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  • WELCOME ONE AND ALL TO "THE LATE SHOW."

  • I AM YOUR HOST STEPHEN COLBERT!

  • ( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ) HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.

  • HOPE 2020 IS OFF TO A GREAT START TO YOU.

  • HAPPY TO BE BACK.

  • REALLY EXCITED TO BE HERE.

  • THERE RECENTLY HAVE BEEN MOMENTOUS WORLD-SHAKING EVENTS,

  • AND LET'S GET RIGHT TO THE BIG STORY EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT.

  • THE 77th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS CEREMONY!

  • OH!

  • IT WAS A NIGHT OF GLITZ AND GLAMOUR, AND GOD HELP US, WE

  • MIGHT BE GOING TO WAR WITH IRAN.

  • ALL THE STARS WERE THERE AS WE INCH CLOSER TO YET ANOTHER

  • TRAGICALLY ILL-CONSIDERED MILITARY CONFLICT, INCLUDING

  • SALMA HAYEK, WHOSE GUCCI DRESS FEATURED A NECKLINE THAT DIDN'T

  • LEAVE MUCH TO THE IMAGINATION.

  • UNLESS YOU'RE IMAGINING AN ENDLESS QUAGMIRE IN THE MIDDLE

  • EAST.

  • BECAUSE THIS IS IT, FOLKS.

  • THIS IS WHAT'S BEEN KEEPING YOU UP AT NIGHT FOR THE LAST THREE

  • YEARS!

  • IT WASN'T THE BAGGY SUITS, IT WASN'T COVFEFE, IT WAS HIS

  • ABILITY TO WAGE WAR WITH NO UNDERSTANDING OF THE

  • CONSEQUENCES.

  • AND NO ONE CAN STOP HIM.

  • ALSO, CONGRATULATIONS TO AWKWAFINA FOR SNAGGING A GLOBE

  • FOR BEST ACTRESS!

  • WELL-DESERVED.

  • ( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ) NOW, THE REASON THAT I'M A

  • LITTLE ON EDGE TONIGHT IS THAT ON THURSDAY, IN RESPONSE TO

  • IRANIAN-SPONSORED MILITIA ATTACKS ON THE U.S. EMBASSY IN

  • BAGHDAD, PRESIDENT TRUMP ORDERED A DRONE STRIKE, KILLING

  • THE TOP IRANIAN COMMANDER IN BAGHDAD, QASEM SOLEIMANI.

  • WHICH BRINGS US TO THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF OUR LONG-RUNNING

  • SEGMENT, "AMERICA AT WAAAAAAAHHHHHH?

  • CRISIS WITH IRAN IN IRAQ ABOUT IRAN."

  • ( LAUGHTER ) NOW, CARDS ON THE TABLE.

  • I DON'T KNOW IF WHAT TRUMP DID WAS A GOOD IDEA OR A BAD IDEA

  • BUT I DO KNOW THAT IT'S A BIG IDEA.

  • AND THAT IRAN IS VERY UPSET.

  • ON FRIDAY, THEIR SUPREME LEADER AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI WARNED

  • THAT A "HARSH RETALIATION IS WAITING."

  • KEEP IN MIND, THIS IS IRAN'S SUPREME LEADER, WHICH I'M PRETTY

  • SURE MEANS HE COMES WITH SOUR CREAM.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) >> Jon: OH, MY GOODNESS.

  • >> Stephen: BUT -- MMM!

  • MMM.

  • >> Jon: WOW.

  • >> Stephen: DELICIOUS!

  • ( LAUGHTER ) BUT TRUMP'S NOT BACKING DOWN,

  • TWEETING, "LET THIS SERVE AS A WARNING THAT IF IRAN

  • STRIKES ANY AMERICANS, OR AMERICAN ASSETS, WE HAVE DOT,

  • DOT, DOT, DOT, DOT, DOT, DOT, DOT, DOT TARGETED 52 IRANIAN

  • SITES, REPRESENTING THE 52 AMERICAN HOSTAGES TAKEN

  • BY IRAN MANY YEARS AGO."

  • HE'S STILL MAD ABOUT THE IRANIAN HOSTAGE CRISIS.

  • WHAT'S NEXT ON HIS 1980 AGENDA?

