Late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert had some choice words for President Donald Trump, and suggested jokingly that Trump may have plagiarized some of the comedy performers’ best lines, according to a report by Deadline. Even as Trump has recently used his lofty Twitter perch to lambaste late-night talk show hosts in general as being untalented, Colbert noted at a Los Angeles event that Trump’s words often echo those of his first late-night incarnation from Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. On that show, Colbert played a caricature of a right-wing pundit blowhard, modeled loosely on Bill O’Reilly and others, where he coined the term “truthiness” and others to mock then-president George W. Bush and vice president Dick Cheney by stretching the limits of the truth.
“He [Trump] could have stolen a lot of my lines,” Colbert said during a Late Show With Stephen Colbert event at PaleyFest in Los Angeles on Saturday. “He stole a thing the other day.”
“He [Trump] said, ‘I don’t use my brain, I use my gut,’ and that’s literally the opening of The Colbert Report. I said, ‘Did you know there are more nerve endings in your gut than in your brain?’ He just said that,” Colbert said.
“He is a delicious idiot.”
Furthermore, Colbert remembered his creative team balking at the idea of calling Trump names on network television when he first started his current gig on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert, noting that show-runner Chris Licht asked Colbert if he was sure he wanted to call the president an idiot in front of an audience of millions.
“I’m pretty sure,” Colbert said, laughing.
Colbert got a standing ovation when he joined host Pete Holmes on stage, the comic and creator of HBO’s Crashing. The two talked about Jay Leno’s recent comments criticizing the current crop of late-night talk show hosts for the political angle they all seem to take, calling their coverage “one-sided,” and lamenting that “everyone has to know your politics.”
The audience seemed a little surprised by Colbert’s take on the matter.
“I agree with what [Leno] said. He said it was a different time….now there’s one subject, so people see your politics more when you do it now, but I’m fine with that.”
However, the comedian seemed to backtrack a bit when he added that on the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with speaking up when you think that Trump in particular “is damaging the nation.”
“I feel seriously about what’s going on in the country….I’m there to make everybody feel better and know they’re not alone in that.”
Colbert also poked some good-natured fun at the difference with being on a network show as opposed to the wild west atmosphere of his former gig on cable. He told a story about how they created a piece that referenced frogs having sex, and wanted to run a graphic of a pencil drawing of two frogs in the act from an anatomy textbook. They were shot down by the network censors who made them blur the drawing.
However, the funnyman and his writers got revenge the next day when they ran a “completely made-up” story about two frogs skydiving.
“We used the exact same picture. They did not blur it,” he said.