9:21pm PT by Katie Kilkenny, Patrick Shanley
Late-Night Hosts Poke Fun at Hawaii's False Emergency-Alert Alarm
After Hawaiians faced a false cellphone alert of a ballistic missile attack Saturday, late-night hosts cracked jokes about how islanders and tourists reacted to the news.
Trevor Noah highlighted a man interviewed by the Hawaii News Now program who strategized after the "incoming ballistic missile" alert went out, taking an Uber to the airport to try and catch a flight out of Hawaii.
"That dude was not messing around. I like that in his mind he was going to sidestep a nuclear holocaust. Everyone's like, 'I'm going to die!' and he was like, 'No, y'all going to die. I've got work on Monday,'" Noah said.
He also pointed out that one hotel employee stayed at the front desk to answer questions from distressed guests during the confusion, according to the newscast. "Give that man a raise. He's at the desk answering questions when they said a bomb was coming. Only a true professional keeps working during a nuclear strike."
The Late Show opened Monday with a “15th anniversary re-airing of the 20th re-airing of Don Ho’s classic 1967 concert at the Hollywood palace” from CBS’ local Hawaii affiliate. The performance was interrupted by an alert system reading: “Ballistic missile inbound, seek shelter.” It was followed shortly thereafter by another warning clarifying, “By the way, when we say seek shelter we mean dig a grave because there’s nowhere to hide.”
More warnings followed, including “trust us this alert system is foolproof” and “your death is 100 percent guaranteed,” before a final alert told viewers, “Wait, hold on. Get ready to laugh. It turns out the wrong button was pushed.”
Later, at his desk, Colbert discussed the incident, marveling both at how the mistake happened and how long it took to send out a "false alarm" alert ("38 minutes?! That's enough time to have end-of-the-world sex and then await death for 35 minutes.").
"I never thought that I'd have to say this but congratulations to all 50 states for surviving the weekend," Colbert said as he kicked off his bit about the Hawaii false alarm, later joking that people in the state were "dropping some poi in their board shorts" when the first alert went out.
The host added that he was "surprised Trump was quiet about it." "This was made for him. It's literally fake news."
Jimmy Kimmel poked fun at Hawaii's stereotypically laid-back culture in his coverage of the alert gaffe on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Pointing out that it took 38 minutes for a correction to be issued to the initial alert, Kimmel said, "For 38 minutes people were seeking immediate shelter, which in Hawaii, what does that even mean? Everybody get under a mai tai umbrella?"
He says people were freaked out by the false alarm, "but not as freaked out as they would be in any other state." He added, "The fact that it took 38 minutes for people to tell them there was no ballistic missile on the way, that's very Hawaii. That's about as Hawaii as it gets."
Jimmy Fallon also joked about the president's response. "Trump didn't comment until the next day," said The Tonight Show host. "That's classic Trump right there. The first time there actually is fake news, he's nowhere to be found. This is your thing! It's your cue."