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Stephen Colbert Delivered a Special Coronavirus Monologue From His Bathtub

Welcome to 'The Lather Show'

You can’t keep the best host in late-night TV down. After talk shows went dark in response to the coronavirus crisis, Stephen Colbert still delivered his monologue for The Late Show last night—from his bathtub.

I was hoping Colbert might do something like this. Not only is it impossible to imagine him staying quiet with the country and the world in upheaval, but the public needs his wit, his level head, and his skewering observations now more than ever. Colbert shot the monologue in his actual bathtub, with actual bubbles on his sleeves. In lieu of a mic, he wears a pair of AirPods.

Colbert kept his usual wry, tongue-in-cheek tone, introducing the segment thusly:

“Hey, everybody! Hi! Welcome to my bathroom. You’re watching a very special social distancing edition of The Late Show. Or as I now call it, The Lather Show With Scrubbin’ Colbert. My first guest tonight, as you can see, is Mr. Bubble, followed by a musical performance by the legendary duo Head & Shoulders.”

Funny and reminding the viewing public of proper social distancing protocol. Thanks, Stephen. He further explains such concepts as “flattening the curve” and the importance of staying indoors. Then he offers an observation straight from the inner recesses of my soul:

The government—remember them?— is telling us all of us to avoid human contact indefinitely, and on behalf of the socially anxious everywhere, let me just say, way ahead of you. I have been avoiding human contact since before it was cool.

In fact, much of the monologue is highly relatable to the experiences of many stuck at home, with Stephen talking about his “stress-baking,” showing off the flaky ridges on the pear and almond cream tart he made the night before.

He then takes us through Trump’s most recent press conference, wherein someone finally seemed to have gotten to the president and made him read off a serious statement about guidelines for the public to take. It was a huge tonal shift from Trump’s dismissive and factually incorrect coronavirus posturing of the last two months.

“Trump thinks the White House is doing just a great job,” Colbert says, cutting to Trump saying that they are working “hand in hand,” to which a clearly frustrated Colbert says, “Yes, to control the spread of this virus they are working hand in hand, tongue in mouth, sneeze in face.”

And after Trump says that the country was at “a very, very low base” from which to respond to the crisis, Colbert drives home exactly why: “Yeah, some idiot disbanded Obama’s pandemic response team. We should really look into whoever was after President Obama.”

The entire segment is funny, bracing, and gives a more accurate overview of a lot of the news than much of the news! Well worth the time you may now have in abundance to watch it. Kudos to Colbert and his staff, and to CBS, for putting this together from afar.

After the new monologue segment, The Late Show went into a rerun. According to The Washington Post, there’s no word yet on whether this will become a regular practice for Colbert. But our fingers and toes are crossed.

(via The Washington Post, image: CBS/screengrab)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.