  • (AS TRUMP) "I'M ALSO TARGETING FOUR TOP

  • IRANIAN GENERALS-- ONE FOR EACH OF THE THREE MEN AND A BABY, SIX

  • DIFFERENT REGIONS: ONE FOR EACH SIDE OF THE RUBIK'S CUBE, AND I

  • HAVE CHANGED THE LAUNCH CODES TO:

  • ♪ 876-5309 ♪ 867-5390.

  • I'M SORRY.

  • SIR, I INTERRUPTED YOU.

  • YOU WERE THREATENING TO BOMB IRAN 52 TIMES-- "SOME AT A VERY

  • HIGH LEVEL AND IMPORTANT TO IRAN AND THE IRANIAN CULTURE."

  • OKAY, HERE'S THE DEAL: BOMBING IRANIAN CULTURAL SITES COULD BE

  • A WAR CRIME.

  • (AS TRUMP) "WHAT DO YOU MEAN COULD BE A WAR

  • CRIME?

  • WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?

  • KICK THE SPHINX?

  • URINATE ON THE TERRA COTTA SOLDIERS?

  • 'CAUSE I'VE ALREADY DONE ONE OF THOSE THINGS.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) AND THE OTHER ONE."

  • ( LAUGHTER ) ( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

  • ( PIANO RIFF ) I COULDN'T DO IT.

  • I COULDN'T DO IT.

  • ( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ) WE'RE BACK!

  • SO SOMEBODY IN THE WHITE HOUSE HAD TO TRY TO CLEAN UP TRUMP'S

  • TWITTER MESS.

  • ENTER SECRETARY OF STATE AND VITAMIN-D DEFICIENT SHREK, MIKE

  • POMPEO.

  • POMPEO WENT ON "SUNDAY ON THE TUBE WITH GEORGE" AND EXPLAINED

  • THAT TRUMP HAD NOT TYPED WHAT HE TYPED:

  • >> SO, JUST TO BE CLEAR, WHEN THE PRESIDENT SAID HE HAD 52

  • IRANIAN SITES, INCLUDING SITES IMPORTANT TO THE IRANIAN

  • CULTURE, THAT WASN'T ACCURATE?

  • >> THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW THAT EVERY TARGET THAT WE

  • STRIKE WILL BE A LAWFUL TARGET.

  • >> STEPHEN: SO EITHER ONE OF THEM IS LYING AND THEY BOTH

  • ARE.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) BECAUSE WHEN HE WAS ASKED ABOUT

  • IT, TRUMP IMMEDIATELY SAID "THEY'RE ALLOWED TO KILL OUR

  • PEOPLE, THEY'RE ALLOWED TO TORTURE AND MAIM OUR PEOPLE

  • THEY'RE ALLOWED TO USE ROADSIDE BOMBS AND BLOW UP OUR PEOPLE,

  • AND WE'RE NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH THEIR CULTURAL SITES?

  • IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY."

  • THAT'S A REALLY STRANGE USE OF THE WORD "ALLOWED."

  • ( LAUGHTER ) "YOUR HONOR, TED BUNDY WAS

  • ALLOWED TO MURDER OVER 30 PEOPLE IN THE 1970S.

  • I CAN'T STAB ONE GUY?

  • DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY."

  • ( LAUGHTER ) ( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

  • DOESN'T-WORK-THAT -- ♪ 867-5309 ♪

  • NORMALLY, WHEN A PRESIDENT TAKES AN ACTION THIS BIG, HE PREEMPTS

  • OUR STORIES AND ADDRESSES THE NATION TO REASSURE US.

  • TRUMP DIDN'T DO THAT.

  • INSTEAD, HE TWEETED THIS LOW-RES IMAGE OF AN AMERICAN FLAG.

  • YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY -- THESE COLORS DON'T RUN.

  • BUT THEY DO KIND OF BLUR.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) ALSO, PRESIDENTS USUALLY INFORM

  • SOMETHING CALLED THE "GANG OF EIGHT," WHICH IS THE TOP

  • DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE AS WELL AS THE

  • CHAIRS AND RANKING MEMBERS OF EACH CHAMBER'S INTELLIGENCE

  • COMMITTEE, BUT TOP DEMOCRATIC LEADERS IN CONGRESS RECEIVED

  • NO ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE STRIKE.

