Stephen Colbert Went to Russia and Perfected the Art of Trolling Trump

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National hero Stephen Colbert temporarily defected to Russian late-night TV, and it was everything we dreamed Stephen Colbert in Russia could be.

Last week in TWS I mentioned that Stephen was headed to Russia on what he called a “secret assignment.” Well, he cropped up over the weekend on the Russian late-night show Evening Urgant, turning his usual tables by appearing as a guest. There he played a special modified sort of Russian roulette with host Ivan Urgant involving vodka shots and pickles. Colbert was surprised to find it wasn’t Russian roulette exactly because all of the shot glasses contained vodka. Sounds like my kind of game.

It’s a delight to watch Stephen interact with Urgant, even when you have no idea what Urgant is saying in Russian (if you speak Russian, please help us out in the comments). Their physical comedy is top-notch. Per The Washington Post:

Colbert joked that, because the show was part of a state-owned TV channel, Urgant was “officially an employee of the state.”

“I look forward to going back to America and testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee about colluding with Russia,” Colbert deadpanned.

As Stephen takes his first shot, he says, “To the beautiful and friendly Russian people, I can’t remember why no members of the Trump administration can remember meeting you.” The crowd loves it. So do I. Although it’s more than a bit sad to consider what a joke America’s politics have become internationally and most especially in Russia. These days when I picture Putin I imagine him laughing all day long over how much he’s successfully messed with the American system.

Mid-game, Stephen says, “By the way, may I announce something? This is not shown in the United States? I’m here to announce that I am considering a run for President in 2020. And I thought it would be better to cut out the middleman and just tell the Russians myself. If anyone would like to work on my campaign in an unofficial capacity, please just let me know.”

This was absolutely masterful trolling of the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia and the ongoing Russian electoral meddling headaches. Stephen gives his final toast: “A strong America, a strong Russia!”

Colbert is a comedic genius, and we’ve never needed his mocking voice more. Not a day passes that I’m not thrilled and grateful that he’s reaching a massive audience via The Late Show and that CBS appears to have given him so much creative freedom. His potshots at the perpetual trainwreck of the Trump administration will go down in history. I hope he never stops showing what a smart, savvy troll can do. Trolls can be heroes too. And all of us need to laugh to keep from curling up into a fetal position and crying at the state of the nation.

Будем здоровы!

(via the Washington Post, image: screengrab)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.
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