Sunday’s Super Bowl, in which the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9, was a strange, pandemic-subdued version of the annual ritual, but “there was some normal mixed in with our weird,” said Stephen Colbert on Monday’s Late Show. “Tom Brady won – that’s normal – for Tampa Bay. That’s weird! There were 25,000 fans in the seats – normal. There were 30,000 cardboard cutouts in the seats. That’s weird. The Weeknd performed a great half-time show – that’s normal. Then he got stuck inside a toaster oven” in the selfie-stick portion of his concert, which Colbert deemed “weird”.
In other news, the Senate prepared for the start of a second impeachment trial for ex-president Donald Trump, this time for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January. On Monday, Trump’s lawyers laid out their argument: essentially, said Colbert, “that the guy didn’t do the thing that we all saw him do”.
The defense claimed Trump, addressing his supporters that day, “used the word ‘fight’ a little more than a handful of times and each time in the figurative sense”.
In reality, Trump used the words “fight” or “fighting” at least 20 times. “That’s four handfuls, probably more with those tiny little hands,” Colbert joked. “Remember when we just made fun of his little hands, instead of his attempts to destroy democracy? I miss … none of that.”
Trump is not expected to testify; instead, the former president is reportedly enjoying his retirement. His former aide Jason Miller said the past few weeks marked “the first time in years that I saw [Trump] truly relaxed”.
“Well, yeah, for the first time in four years, he’s free of all the pressing decisions that kept him up at night: Hannity or Dobbs, two-iron or driver, chicken bucket or taco bowl,” Colbert joked. “But if he’s this relaxed by three weeks out of office, imagine how serene he would be if he could never hold office again [following an impeachment conviction],” he added. “Senate Republicans, think of his happiness.”
On Late Night, Seth Meyers blasted Senate Republicans who intended to shield Trump from impeachment consequences for his role in the Capitol assault. The Senate GOP should not “succeed in diminishing the trial or brushing it aside,” he said, especially with the excuse that there are more pressing matters for Congress to consider.
“Yes, there’s lots of other urgent stuff that needs to get done ASAP to alleviate the suffering of millions of Americans, fix our broken system, and undo the wreckage left behind by the Trump era,” Meyers continued. “But Congress can and should be able to do two things at once, like everyone else has managed to do during the pandemic.
“If exhausted parents can go to work, or jump on a Zoom while feeding their kids, helping them with remote learning, cooking, cleaning or getting Legos thrown in their faces,” he added, “maybe Congress can pass a Covid relief bill and hold a trial for a seditionist ex-president.”
In a new segment called “Joe Biden: The Worst President Ever (That We Can Remember),” the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah mocked the relativity of “scandal” in the Biden era with several Fox News mountains made from molehills. For example, the controversy generated around Biden’s comment about the FBI: “By and large the vast, vast majority of these men and women, are decent, honorable people.”
“What should be taken away from that, for him to say the vast majority of men and women are decent and honorable people?” a Fox News anchor asked. “What percentage of people are we talking?” another said. “Are 80% of people good and decent at the FBI? 90? Can you be more specific?”
“Yeah, Joe Biden, be more specific!” Noah said, mocking the Fox anchors. “Is it 99%? Or is it just one bad guy? Is it Doug? It’s totally Doug, isn’t it?
“But this is just reprehensible,” Noah continued, deadpanning. “How dare you say that the ‘vast, vast’ majority of FBI agents are honorable, when clearly it is the vast, vast, vast majority.”
In another “scandal”, a Fox host complained that Biden was sworn in 10 minutes too early. “That’s right, Joe Biden stole 10 minutes of Donald Trump’s presidency,” Noah joked. “Or as Fox News calls it, Ten-ghazi. Who knows what Trump could’ve accomplished in those 10 minutes! I mean, maybe that’s when he finally was gonna release his healthcare plan.”
And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel looked ahead to the start of the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday. Trump was not expected to testify – “Donald Trump doesn’t like to put his hand on a Bible unless peaceful protesters are being gassed nearby,” Kimmel quipped.
“The vast majority of Republicans in the Senate appear poised to give Liger Woods another mulligan,” he continued. Some have argued that it’s unconstitutional to impeach a president no longer in office, “which is like, ‘Your honor, Bernie Madoff is no longer running a Ponzi scheme, can’t we just leave the man alone?’” Kimmel said.
Trump lawyers will also argue that the mob should have known he was using hyperbole when he told the rioters to “fight like hell” before they marched from his rally toward the Capitol. “Yeah, like the guy in the Viking costume and the lady with the words Camp Auschwitz printed on her XXXL sweatshirt should know what hyperbole is,” Kimmel joked.