Stephen Colbert Tackles Leslie Moonves’s Ouster In ‘Late Show’ Cold Open

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

UPDATED with video: Stephen Colbert’s Late Show began with a cold open, in which Voiceover Guy told the audience:

Tonight’s episode of Undercover Boss starring Leslie Moonves, will not be shown. It was accidentally sealed into a stainless steel container which was then inadvertently fired into the heart of the sun. We regret the error.

Colbert ran out on stage and dove right in:

“Folks if you watch the news you may have heard, the head of this network, Leslie Moonves was forced to step down yesterday. This came after a second Ronan Farrow exposé, featuring more women accusing him of sexual harassment and assault.”

“It’s never a good sign when you’re the subject of a Ronan Farrow double dip,” said Colbert, who has had Farrow on the show to talk about his first New Yorker article, in which a multitude of women accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.

The second article about Moonves, published Sunday afternoon, includes disturbing allegations, Colbert acknowledged.

Then he read one:

[A] television executive said as she entered Moonves’s office to discuss a work matter…he said that he was going to get a glass of wine. He left briefly and, when he returned, she said, he was not wearing pants, and was aroused.

“Wow, that is an impressive way to open a bottle of wine,” Colbert snarked.

In Farrow’s two reports on Moonves, the longtime CBS chief is accused of harassing or assaulting 13 women, Colbert noted. “And that’s not even counting the thousands of innocent Americans who walked past this actual poster for [CBS TV series] Bull: He’ll Get You Off.”

“The article is extremely disturbing and, I’m not surprised, that’s it. Les Moonves is gone — for at least nine months until he does a set at The Comedy Cellar,” Colbert said.

That gag is a reference to Louis C.K.’s recent surprise Comedy Cellar set – his first after making a statement admitting to sexually harassing five women, in the wake of a New York Times article about his behavior.

In his surprise appearance, C.K. decided a rape-whistle joke would be fun.


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