THE SUPREME COURT.

  • BUT COME ON, DID YOU THINK WAITING TO RELEASE IT THIS

  • SUMMER WAS GOING TO MAKE IT A HOT BEACH READ: YOUR BODY, HIS

  • CHOICE.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) THE TOP REPUBLICAN DRIVING THE

  • OUTRAGING ABOUT THE LEAK IS SENATE MINORITY LEADER AND LEAD

  • SINGER FOR "HOOTIE AND THE BLOBFISH,"

  • THERE YOU GO.

  • I THOUGHT IT WAS DARIUS.

  • NO?

  • MITCH McCONNELL.

  • YESTERDAY, A REPORTER GAVE McCONNELL THE OBVIOUS CREDIT FOR

  • THE DECISION, BUT HE WAS STRANGELY HUMBLE ABOUT IT:

  • >> YOU SPENT DECADES TRYING TO REMAKE THE COURT, OVERTURN

  • "ROE."

  • YOU'RE POSSIBLY SINGLEHANDEDLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE 6-3

  • MAJORITY.

  • SO DO YOU TAKE PERSONAL CREDIT FOR ABORTION RIGHTS LIKELY TO GO

  • AWAY FOR MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY?

  • >> YOU KNOW, I THINK THE STORY TODAY IS AN EFFORT BY SOMEONE ON

  • THE INSIDE TO DISCREDIT THE INSTITUTION OF THE SENATE.

  • >> Stephen: COME ON!

  • YOUR INGENIOUS PLOT WORKED.

  • WHY DON'T YOU WANT TO CELEBRATE?

  • IT'S LIKE A BOND VILLAIN SAYING, "YES, I DID LAUNCH A SPACE-BASED

  • LASER FROM MY VOLCANIC FORTRESS, BUT GIVING ME CREDIT FOR

  • INCINERATING LONDON IS JUST AN EFFORT TO DISCREDIT MY FLUFFY,

  • WHITE CAT."

  • 4R5U6 LAUGH "ISN'T THAT RIGHT, SNUGGLES."

  • ( LAUGHTER ) STAY!

  • STAY!

  • ( APPLAUSE ) VERY OBEDIENT CAT.

  • VERY OBEDIENT.

  • ( APPLAUSE ) HE MITCHED ON:

  • >> ALL OF THIS PUTS THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE.

  • YOU NEED, IT SEEMS TO ME-- EXCUSE THE LECTURE-- TO

  • CONCENTRATE ON WHAT THE NEWS IS TODAY, NOT A LEAKED DRAFT, BUT

  • THE FACT THAT THE DRAFT WAS LEAKED.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) >> Stephen: WHAT THE HUH?

  • MITCH, IS EVERYTHING OKAY IN THE OLD SQUIRREL CAGE?

  • YOU BEEN SNACKIN' ON PAINT CHIPS?

  • BECAUSE YOU'RE IGNORING THE IMPORTANT PART.

  • YOU'RE LIKE A HUSBAND GETTING A RANSOM NOTE:

  • "OH, MY GOD!

  • LOOK AT ALL THE LETTERS THEY CUT OUT OF A MAGAZINE.

  • THEY'VE RUINED MY COLLECTION OF "NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICS"!

  • MARGARET, MARGARET, COME AND SEE THIS!

  • OH, MARGARET'S MISSING."

  • >> Jon: THAT'S WHAT THE NOTE SAYS, SHE'S MISSING.

  • >> Stephen: AND VERY EXPENSIVE.

  • McCONNELL IS NOT ALONE.

  • THERE WAS ALSO OUTCRY FROM SOUTH CAROLINA SENATOR AND NEWEST

  • MEMBER OF "HOOTIE AND THE BLOBFISH," LINDSEY GRAHAM.

  • GRAHAM CHIMED IN WITH THIS: >> WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COURT

  • TODAY WAS THE SADDEST CHAPTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

  • SUPREME COURT.

  • >> Stephen: "THE SADDEST CHAPTER"?

  • SO, SENATOR GRAHAM IS COOL WITH THE "DRED SCOTT" DECISION THAT

  • SAID BLACK PEOPLE ARE PROPERTY, "PLESSY V. FERGUSON" THAT

  • ESTABLISHED JIM CROW SEGREGATION, AND "BUCK V.

  • BELL," WHICH SAID IT WAS OKAY TO STERILIZE THE MENTALLY ILL.

  • I'M GUESSING, TO LINDSAY GRAHAM, THE SADDEST PART OF A FUNERAL IS

  • WHEN THEY RUN OUT OF LEMON BARS.

  • AS USUAL, FOX NEWS WAS COMMITTED TO NOT REPORTING THE NEWS AND

  • INSTEAD REPORTING SPIN THE LEAKED DRAFT INTO A WIN FOR

  • DEMOCRATS.

  • >> THIS IS A GODSEND FOR A LOT OF DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES.

  • >> DEMOCRATS CLEARLY USING THIS FOR THE MIDTERMS.

  • THEY DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT INFLATION.

  • THEY WANT TO TALK ABORTION.

