With the cast of Veep all in-house for an extended, multi-tiered sit-down all night on Thursday’s Late Show, it was pretty clear how much Stephen Colbert loves the series. (About to take its final, questionably patriotic lap on Sunday.) During the wide-ranging, deeply silly interview, we learn which cast member is (at least) as creatively foul-mouthed off-camera, what each character’s last words were, who can’t keep it together, what abortive bit almost got Timothy Simons fired, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ favorite episode, and just what even more horrible things about politics than they imagined get spilled when having drinks with real-life political operatives. Oh, and Colbert’s come up with words for the Veep theme song, which . . . are fine.
But even before that marathon interview got under way, Colbert and the cast got together for an introductory filmed bit in which our Stephen Colbert (let’s call him Colbert-Prime) finds a portal to the Veep-Earth. Popping in just as Selina Meyer and her crack team of political knuckleheads are debating how to counter horrifyingly still-viable candidate Jonah Ryan’s rousing appeal to anti-vaxxer voters (they settle on hoping the voters will just die of a preventable disease before election day), the desperate Colbert (Prime) pleads for the Veep-niverse to stop destroying Earth-Prime. See, everything that’s happening in the Veep world (a foul-mouthed nimrod president with Twitter diarrhea, election interference, “a completely moronic Press Secretary,” “700 confirmed measles cases and rising”) is happening on Earth-Prime. (Since Veep is actually a reflection of our misbegotten political reality, Colbert’s got it backward, but that’s dimension-hopping for you.)
Naturally, Colbert’s heartfelt pleas go down in a barrage of counterproductive but inventive insults. Finding out that Colbert-Prime isn’t hosting The Colbert Report any longer (“That was just a self-involved character I played.”), but is hosting The Late Show, the Veep crew isn’t having it. Amy marvels at the thought that CBS would hire “Where’s Waldo’s pedophile brother,” which is solid. But it’s Selina herself who, as ever, has the foulest and funniest takes on her inter-dimensional interlocutor, accusing Colbert of being “another 85 pounds of generic white male mediocrity that shops at the lesbian warehouse,” and saying that he’s not, um, up to David Letterman’s standards, in the most Selina Meyer way possible. Thwarted in his quest to make Earth-Prime’s reality something more than the fevered, farcical dreams of a team of comics spitballing the most ludicrously cynical, stupid, and unjust political landscape imaginable, Colbert could only portal his way back to a world where Donald Trump is president.