Donald Trump’s presence at former President George H.W. Bush’s state funeral on Wednesday was seen by observers as uncomfortable, as he and first lady Melania Trump sat next to Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. As noted by the Washington Post, the apparent tension and awkwardness that ensued proved to be a hot topic for several television personalities, including Stephen Colbert, who pointed out how the mood among the former presidents and first ladies seemed to sour as the Trumps prepared to take their seats.
According to the Washington Post, Wednesday night’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert saw the eponymous host play a video focusing on the first row of the Washington National Cathedral, as the former presidents and their wives appeared to be “chatting comfortably with one another.” As Colbert recapped, the Trumps’ arrival changed the mood, as it became “silent staring time,” with the first row looking quiet and somber in another scene that featured Donald and Melania Trump in the first row.
“Donald Trump is the only person in the world who can bring down a funeral.”
After making that quip, Colbert talked the live audience through another scene from George H.W. Bush’s funeral, in which almost everyone in the first row was reciting the Apostle’s Creed, with Donald and Melania Trump being the notable exceptions.
“I’m sorry, I zoned out there for a minute. I was thinking about all the evangelicals who voted for me,” Colbert said, doing an impression of Trump.
A separate Late Show recap from the Week included more quotes from Colbert, as he continued taking aim at Trump, this time referencing how the president was not invited to the funeral of George H.W. Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, earlier this year.
“Trump was famously not invited to former First Lady Barbara Bush’s funeral, but he was welcome today after the Bush family promised Trump that the funeral would avoid criticizing him,” Colbert continued.
“They even assured him that the choir would drown out the sound of other ex-presidents rolling in their graves.”
— The Hill (@thehill) December 6, 2018
Later on in his monologue, Colbert suggested that “praising someone’s honesty” is an automatic example of “throwing shade” at Donald Trump, adding that Barack Obama made Trump “seem like a bad president” simply by sitting next to him at Bush’s funeral.
Stephen Colbert’s quips about the Trumps were among the many that were made on late-night television on Wednesday, as Jimmy Kimmel and Dulce Sloan also made their observations about the apparently tense moments at the Bush funeral. As quoted by the Washington Post, Kimmel said that Michelle Obama’s reaction to the Trumps’ presence was cold enough to “reverse global warming,” adding that Hillary Clinton’s expression, upon seeing the president, was similar to that of someone who was “on an elevator with a weirdo.”
Meanwhile, Sloan’s appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah had her commenting that the funeral “was so awkward” before Donald Trump “started roasting everybody” around him. This actually didn’t happen, but Sloan played an edited clip from the funeral, which featured soundbites of Trump levying insults against the former presidents and first ladies he was seated next to.