  • >> IT'S VERY CURIOUS TO ME THAT THE DEMOCRATS WEREN'T TALKING

  • ABOUT IT UNTIL TODAY.

  • >> Stephen: YEAH, TYPICALLY, PEOPLE WAIT UNTIL SOMETHING

  • HAPPENS TO TALK ABOUT IT.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) NOBODY ON THE "TITANIC" WAS

  • COMPLAINING ABOUT ICEBERGS WHEN THEY LEFT THE HARBOR.

  • BUT, THEN ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH, IT WAS, "ICEBERG DEAD AHEAD"

  • THIS, AND "NEVER LET GO...

  • GLUG, GLUG, GLUG" THAT.

  • ( APPLAUSE ) I DON'T KNOW!

  • ONE REPUBLICAN TOOK A BREAK FROM ATTACKING THE LEAKER TO VILIFY

  • WOMEN INSTEAD.

  • I'M TALKING ABOUT FLORIDA REPUBLICAN AND SUBWAY RIDER

  • CHEERING ON THE MASTURBATOR, MATT GAETZ.

  • IN RESPONSE TO THE NATIONWIDE PROTESTS, THIS MORNING, GAETZ

  • TWEETED, "HOW MANY OF THE WOMEN RALLYING AGAINST OVERTURNING

  • "ROE" ARE OVER-EDUCATED, UNDER-LOVED MILLENNIALS WHO

  • SADLY RETURN FROM PROTESTS TO A LONELY MICROWAVE DINNER WITH

  • THEIR CATS AND NO BUMBLE MATCHES?"

  • NOW, FOLKS, IF THAT STATEMENT SOUNDS INSANE, REMEMBER: FOR

  • MATT GAETZ, OVER-EDUCATED IS ANY WOMAN WHO'S ALREADY GRADUATED

  • HIGH SCHOOL.

  • ( APPLAUSE ) MEANWHILE-- MEANWHILE?

  • NOT MEANWHILE.

  • WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON.

  • OVER IN THE PANDEMIC, COVID-19 CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE

  • RISING AGAIN IN THE UNITED STATES.

  • HOW MANY COMEBACKS DOES COVID GET?

  • IT'S THE MEL GIBSON OF VIRUSES.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) CASES ARE GOING UP IN

  • WASHINGTON, MISSISSIPPI, GEORGIA, MAINE, HAWAII, SOUTH

  • DAKOTA, NEVADA, AND MONTANA.

  • COME ON!

  • HOW DOES IT POSSIBLY SPREAD FROM PERSON TO PERSON IN MONTANA?

  • EVERY PERSON IS 20 MILES APART TO GIVE SOMEONE COVID, YOU HAVE

  • TO LICK A PRAIRIE DOG AND THROW IT THROUGH THE WINDOW OF A

  • HOMESTEAD.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) ( APPLAUSE )

  • I BELIEVE-- I BELIEVE THEY STILL HOMESTEAD THERE, RIGHT?

  • MONTANA STILL HAS CABINS.

  • THE RISE IN CASES CAN BE BLAMED ON NEWER, FITTER DESCENDANTS OF

  • THE OMICRON VARIANT.

  • COME ON, OMICRON.

  • WE BROKE UP WITH YOU, AND NOW YOU'RE GETTING FITTER?

  • I HOPE YOU DON'T HAVE ABS, OR IN A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS, WE MIGHT

  • HOOK UP AGAIN.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) ONE MAJOR SUBVARIANT MAKING THE

  • ROUNDS IS A SPINOFF OF OMICRON'S BA.2 SUBVARIANT, CALLED

  • B2.12.1.

  • EVIDENTLY, THE W.H.O. RAN OUT OF GREEK LETTERS, SO NOW THEY'RE

  • JUST USING THE PASSWORD THAT COMES WITH YOUR ROUTER:

  • ( AS DOCTOR ) MR. JOHNSON, PLEASE HAVE A SEAT.

  • WE RAN THE TESTS AND, UNFORTUNATELY, YOU'RE POSITIVE

  • FOR LOWER CASE B, AMPERSAND, 5, 6, CAPITAL Z AS IN ZAVID,

  • 9,2,9, UNDERSCORE-NETGEAR, AND THEN A CAPITAL "O," OR A ZERO.

  • THERE'S NO WAY OF KNOWING."

  • ( LAUGHTER ) BUT THINGS--

  • ( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ) ONE PLACE WHERE COVID IS TAKING

  • OFF AGAIN IS OUR NATION'S CAPITAL.

  • ONE PLACE WHERE COVID IS TAKING OFF AGAIN IS OUR NATION'S

  • CAPITAL.

  • A BUNCH OF FOLKS TESTED POSITIVE AFTER ATTENDING THE WHITE HOUSE

  • CORRESPONDENTS' DINNER, INCLUDING ABC NEWS' CHIEF

  • WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, JONATHAN KARL, WHICH IS

  • PARTICULARLY WORRISOME, BECAUSE AT THE DINNER, KARL SHOOK HANDS

  • WITH PRESIDENT BIDEN-- A STORY THAT POLITICO REPORTED AS

  • "JONATHAN KARL TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID AFTER SITTING<