Stephen Colbert returned to The Late Show stage on Monday night after a week’s vacation, practically bursting out of his body to finally be able to talk about all the headlines he missed while he was away.
“We have been off the air for a week,” Colbert told the audience by way of greeting. “You know who else has? Tucker Carlson! The difference is: I’m allowed back on.” Though he had to hold off for a full week in order to deliver that news to his audience, being able to say “Fox News fired Tucker Carlson” was worth the wait. “I feel like I just had the best pee of my entire life,” the freshly relieved host stated.
But those were just the first shots fired in what became a full-throated attack on Fox News’ former golden boy, who was unceremoniously dumped by the network for reasons that have yet to be officially divulged or confirmed. Though Colbert had some ideas, including the fact that Carlson was regularly bad-mouthing his colleagues and bosses to friends via private messages that were blissfully made public during the Dominion Voting Systems defamation suit.
Among the other details we have since learned, shared Colbert: Tucker had quite the potty mouth, and was fond of calling women the C-word. “Nice mouth Tucker,” said a positively (not) shocked Colbert. “You kiss your M&Ms with that mouth?”
But that was “just the tip of the misogynyberg,” he shared, noting that Carlson was seen mocking his post-menopausal fans in a video, even though Colbert believes that “the surest way to stop ovulating forever” is by looking at Tucker’s perpetually confused face.
Colbert’s return was unfortunately bittersweet. Just minutes after returning to his beloved late-night set, news broke that negotiations between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the studios that produce the late-night shows you love (and pretty much every other show) had come to a standstill, and that WGA writers plan to strike for the first time in 15 years.
Colbert, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and The Daily Show—which was being guest hosted by Dulcé Sloan this week—will all reportedly go dark. SNL, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Real Time with Bill Maher could all follow suit, depending on whether negotiations can be reached.
The last writers strike lasted a full 100 days between 2007 and 2008.