  • YEAH, THEY DIDN'T NEED TO KNOW BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T STAYING AT

  • A TRUMP HOTEL.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) APPARENTLY, DAYS BEFORE THE

  • STRIKE, TRUMP ROAMED THE HALLS OF MAR-A-LAGO, TELLING FRIENDS

  • THAT HE WAS WORKING ON A "BIG" RESPONSE TO THE IRANIAN REGIME

  • THAT THEY WOULD BE HEARING ABOUT VERY "SOON."

  • CAN YOU IMAGINE CHECKING INTO THAT HOTEL?

  • "OKAY, THE POOL IS TO THE LEFT, THERE'S A FITNESS CENTER ON

  • SEVEN, AND IF YOU MAKE YOUR WAY INTO THE COURTYARD, THERE'S AN

  • OLD MAN GIVING AWAY STATE SECRETS.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) TIP HIM.

  • YOU WANT TO TIP HIM.

  • JUST TIP HIM.

  • >> Jon: THAT'S WHAT WE ASK, 2020.

  • >> Stephen: HERE'S HOW IT WENT DOWN --

  • TRUMP'S ADVISORS WENT TO MAR-A-LAGO AND

  • MILITARY OFFICIALS PUT THE OPTION OF KILLING SOLEIMANI--

  • WHICH THEY VIEWED AS THE MOST EXTREME RESPONSE-- ON THE MENU

  • THEY PRESENTED TO PRESIDENT TRUMP.

  • THEY DIDN'T THINK HE'D DO IT.

  • THEY TACKED ON THE CHOICE OF TARGETING GENERAL SOLEIMANI TO

  • MAKE OTHER OPTIONS SEEM REASONABLE.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) QUICK NOTE TO THE GENERALS, THE

  • ONLY WAY TRUMP ISN'T GOING TO ORDER SOMETHING ON A MENU IS IF

  • IT COMES WITH VEGETABLES.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) (AS TRUMP)

  • "LET'S SEE HERE, WHAT IF WE GOT?

  • WHAT IF WE GOT?

  • OOOH, OH, I'VE GOT TO SAY, THE KILLING SOLEIMANI LOOKS

  • TEMPTING.

  • OH, IT COMES ON A BED OF SPINACH.

  • CAN YOU HOLD THAT?

  • NO?

  • THEN I'LL HAVE THE CHICKEN-FRIED SANCTIONS."

  • ( LAUGHTER ) OR HERE'S A BETTER IDEA -- IF

  • YOU DIDN'T WANT HIM TO PICK IT, DON'T GIVE IT AS AN OPTION.

  • IT'S LIKE A BOYFRIEND SAYING, "WAIT, YOU CHOSE BREAK UP?

  • BUT I ONLY OFFERED THAT SO YOU'D BE MORE INTO THE THREESOME

  • IDEA!" ( LAUGHTER )

  • ( APPLAUSE ) WHICH, OBVIOUSLY, IS A JOKE.

  • ( CHEERING ) SO WHY DID TRUMP CHOOSE WHAT THE

  • PENTAGON SAW AS THE MOST EXTREME OPTION?

  • WELL, TRUMP SAYS, HE HAD NO CHOICE.

  • >> LAST NIGHT, AT MY DIRECTION, THE UNITED STATES MILITARY

  • SUCCESSFULLY EXECUTED A FLAWLESS PRECISION STRIKE THAT KILLED THE

  • NUMBER ONE TERRORIST ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, QASEM SOLEIMANI.

  • SOLEIMANI WAS PLOTTING IMMINENT AND SINISTER ATTACKS ON

  • AMERICAN DIPLOMATS AND MILITARY PERSONNEL, BUT WE CAUGHT HIM IN

  • THE ACT AND TERMINATED HIM.

  • >> STEPHEN: OKAY, IMMINENT ATTACK.

  • BUT THE PENTAGON SAID THAT THE STRIKE WAS CARRIED OUT TO

  • DETER "FUTURE" ATTACKS.

  • SO, WHAT WAS THE IMMINENT THREAT?

  • EVENTUAL THREATS.

  • IT'S LIKE THAT OLD VAUDEVILLE ROUTINE:

  • WHO'S ON FIRST?

  • KILL HIM.