During his first 2020 RNC-focused show monologue, The Late Show host immediately dug into some of the night’s instant memes, including Kimberly Guilfoyle’s impassioned performance, Donald Trump, Jr.’s appearance and Rep. Matt Gaetz’s dark predictions for a world where former vice president and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is president.
Like the Democrats, Colbert noted, the Republicans had given each of the four-night RNC a theme: “famine, pestilence, war and death,” he joked. (The actual themes: “Land of Promise,” “Land of Opportunity,” “Land of Heroes” and “Land of Greatness.) The GOP is running in 2020’s presidential race without a platform, he added, which “makes sense, given how much Trump struggles to get down from platforms.”
Instead of a platform, the party has opted to run on its 2016 platform (due to, it said, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the convention, where a platform is usually revealed) and released a resolution saying “the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America First agenda.” Of the implications of skipping a platform and instead reasserting the party’s support of Trump, Colbert said, “that’s not a political party, that’s a cult.”
Like many on Twitter on Monday, Colbert locked in on Gaetz’s speech, wherein the Florida politician claimed that if Democrats prevailed in November, “They’ll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door.” Colbert provided his own spin on the speech, adding that “they’ll give away your last can of beer.”
Of Herschel Walker’s fond memory of Trump suddenly joining the former football player and his family on a trip to Disney World (to which they had invited the Trump children), Colbert said, “Yes, Donald Trump is the sort of caring, loving father who will do something with his kids? It’s a low bar after all.”
Former Fox News co-host and San Francisco assistant D.A. Kimberly Guilfoyle’s speech garnered quite a bit of attention on Monday for its style and inspired a couple of jokes from Colbert. After playing a clip, Colbert crawled out from under his desk, looking spooked. “Is the loud lady gone? I’m scared!” he joked. “This is the first time in my life, I’ve had to turn down the volume on CSPAN.” He also commented on Guilfoyle’s boyfriend Donald Trump Jr.’s appearance, noting he looked like he had a “snorted a key.”
Colbert will be filming live from the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York after subsequent RNC livestreams this week and will be hosting guests including Keanu Reeves, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Christie and Alex Winter, among others.