Stephen Colbert dedicated the entirety of his opening monologue on Thursday night to discussing the Blasey Ford – Kavanaugh hearing that spanned most of the day preceding it, expanding the opening segment to an almost 20-minute, two-part expedition. Though much of the monologue was actual footage of the hearing—letting the experience speak for itself—Colbert managed to insert a few comedic points here and there that found humor in the situation without being too flippant about its severity.
Colbert first dove into Dr. Blasey Ford’s heartbreaking testimony in noting that even those at Fox News were moved by her bravery and credibility. He then met the necessary quota regarding jokes about President Donald Trump (“How come none of you told me it was possible to speak without embarrassing yourself?”) before praising the generosity of committee chairman Senator Grassley, who offered to Dr. Blasey Ford anything that she needed to get through the testimony—that is, anything but a FBI investigation. Cue applause.
Colbert highlighted Dr. Blasey Ford’s intelligence, pointing to a specific part of the testimony in which she responded to questioning on her surety that Judge Kavanaugh was her attacker by, quite literally, giving an explanation of how memories are created by the brain with all jargon left untouched.
“Dr. Ford just dropped some knowledge and spit some neuroscience,” joked Colbert. “Dr. F just encoded a fresh-ass memory all up in their hippocampus. That is a hot shot of epinephrine, son!”
Of course, Colbert couldn’t finish a discussion of Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony without exploring the cross-examination she received from Arizona sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, focusing specifically on how ridiculous her presence was at the hearing.
“Republican Senators on this committee thought it would look bad to see a bunch of old guys grilling a woman about sexual assault, so to carry their water, they hired Arizona prosecutor and board-certified woman, Rachel Mitchell.”
Colbert ended his first monologue by pointing to times in which the prosecutor’s questioning was nonsensical and noting how badly this will look on her resume for … quite some time.
“I’m going to go ahead and say I did not know that, and I am really mad at the men behind me for hanging my ass out to dry right now,” said Colbert, impersonating Mitchell. “They better sleep lightly because I am coming for them. I have no further questions, or career.”
In the second segment, he tackled Kavanaugh’s rebuttal—often sporting an angry robot voice that also, coincidentally, happens to double as a great impersonation of the judge.
He first looked at Kavanaugh’s anger, present from the start of the hearing, regarding being involved in the situation at all. But of course, not to paint the judge unfairly, Colbert also made sure to note his optimism, again, in the robot voice (“I’m an optimistic guy. I see the bright side. The glass is half full. My smile is my umbrella.”)
The comedian was met with uproarious applause when he showed a clip from the hearing during which Kavanaugh says, “Today, I have to say that I fear for the future.” Without missing a single beat, Colbert replied, “Hashtag Me Too,” referring back to the movement focused on liberating women from a pervasive culture of sexual assault.
Much of the rest of the monologue focused on Kavanaugh’s ode to beer, which, if anyone was confused, the judge “like[s] beer” enough for Colbert to joke about future sponsorship deals. But, the comedian wasn’t going to paint an irresponsible picture of the nominee. Showing clips from the hearing, the important distinction was made that while Kavanaugh might like beer, he hasn’t consumed enough to have “passed out” but only to have “gone to sleep, never blacked out.”
Summed up best by Colbert: “I mean, after all, isn’t one man’s blackout another man’s street nap?”
Colbert became more serious after playing Senator Lindsay Graham’s speech, in which he “went off” because “somebody really grew a pair when the scary doctor lady left the room.” Despite a few segues throughout—encouraging the judge to pursue his passion for coaching and noting the judge’s face-saving redefinition of the term “boofing”—Colbert kept the final half of his second monologue fairly serious, drawing specifically on Kavanaugh’s “passionate condemnation of the hearing and its repercussions.”
“Let me tell you, brother. This is the whirlwind, and the wind was sown when Donald Trump had 19 credible allegations of sexual assault against him, bragged about sexual assault on tape and your Republican buddies up on that committee said, ‘Yeah, but we want our guy on the Supreme Court,’” said Colbert, no longer joking about the situation and instead turning to directly address the nominee. “And that’s you, Brett. That doesn’t mean you’re guilty, but please save your indignation that finally someone is taking one woman’s accusation of sexual assault seriously.”
You can check out the two segments below.