Stephen Colbert Stays the Course With Debate Gag After Donald Trump Bails (Video)

Trump's exodus from moderating a G.O.P. debate hasn't discouraged the "Colbert Report" host from moving forward with his own -- which will now be held at a zoo.
Comedy Central

Comedy Central's evening anchors took the news of Donald Trump's departure from moderating Newsmax's Dec. 27 G.O.P. debate quite hard on Tuesday night -- but it hasn't stopped Stephen Colbert from moving forward with his own tongue-in-cheek debate.

"At first, I assumed the date conflicted with Trump's annual full-body gold-leafing," the Colbert Report host said, "but it turns out he has canceled for a more important reason."

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Colbert then cut to a clip of Trump explaining on Fox News that he "won't rule out an independent run."

"I would be lying if I didn't say I saw this coming," said Colbert, turning the subject back to himself. "To honor the memory of Trump mattering, it is more important than ever that tonight I re-announce 'Stephen Colbert's South Carolina Serious, Classy Republican Debate.'"

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The host remains committed to the bit, saying that it will be held in mid to late January, at a zoo, with a likely change in network.

"It was going to be on Animal Planet," he said. "Now I am getting some hot heat from National Geographic... Nat Geo... Natty G."

Watch the full clip below: