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Stephen Colbert invites Satan to defend putting kids in cages on The Late Show

Screenshot: The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Hey, we’re putting children in cages now. Well, not “we,” as in those Americans with even a tattered scrap of human soul, but the Trump administration. You know, like Secretary Of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who stared blankly ahead at a White House press conference as reporters from ProPublica played tapes of terrified, weeping children screaming for their parents. Then she said with ghastly pride that “we will not apologize” for ripping children of migrants from their parents.

Also among the ghouls are the Trump propagandists at Fox & Friends who objected to calling the chain-link enclosures where those frightened kids are being held as “cages,” since, according to one purportedly farm-raised Trump apologist, they’re more like animal pens, which makes it okay. Clearly, there’s a communication barrier between, again, humans with souls, and members of the MAGA crowd. So Stephen Colbert attempted to bridge the gap by bringing in someone who could speak kid-cage enthusiasts’ language: Satan.

With the help of a few filters, a prop hoof and horns, and just a smidge of the old Colbert Report “Stephen Colbert” for that whiff of brimstone, Colbert addressed the controversy and those white supremacist rascals like White House advisor and “impotent tool” (according to Colbert) Stephen Miller as the Prince Of Lies himself. (“He’s a sponsor,” admitted Colbert.) Echoing Fox & Friends’ barnyard rationalization for the widely condemned policy (that, once more, is actually happening) of tearing families apart at the border and throwing kids in abandoned big box stores, Colbert’s Lucifer asked if that’s really any worse than a trip to Chuck E. Cheese’s. (Possibly also a Satan-sponsored enterprise.)


And, as for the whole “cages vs. pens” thing, Satan noted that it’s no different from the pens in hell, where, for example, Charles Manson is forced to fight Thomas Jefferson for all eternity. (“Sorry, Tom,” Satan explained. “It was the slave stuff.”) Before signing off, he also had a message to attorney general and architect of this latest and possibly(?) cruelest Trump administration policy, Jeff Sessions: “See you soon.”

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Dennis Perkins

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