“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, distinguished honorees, politicians, diplomats, endangered swamp dwellers,” CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert said at the top of tonight’s Kennedy Center Honors broadcast, setting the tone for the Donald Trump-drubbing to follow.
The names of those being honored this year would, in keeping with tradition, be enshrined on the theater wall behind him, Colbert said, “this wall that, again, Mexico has said they will not pay for.”
Welcoming guests First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama, Colbert noted it is Obama’s last time attending the annual event as sitting president and that, in order to attend next year’s clambake, he’d have to win one of the arts center’s awards which is no easy feat. “It’s not like the Nobel Peace Prize where they just give those things away,” he joked.
Colbert pointedly reckoned everyone in the hall would agree that, over the last eight years, the White House has “given us a leader who is passionate, intelligent and dignified.”
As the audience attending the event taped earlier this month leaped to its feet in agreement, and Obama stood and acknowledged the compliment, Colbert added, “Sir, I don’t know why you stood up. I was talking about Michelle.”
This year’s honorees include James Taylor, “the man who wrote ‘Fire and Rain’ which, thanks to global warming, will soon be the only two weather patterns left,” Colbert said, continuing to poke at President-elect Trump.