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With Ted Cruz and John Kasich ending their presidential campaigns, leaving Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee, Stephen Colbert fans knew there was one way the Late Show host was sure to mark the occasion: with another installment of his Hunger Games-inspired “Hungry for Power Games” segment.
Indeed, Colbert delivered on Wednesday night, bidding farewell to Cruz, Kasich and even Cruz’s six-day running mate, Carly Fiorina, who previously got a send-off when she ended her own bid for the presidency.
Kasich was up first, but it seemed like he wouldn’t be front of mind for Colbert’s Caesar Flickerman-inspired character for long: “He may be gone,” said Colbert’s character, “but he’s not — who are we talking about again?”
Rather, Colbert’s character devoted the majority of the segment to Ted Cruz, calling the Texas senator Tuesday night’s “biggest loser” and a “half-kissed frog prince.”
“He went down swinging, even when hugging his wife,” said Colbert’s character over the clip of Cruz accidentally elbowing his wife in the face after withdrawing from the race. “Apparently he’s dropping out of the race to spend more time elbowing his family.”
“With tribute Cruz’s falling, so falls his vice tribute, Carly Fiorina,” said Colbert’s character. He then took another opportunity to run the widely mocked video of Fiorina accidentally falling off the stage when introducing Cruz.
When it came to recapping Cruz’s campaign, the focus was on how much the senator seemed to be disliked by those who knew him, with John Boehner calling him “Lucifer in the flesh,” Cruz’s old college roommate referring to him as a “nightmare of a human being” and Lindsey Graham saying that if Cruz was killed on the floor of the Senate and the trial was in the Senate, “nobody would convict you.”
“So if Ted Cruz is ever killed, we can narrow the suspects down to someone who has met him,” joked Colbert’s character.
The Late Show team also had a surprise for viewers, having their frequent guest, cartoon Donald Trump, join in the proceedings. Sporting pink hair and an outfit on par with that of Colbert’s colorfully attired character, cartoon Trump toasted the occasion.
“Lyin‘ Ted is lyin‘ in the ground,” said cartoon Trump. “He ran a tough race, but he was really bad at it, and his father killed J.F.K. Pathetic.”
“Delightful,” Colbert’s character said before the two clinked glasses.
“It’s Trump Champagne. It’s available at Hammacher Schlemmer,” joked cartoon Trump — a reference to the Sharper Image-sold Trump Steaks.
At the top of his show, Colbert also illustrated how most people reacted to Trump’s presidential candidacy: laughing at his initial announcement, drinking heavily after news of his big primary wins and laughing maniacally when Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee.
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