Stephen Colbert Remembers George H.W. Bush, Praises Military Work

The host paid tribute to the late president and praised him for not being a "bitter partisan" during his time in Washington.
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

On Monday night's Late Show, Stephen Colbert remembered former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at the age of 94.

The Late Show host paid tribute to the 41st president during his monologue. He first reflected on Bush's time in the military. "Bush served in World War II as a torpedo bomber pilot in the Pacific theater. He flew 58 planes. When his plane got hit by Japanese anti-aircraft guns, he had to bail out," he said before he archival footage played of a young Bush being rescued by a submarine crew after having been shot down.

"The closest our current president has gotten to a submarine is a $5 footlong," Colbert then quipped.

"Of course, almost 50 years later, Bush did get back at Japan when he threw up in the lap of the Japanese prime minister," Colbert said before he shared a clip from the incident in 1992. "Dramatic moment."

The host also applauded Bush for not being a "bitter partisan" during his career in Washington. "He worked with Bill Clinton, famously, on humanitarian relief many times and I'm happy to say when we took our old show to entertain troops in Iraq in 2009, he was kind enough to do this video for us," he said.

The Colbert Report clip followed of Bush as he thanked the troops for their service. "Back in World War II, the USO used to send us great big stars like Marlene Dietrich, Lauren Bacall and The Rockettes. I'm just saying, this Stephen Colbert guy better have great legs,” Bush said in the video.

The clip received a round of applause from the audience. "Back in 2009, I did," responded Colbert.