The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance,” border patrol policy hasn’t just resulted in thousands of immigrant children being unnecessarily and tragically ripped away from their parents before being detained in mini concentration camps, it’s also become a reliable target for late-night hosts. While it seems strange that a bunch of comedians would approach such a grave situation, as is typically the case with good comedy, their takes end up inspiring thought and laughter. And even though Donald Trump has elected to end the practice with an executive order earlier this week, late night hosts aren’t looking to let him off the hook.
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah was among the first late night personalities to express happiness that the policy of separating families had ended. While he was happy with the result, Noah couldn’t help but point out how strange Trump backtracking on the initiative actually looks. Noah even went on to call out the fact that the “tender age,” shelters (i.e. where the government sends the babies that they steal from parents) are inappropriately named, before saying that using that name is a lot like calling cross burning “a meatless barbecue.”
“Trump right now is like if Superman threw a meteor at the Earth, and then stopped it himself. Everyone would be like, ‘thanks, I guess?’”
Still, no matter how serious the situation, Noah rarely takes the emotional approach, preferring to focus on the absurdity. But Stephen Colbert, on the other hand, is known for getting a little more excited and generally pulling fewer punches. After calling out the fact that Trump essentially made it sound like he was signing an executive order to end the separation practice purely because it hurt him personally, Colbert roasted the presidents that narcissism. He then went on to note how ridiculous it sounded when Trump then tried to take the credit for having the “courage” to end a separation policy that has existed for “60 years.”
Seth Meyers might win the award for most scathing opening sentences about the matter. Before unpacking the myriad of lies that the administration has told the news and the American people about the separation policy (like the fact that his hands were “tied”), he hit everyone with a few stone-faced lines about the president’s political prowess.
“Trump’s only political skill is his total and complete lack of shame. His malignant narcissism allows him to confidently and brazenly lie in a way that most other politicians would be too embarrassed to even try.”
Jimmy Kimmel, who’s no stranger to flipping the switch, dropping the jokes, and getting cold as ice when tearing into the president, like Colbert, took issue with Trump saying that unlike everyone else, he had the “courage,” to end the cruel practice.
“Thank you for your courage. By the way, for those keeping score, Trump signed an order reversing a policy that yesterday he said he couldn’t reverse, it was un-reversible. Somehow today he managed to reverse the un-reversible. Which is remarkable and unremarkable at the same time. And now, thanks to this new order, families from countries will be locked up together—hopefully starting with his.”