Home / Arts & Life / Stephen Colbert Promises Everything Will Be Fine. He Doesn’t Mean It.

Stephen Colbert Promises Everything Will Be Fine. He Doesn’t Mean It.


Stephen Colbert is worried about President Trump’s escalating tensions with North Korea, and the administration’s reluctance to use the term “climate change.”


Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. What do you think of it? What else are you interested in? Let us know: thearts@nytimes.com.

Soiling ‘Organic Matter’

Like many news readers, Stephen Colbert had a lot weighing on his mind Tuesday. He was thinking about the rapid escalation in tensions between the United States and North Korea, and the Trump administration’s reluctance to discuss climate change. He highlighted recent reports that the Department of Agriculture has told its staff to avoid using the term “climate change.”

“Apparently, ‘climate change’ and ‘climate change adaptation’ are to be replaced by ‘weather extremes’ and ‘resilience to weather extremes,’ and the term ‘reduce greenhouse gases’ has been blacklisted in favor of ‘build soil organic matter.’ Do pants count as organic matter? Because today’s news is making me build soil in them.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

Video by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

“Here’s the thing: While only 24 percent of Americans trust what they hear from the White House, Trump’s approval rating in that poll is 38 percent. That means 14 percent of voters enjoy being lied to. And, if any of those people are tuning in right now, I just want to say: Everything’s going to be fine.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

‘Fire and Fury’

As the confrontation with North Korea escalates, Conan O’Brien doesn’t necessarily believe that Mr. Trump is ready to back up all his threats.

“Today President Trump warned that if North Korea does not stop escalating its nuclear program, quote, ‘They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.’ Then Melania said, ‘Don’t worry, he says that to me every night and nothing ever happens.’” — CONAN O’BRIEN

The Punchiest Punchlines (Diptyque Edition)

Video by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

“Today a Wall Street Journal reporter compared President Trump to a goldfish, because he forgets what happened 10 seconds ago. Trump was pretty mad — but only for 9 seconds.” — JIMMY FALLON

“Political experts say that many members of Congress are preparing for a Mike Pence presidency. Yeah, they’re preparing by binge-watching ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’” — CONAN O’BRIEN

“The upscale fragrance company Diptyque is releasing a candle that they claim captures the scent of New York City. Yeah, nice try Diptyque, but I can pee in the corner of my living room for free.” — JAMES CORDEN

The Bits Worth Watching

Apparently audiobooks for dogs are actually a real thing now. But these ones probably aren’t.

Video by Team Coco

This is not encouraging.

Video by Jimmy Kimmel Live!

What We’re Excited About on Wednesday Night

Robert Pattinson, the former “Twilight” star and the leading man in the celebrated new film “Good Time,” talks to Stephen Colbert on Wednesday.

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David Letterman in 2016.

Damon Winter/The New York Times

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