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Stephen Colbert had a few thoughts to share after President Donald Trump made his first public appearance in five days to pitch his infrastructure plan in Ohio, but veered off topic to tout the reboot of Roseanne Barr’s sitcom Roseanne.
“Even look at Roseanne, I called her yesterday,” Trump said in the Thursday speech. “Look at her ratings! Look at her ratings!” ABC’s revival of the iconic sitcom overperformed in Middle America and nabbed the network TV’s biggest comedy launch in three-plus years.
In addition to personally speaking to Barr about the reboot, the ratings-focused president said that former Apprentice producer Mark Burnett called him about the “unbelievable” numbers — 18.1 million viewers and a 5.1 rating in the key demo — adding that Burnett said, “And [the show] was about us!”
Colbert took particular issue with that latter detail.
“Wait, I haven’t seen it yet, but Roseanne is about the Trumps?” Colbert asked, sarcastically. “Well, I can’t wait for the episode where John Goodman blows the vacation money paying off a porn star.” (Goodman plays Barr’s onscreen husband.)
Despite the premiere spotlight on Roseanne Conner’s (Barr) praise of Trump, the cast has been clear that the comedy doesn’t focus on politics as much as many are assuming. “We keep saying that the first episode is going to piss off liberals and the other eight are going to piss off conservatives,” executive producer Whitney Cummings previously told The Hollywood Reporter.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert host did acknowledge that a lot of people thought it was refreshing for a major sitcom character to be a fervent Trump supporter. (Barr herself publicly supports him, too.) So he found something else that might appeal to a Trump crowd.
“Well, I would like 18 million people to watch my show,” Colbert said before adding something “refreshing” of his own. “I agree with Donald Trump about something: CNN lies.”
Colbert then showed a botched headline from a CNN segment about Dana Carvey’s appearance as Trump’s new national security adviser John Bolton on Colbert’s show earlier this week, mistakenly calling it Saturday Night Live.
“Fake news,” Colbert quipped. “I take everything back. I apologize. Donald Trump is a great president.”
He dedicated the rest of his monologue to other soundbites from Trump’s Ohio speech, like forgetting the name of former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin — who he had just fired a day before.
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