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On The Late Show, charming goofball Josh Brolin gives Trump's tweets the Thanos treatment

Josh Brolin, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

With his granite face and signature drill sergeant haircut, Josh Brolin has the market cornered at this point in his career (he’s 50, somehow) on grim-voiced, badass action types. Stephen Colbert noted that calling this “the summer of Brolin” wouldn’t be out of line, considering the actor’s villainous, anti-heroic, and “could go either way” roles in Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, and Sicario: Day Of The Soldado (opening June 29), respectively. Brolin agreed readily enough, right before he let Colbert doodle some Sharpie hair on his chest, demonstrated the proper technique for full-mouthed improv, and engaged in a rematch of the epic Colbert-Brolin arm wrestling match from his last appearance on The Late Show. Even though Brolin won, he admitted he probably needs to get his labrum checked out, despite the fact that, compared to how “fat” he was last time he and Colbert went at it, he’s currently still Cable-jacked.

“Aren’t we supposed to talk about a movie or something?” Brolin asked Colbert at one point. But while the Sicario sequel seems to be something Brolin is proud of, he also seemed in absolutely no hurry to actually do the requisite talk show movie-shilling chitchat. Which was a gift for Late Show viewers, as the actor’s wonted onscreen menace gave way to a nimble, entertaining goofiness. (His pretzel-munching Godfather improv scene with Colbert was all-around solid stuff.)


Since this is Colbert, the conversation eventually shifted to Donald Trump, who Brolin has known for a long time. “I used to take pride in it,” Brolin admitted. In response to Colbert’s comparison of Trump to despotic, eggplant-hued despot Thanos, Brolin copped to a few similarities, not the least of which is that both have necks that look unsettlingly like parts of the male anatomy. But Brolin also noted that, like Thanos, Trump’s approach to any legitimate problem is disfiguringly “callous.” “Especially when you bring children into it,” explained the actor, referring to the fact that the Trump administration’s response to the issue of immigration is to throw thousands of non-white children in fucking cages. Anyway, Colbert imposed upon the game Brolin to read out some of Trump’s toilet-tweeted rants in his Thanos voice. It turns out “MAGA,” indeed, does sound, in Brolin’s rumbling Thanos tones, like the sort of thing designed to kick of some truly evil shit.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.