Home / Arts & Life / Stephen Colbert Wants a Merit-Based Policy — for the Presidency

Stephen Colbert Wants a Merit-Based Policy — for the Presidency


Stephen Colbert said of President Trump, “Mr. President, wherever you are today, it isn’t because of merit.”


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.

A Merit-Based Presidency

President Trump on Wednesday endorsed a proposal to cut down on legal immigration to the United States. The approach would favor admitting immigrants based on the merit of each applicant, the White House said.

“Somewhere right now Hillary Clinton is like, ‘Oh, you think people should advance based on merit now? O.K., interesting.’” — TREVOR NOAH

“Mr. President, wherever you are today, it isn’t because of merit.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

Video by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Trump and Putin on the Rocks

Jimmy Kimmel said the passage of sanctions against Russia is taking a toll on President Trump’s relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

“President Trump today signed a round of sanctions against Russia to punish Russia for making him win the election. He’s still very angry about that. The sanctions passed with an overwhelming majority in the House and the Senate, so Trump had to sign it. Vladimir Putin is not happy; in fact he changed their relationship status on Facebook today to ‘It’s complicated.’” — JIMMY KIMMEL

‘Bless Him, He’s Trying’

Video by Late Night With Seth Meyers

Mr. Trump has a new chief of staff, John F. Kelly, who served as secretary of homeland security. Seth Meyers said the president is trying to make a strong first impression — but maybe he’s trying a little too hard.

“According to Axios, President Trump has been trying to impress his new White House chief of staff, John Kelly, by acting sharper in meetings and rattling off stats. So far none have been right, but bless him, he’s trying. ‘Dogs are boys and cats are girls. Dancing causes brain damage. The capital of Florida is Mar-a-Lago. Are you hearing this, John?’” — SETH MEYERS

The Punchiest Punchlines (Patriots Edition)

“A pair of New England Patriots players were kicked out of practice yesterday after getting into a fight during drills. Wow, even the New England Patriots hate the New England Patriots.” — SETH MEYERS

“This is incredible, it can get you out of Washington, D.C., and into New York City in 29 minutes. Or as Melania Trump puts it, not fast enough.” — JAMES CORDEN, on a high-speed travel system envisioned by Elon Musk called the Hyperloop

The Bits Worth Watching

The Justice Department announced that it would investigate policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants at universities. David Alan Grier appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and offered a message of (totally bogus) support.

Video by Jimmy Kimmel Live!

How good of a liar is Halle Berry?

Video by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

What We’re Excited About on Thursday Night

The actor Anthony Mackie will be on “The Late Show” to talk about his much-discussed new movie, “Detroit,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

Also, Check This Out


Dave Chappelle performing in 2014 at Radio City Music Hall. His new stand-up comedy show at Radio City, through Aug. 24, will feature guests such as Chris Rock, Leslie Jones and Solange.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Dave Chappelle just started a weekslong run at Radio City Music Hall. Here’s our comedy critic’s review of the first night.

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