Late Night Hosts React to John Bolton's Exit, Poke Fun at His Mustache

Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah -Publicity- Split-H 2019
Courtesy Photos

"You have to appreciate the irony of John Bolton being taken out by a preemptive strike," Seth Meyers said of the hawkish former national security adviser.

Late night hosts took on National Security Adviser John Bolton's exit during Tuesday's episodes of their shows.

Donald Trump announced that he fired Bolton on Tuesday. The two had strong disagreements on Iran, Afghanistan and many other global challenges, the president said.

The firing marked the latest departure of a prominent voice who didn't regularly agree with Trump from the president's inner circle.

Stephen Colbert opened The Late Show by sharing that he had "never been more grateful for the president's pettiness and stupidity."

"Today he was stupidly petty enough to save us from a very strong warmonger," Colbert told his audience about Trump ousting Bolton. "Another Trumpling bites the dumpling of dirt."

The host then joked that Trump goes through staffers like "a high 17-year-old goes through Little Debbie Swiss Rolls."

Colbert also noted that there had been conflict between Trump and Bolton in the past, with Trump believing that Bolton wanted the United States to go to war. He then mocked Trump and said, "I can't have that. I'm already in so many wars. I got trade war, Cupcake War, I'm in a flame war with Chrissy Teigen."

Bolton was expected to appear at a press briefing with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday afternoon, but Trump tweeted about his firing 90 minutes before it was scheduled to start, leaving Mnuchin and Pompeo to field questions about Trump's decision. "You left the Nuch hanging?" said Colbert before he shared an impression of Mnuchin announcing to the crowd that Bolton had been replaced by a Task Rabbit employee.

While it's unknown who will take Bolton's place, Colbert joked that the firing made Trump reminisce about former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Reports have said that Trump called McMaster to tell him that he missed the former employee. "It's been so different since you left," Colbert said as Trump. "Now when they say 'HR wants to talk to you,' it's for much worse reasons."

Jimmy Fallon also spoke about the news on The Tonight Show.

"Trump tweeted Bolton's services were no longer needed and that he strongly disagreed with many of his suggestions," said Fallon. "Bolton thought we should continue the war in Afghanistan, and Trump thought we should continue the war with Chrissy Teigen."

Following Trump's tweets that announced Bolton had been fired, the former national security adviser tweeted that he offered to resign and Trump told him that they would talk about it the next day. "Trump was like, 'Technically, I am talking about it tomorrow,'" joked Fallon.

"Bolton really should have seen this coming. Every kid on Earth knows 'Let's talk about it tomorrow' means you're definitely not getting that pony," said the host.

Fallon joked that now that Bolton is unemployed, he plans to "spend more time with his fellow walruses."

"It's not all bad news for Bolton," he continued. "If he wants to keep his job, he can just shave his mustache and show up for work tomorrow."

While Trump plans to announce the new national security adviser next week, Fallon joked that his first choice is the animated mascot from The General insurance company commercials.

Over on The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah said that Bolton was "too hawkish" for Trump because "his solution to every situation was bombs."

The host noted that Bolton is the third national security adviser that Trump has fired. "It's amazing that America's unemployment numbers are so low considering that Trump has fired half of the country," he said.

He joked that Bolton's "mustache was lowered to half mast" to mark the occasion of his firing.

Noah said that normally the transition between Bolton's firing and the hiring of the new NSA would be easy, though Trump is making it difficult because he is "a messy bitch who lives for drama." News coverage followed of Trump's tweets claiming he'd fired Bolton, while Bolton claimed that he'd resigned.

The host also joked that Melania Trump tried to sneak out of the White House with Bolton. "She was like, 'Oh no, so sad to be fired. I'm also going,'" joked Noah.

Late Night's Seth Meyers joked that Bolton would return to his previous job, which is "speaking for the trees." The joke was accompanied by a photo of Dr. Seuss character the Lorax, who has a mustache similar to Bolton's.

"You have to appreciate the irony of John Bolton being taken out by a preemptive strike," he continued.

Meyers added that the had been no word about Bolton's plans for the future, though he joked that he may join the New England Patriots.

Over on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the host joked that Bolton lost his job because "he was unable to keep his glasses on his face" as photos showed Bolton regularly holding up his glasses.

Kimmel then noted that the president is running out of potential candidates to take the national security adviser job: "Trump's only down to two candidates for that position: Sergeant Slaughter and Cap'n Crunch."

James Corden kicked off The Late Late Show by discussing the news.

"Bolton says he quit. Trump says he fired him," said Corden. "I don't know who to believe. The guy who lies all the time or the other guy who lies all the time."

While the host noted that Bolton had been fired effective immediately, he joked that "his mustache will stay on for a few more weeks to tie up any loose ends."