Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
John Thibodeaux, very decided South Carolina voters
John Thibodeaux, very decided South Carolina voters
Screenshot: The Late Show

Stephen Colbert may have mostly retired Stephen Colbert, the bloviating right-wing ironist he portrayed for 11 seasons on The Colbert Report, but that doesn’t mean his yen for luring bad-faith conservatives into his clutches has left him entirely. On The Late Show’s recurring Real News Tonight segments, on-the-nose-monikered pro-Trump anchors Jill Newslady (Jen Spyra) and Jim Anchorton (Justin Thibodeaux) routinely fight the imagined scourge of fake news (a.k.a. inconvenient facts) in order to reassure their number one fan and intended audience, Donald Trump, that everything’s going a-okay. Still, there’s only so much slavish propagandizing even the most vapid of newsroom lickspittles can do from behind a desk, so, on Friday’s Late Show, Colbert sent Anchorton out on the streets of Charleston, South Carolina to prove that Trump’s pledge to get “every last African American vote” is going a-okay in advance of tomorrow’s Democratic primary.

Things started off well for the blankly partisan Anchorton, as he first interviewed the head of the SC GOP’s minority outreach program—and fellow black Trump fan—Leon Winn. Showing his true, satirical colors right off the bat by cribbing Colbert’s (sorry, Colbert’s) out-of-the-gate softball, “So, Donald Trump—great president or greatest president,” Thibodeaux clearly wasn’t fooling the stone-faced Winn, who, yet, did make the entirely unironic claim that Donald Trump is a better president than that Abraham Lincoln guy. From there, Thibodeaux admirably made the case for a continuing role as Colbert’s Colbert stand-in, faux-innocently pretending to be on the same page with the humorlessly unimpressed Winn, up to the point where he asked the former cosmetologist, in his former professional capacity, just what color Donald Trump’s face is.

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Okay, so maybe the man on the street was a more likely target, although Anchorton found himself thwarted time and again by black residents of the Palmetto state, who—like fully 92 percent of black voters last time around—were not aboard the Trump Train. (Man, that number still seems low, you know, considering.) Luckily, like any true investigative journalist, Anchorton dug deeper, finding some black voices for Trump—who all happened to be white, admittedly. His quest concluded with an interview with a young white guy whose loyalty to Trump he summed up as admiration for how the five-time draft-dodger has “rejuvenated America’s dominance,” happily agreeing with the fist-bumping Anchorton that Trump being “America’s boner pill” is just the sort of ideological concept he and his fellow white South Carolinians can really get behind. Like some of the best Colbert Report kickers, it’d be a cheap shot at the MAGA voting bloc, if it weren’t right from the source.

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

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