We’ll always miss the old Stephen Colbert, the one who mercilessly satirized Fox News demagogues like Sean Hannity during the nine years of The Colbert Report. That character would probably land way differently today, though, after Donald Trump, the GOP, and the right wing media that slavishly praises them pushed conspiracy theories about the election that helped incite a riot that invaded the Capitol, beat a police officer to death, and led to four other deaths. Colbert might’ve found a way to parody this whole situation in character that was still hilarious, but the risk of seeming insensitive or underplaying the threat of these domestic terrorists would be so great that it probably wouldn’t be worth it.
If The Colbert Report still existed today, it might look more like Colbert’s CBS show does, at least over the last few days. On last night’s episode of The Late Show, Colbert largely downplayed the jokes, and flashed a bit of fury as he took another look at last week’s insurrection. The title of the video gives Colbert’s anger away: you don’t call something “The Terrorists Who Attacked Congress At The President’s Direction Came Prepared To Kill” if you’re about to engage in some light, goofy fun. It’s a small thing, but it still reflects on how beyond the pale Trump’s supporters have gone, that the normally mild mannered, calm and collected Colbert lets himself get visibly pissed off on TV.
Check it out below, if you want to see Colbert when he gets a little bit angry.