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It may be cold outside, but the frigid temperatures across much of the country were a hot topic on Monday night’s late shows.
Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno and David Letterman all devoted part of their programs to discussing the bitter cold weather across the Midwest and Northeast, including joking about the National Weather Service’s name for this phenomenon: the polar vortex.
A parka-and-gloves-wearing Colbert was so overcome by the cold that he opened his show by pretending to scrape ice off of his camera, sprinkled kitty litter on the studio floor and tried to start his car from behind his desk.
The Comedy Central host continued sporting his winter attire for his first segment, devoted to the cold weather. After telling the audience it was good to have them with him, “and by with us, I mean, still living,” he added, “If you are watching from anywhere east of Seattle, Washington, I hope you have caulked your windows, stocked your soup cupboard and have picked out which obese relative to slice open and crawl inside of for warmth.”
He then riffed on the vortex.
“As a newsman, I want to salute whoever came up with the term ‘polar vortex,’ ” Colbert said. “It is terrifying but still sounds all science-y. A lesser meteorologist could have overreached with ‘arctic coldnado’ or ‘alaskan dick punch,’ but ‘polar vortex’ is restrained but menacing.”
Fallon joked that “polar vortex” sounds like a Nicolas Cage movie, doing his best imitation of the action star: “We gotta get out of this vortex. The dollar bill has a polar bear on it.”
Leno, meanwhile, said that the “polar vortex” sounds like “something you’d see on the cover of Cosmo: Here’s the latest sex move that will drive him crazy, try the polar vortex.”
That was followed by a series of “How cold is it?” jokes, with Leno offering up zingers like “It is so cold, most of the country has numbers lower than President Obama” “There was so much snow that for the first time Paula Deen complained about being too white” and “In Chicago, it was colder there than on a Romney family reunion on MSNBC.”
Letterman used the cold temperatures to crack jokes about Chris Christie wearing a North Face lobster bib and saying that whenever he hears talk of “minus degrees,” he thinks of Dr. Phil.
He also repeatedly cut to a clip of a driver in the Midwest whose car was stuck in the snow.