After hosting Sir Richard Branson’s jaunt to outer space (kind of) on Sunday, Stephen Colbert welcomed his billionaire buddy to Tuesday’s Late Show for some earthbound gloating. (Branson even put his bare feet up on Colbert’s desk, which is the sort of thing that should get you duct-taped to your airplane seat, in accordance with sky law.) Similarly, the space-racing plutocrat responded to Colbert’s oh-so-gentle pushback in mentioning how all that first class luxury space tourist cash could be better used here on little old Earth by essentially telling those lowly not-riches that “they’re not fully educated.”
Well, over on Late Night With Seth Meyers, host Meyers brought in his own expert to skewer this whole suspiciously rushed fad of the super-wealthy seeing who can be first to slip the surly bonds of gravity, global warming, social unrest, and mutating viruses. And if former Weekend Update partner Amy Poehler isn’t a billionaire herself, she does okay enough to at least offer up another perspective from the rarified air of privilege, in the form of the duo’s resurgent “Really!?! With Seth And Amy” segment.
Now, nobody is saying that space exploration isn’t an essential step in humankind’s innate quest to understand the universe of which it is just one, lonely, seemingly insignificant speck, but, really? As Meyers kicked off, the “drag race to space” among unimaginably wealthy moguls like Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk isn’t exactly a NASA fact-finding mission. “You didn’t go to outer space,” Meyers chided Branson for his beyond first-class chauffeured tour of the upper atmosphere, “you just went pretty high for a plane.” Poehler chimed in about the fact that no women are involved in this rocket-shaped dick-measuring contest since, “we’re stying down here because we have to fix all the things. We got shit to do down here.” Things like, as Poehler jabbed at noted loophole-leaper Bezos, trying to scrape up the extra revenue that these affluent tax dodgers spend instead on form-fitted space jumpsuits and aprés-flight champagne jams.
Sticking with dicks, Poehler got real about male billionaires’ obsession with seeing who can build the most powerful and girthy dick-shaped things (rockets, skyscrapers), noting that even Freud would ask, “You don’t need me for this, right?” Meyers also noted that it’s in no way suspect that the richest men in the world are exploring the feasibility of ditching Earth just when “it was 130 degrees in Death Valley and the ocean was on fire last week.” Really. Plus, as Poehler noted exhaustedly, you just know these glorified ballast-boys are going to return among us complaining about the “space lag” they just invented, and dropping the word “space” into conversation like a college kid who comes back from a semester in France with an accent. “I’m gonna take the dog for a space-walk—I mean walk,” Meyers anticipated the ensuing insufferableness. And don’t get Poehler started on the possibility—nay, probability—that one of these so-called astronauts is going to just “accidentally poke a hole in space,” leaving the rest of us to pay to plug it with those billionaires’ complete lack of taxes. It could happen. Really.