Late-night topical comedy is a tough gig at the best of times, never mind on a night when a host has to make comic hay out of the news that an entire country (no, not the United States) has been overrun by woman-hating religious extremists, and blocks out two entire segments with an infectious disease expert explaining how we’re heading into an entirely preventable fourth freaking wave of COVID. Still, that’s why CBS paid Stephen Colbert all those bucks that Comedy Central couldn’t match, so Monday’s Late Show saw the comic finding just the right tonal shifts to navigate a news cycle somehow even worse than he left it on Friday. Of course, it helps when an adjacent facet of one of those decidedly unfunny stories involves hysterical men hoarding their sperm.
As Colbert mused exhaustedly before diving into his story of anti-vaccine conspiracists who believe that their unsullied (by the free, available, safe, and effective COVID vaccine) reproductive issue will be worth something in the after-times, “Nothing more I can talk about Afghanistan?” Sadly for him, it was time to move on from the tale of yet one more decades-long failure of bombs-away American interventionism abroad to some down-home murderous idiocy, as Colbert addressed the giant load of unscientific nonsense that is the emergence of the [sighing deeply after 18 months of this] COVID sperm truthers.
Taking a page from such other murderously dick-obsessed conspiracy kooks as Dr. Strangelove’s General Jack D. Ripper, these semen-hoarding patriots are all about COVID scientists’ nefarious plan to “to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.” In non-nutcase terms, they believe that, as Colbert put it, “unvaccinated sperm could be the next Bitcoin.” Envisioning a post-COVID America where their untainted man-juice will be the glistening hope for a pure and willfully immunodeficient humanity, Colbert noted that these brave men have, perhaps inevitably, found a way to make a catastrophically deadly global pandemic all about their dicks. (The show’s cold open presented one man’s thankfully fictitious entrepreneurial venture to supply a semen starved post-apocalyptic society with his entirely unvaccinated “gentlemen relish,” procured, he assures viewers, with the help of anti-science porn like 5G Spot and Pizzagate Delivery Guy.)
For penis-havers out there, there is some serious, peer-reviewed danger that COVID infection could have actual damaging effects on their ability to reproduce, but that only comes from those pesky medical professionals and not from a Facebook forum named “COVID Wang—What My Cousin Told Me.” Therefore, poor Colbert had to soldier on, taking the Colbert Report-esque devil’s advocate position that the lack of births among the elderly first wave of COVID vaccine-takers is all the proof he needs to start stocking up on hastily sterilized mason jars. Still, Colbert noted that this current, Delta variant COVID resurgence is being driven almost entirely by the unvaccinated (“a group that includes children, and people acting like children”), and reminded the speculative sperm-squirrelers out there that the term “spank bank” means something else entirely.