On Thursday’s Late Show, the CBS host once again launched into another spirited attack against the president — this time responding to comments Trump made about him to Time Magazine earlier in the day.
“You see a no-talent guy like Colbert. There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy,” Trump said, shooting back at Colbert’s May 1 monologue, in which the comedian delivered an oral-sex joke about the president and Russian President Vladimir Putin. “And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him.”
The 70-year-old former businessmen also took credit for Colbert’s ratings-bump, saying, “The guy was dying. By the way, they were going to take him off television. Then he started attacking me and he started doing better. But his show was dying. I’ve done his show.
“… But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high — highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.”
Colbert wasn’t sweating Trump’s words, opening his monologue by telling the audience, “The president of the United States has personally come after me and my show and there’s only one thing to say… Yayyyy!”
After the audience’s cheers settled, Colbert addressed Trump directly.
“Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump,” he said. “There’s a lot you don’t understand. But I never thought one of those things would be show business.”
“Don’t you know I’ve been trying for a year to get you to say my name?! And you were very restrained. Admirably restrained. But now you did it!” Colbert continued. “I won.”
The 52-year-old late night host has, in fact, focused much of his late-night show on mocking the now-president. His aforementioned May 1 tirade even prompted a social media campaign to #FireColbert.
“Please, oh please! Don’t make me trend on Twitter again! Don’t throw me in that hashtag briarpatch,” Colbert joked on Thursday.
Even though Colbert was looking for a response from Trump, that didn’t mean he found everything Trump said to be false.
“But you’re not wrong. I will give this to the man, you’re not wrong. I do occasionally use adult language — and I do it in public instead of the privacy of an Access Hollywood bus,” Colbert said, referencing Trump’s infamous hot-mic controversy, which the then-Republican presidential candidate laughed off as “locker room talk.”
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As for Trump’s claims that his appearance on Colbert’s show gave it it’s highest ratings, he was slightly off there.
“The night you appeared on this show…was very highly rated,” Colbert said. “In fact, the only episode that got better ratings was the night I had Jeb Bush on. That’s right. You got beat by low-energy Jeb.”
Speaking of ratings, Colbert didn’t waste time pointing out that the president’s ratings have been low. “You know who has got really bad ratings these days? You do. Really terrible approval numbers,” Colbert said. “I hear they’re thinking about switching your timeslot with Mike Pence.”
Finishing off his monologue, Colbert gave Trump some advice: “Since all of my success is clearly based on talking about you, if you really want to take me down, there’s an obvious way — resign.”
“If you did that, what would I talk about then?” he asked. “Except your resignation, ’cause that’d be fun.”
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights (11:30 p.m.) on CBS.