Stephen Colbert Pokes Fun at Trump's State of the Union on Live 'Late Show'

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert - October 1, 2019 - Getty-H 2019
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

The late night host gave advice to House Speaker Pelosi for future handshakes with the president: "Don't offer him your hand. Offer him one finger."

Stephen Colbert took on President Trump's final State of the Union speech before the 2020 presidential election live on his show on Tuesday night.

"We felt what you just felt. We drank what you drank," Colbert said at the top of his monologue. "Only now we're drunk at work," the host added, sipping on some alcohol before launching into hot takes on Trump's speech in a special edition titled "Don and the Giant Imspeech." 

Colbert noted that among the speech's attendees was Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over Trump's Senate impeachment trial that ends Wednesday and thus "working two jobs in Trump's economy." As for Mike Pence, who as vice president stood behind Trump and alongside House Speaker Pelosi, he was given "special permission from mother to stand next to a woman."

Pelosi was rebuffed by Trump, who refused to shake her hand before he began his speech. Colbert offered advice for if and when that situation arises again: "Don't offer him your hand. Offer him one finger."

In Trump's speech on Tuesday night, he called of the "great American comeback" and boasted that unemployment was falling, and "the years of economic decay are over."

"But the years of mental decay have just begun," Colbert said. "Where is Kansas City? Where is Missouri? I'll never know," the host added in reference to Trump mistakenly congratulating Kansas after the Kansas City Chiefs, whose home field is in Missouri, won Super Bowl LIV.

During the speech, Trump gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, who announced on Monday that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. He also recognized retired Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee, noting that despite the black pilot's contributions, he returned from World War II to a country still struggling for civil rights. 

"And thanks to me, we're on the cusp of defeating civil rights once and for all," Colbert said in his mock Trump voice. 

Colbert wrapped up his state of the union recap by noting how Trump unknowingly reflected on his controversial election. "America is the place where anything can happen," Trump had said hours before in front of a divided Congress. "I mean look at me, no one saw this coming," Colbert said.

At the speech, Democratic women in Congress wore white to recall American suffragists as they fought for women's right to vote a century ago. This was the third time that women in Congress wore the color during a Trump event: The first time was during a 2017 address to Congress and the second during Trump's 2019 State of the Union address.

Pelosi, also wearing white, made one final highlight of the night by ripping up her copy of Trump's speech as he ended his address. To this, Colbert admiringly commented, "she ripped him a new one."