Stephen Colbert observed the first anniversary of the 6 January assault on the Capitol on Thursday evening, a year after he reacted to the insurrection on live television. “The thing I remember from that day is how shocked I was at this grotesque tragedy,” he said, recalling how the Late Show writing staff scrapped a planned monologue on the certification of Biden’s victory after seeing footage of the siege during a script rewrite Zoom meeting.
Colbert echoed Joe Biden’s furious remarks to acknowledge the occasion, in which the president invited Americans to recall the events of 6 January and lamented the rioters “defecating in the hallways”.
“Defecating: that is a very delicate, presidential and high-minded way to describe Maga maniacs smearing poop on the walls,” said the Late Show host, imitating the president’s voice: “These ignoble miscreants absconded with Madam Speaker’s rostrum, set alight their cannabis cigarillos and besmirched these hallowed corridors with their human detritus.”
Then Biden “took the gloves off”: “The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. He’s done so because he values power over principle. Because he sees his own interest as more important than his country’s interest, than America’s interest. And because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our constitution. He can’t accept he lost.”
“Hell yes! Tell it like it is, Joe!” Colbert cheered. “I loved that speech today, truly a powerful speech. That is the Joe Biden I remember, that is the Joe Biden we stole this election for – I mean voted for,” he joked.
Not everyone marked the occasion with solemnity; only two House Republicans attended a memorial service in Congress for the Capitol police officers who died during the violence. “The other Republican legislators chose to re-enact January 6th by hiding in fear,” Colbert quipped.
But the former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, “and instead of discussing their now public pants-crapping, terrified text exchange from a year back, Meadows complained in advance about how the media would cover it”, Colbert said.
Said Meadows: “You’re right to point out that tomorrow is going to be spent on January 6th.”
“Keen analysis,” Colbert deadpanned. “Meadows went on to predict the next day would be spent on January 7th, the day after might focus on January 8th, and by the weekend, we could see numbers as high as 9 or 10.”
On the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon also cheered Biden’s address on the insurrection, which had a “high school principal after a food fight vibe”.
“He’s not just a former president,” Biden said of Donald Trump. “He’s a defeated former president.”
In other news, BMW unveiled a new SUV with the capability to change color, and “experts say it’s going to revolutionize the way you forget where you parked your car,” Fallon quipped.
The appliances brand Kohler also announced a new luxury product: a bath that produces fog, to create a home spa. “To make it even more spa-like, the bath also emits a hologram of a naked old guy who sits two feet away from you,” Fallon added.
And Taco Bell revealed a new subscription service that will send people a taco every day for $10 a month. “Well, looks like we’re about to go through another toilet paper shortage,” Fallon joked.