Now, it’d be easy to mock the conspiracy cult known as QAnon—so Stephen Colbert got right on that. Braving a barrage of bananas crazy-mail, the Late Show host aired a Wednesday segment dedicated to debunking the fringe conservative movement’s collective disillusionment over the dramatic non-appearance of the very late John F. Kennedy Jr. in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday. Introducing another in his unfortunately recurring bits on the dangerously unhinged right-wing sect, “The Q Files” (tagline: “The truth is out there, the lies are way out there”), Colbert dug deep into the Republican Party’s molten, gooey kook layer to expose QAnon’s most recent mass public face-plant.
Noting that hundreds of people gathered in Dealey Plaza on Tuesday in the fervent belief that the son of former President John F. Kennedy—who famously died in a plane crash in 1999—would not only reveal himself to be miraculously not-dead, Colbert indeed debunked QAnon’s big reveal, sort of the way that the sunrise debunks the nighttime. As to just why the people you’re most dreading having to sit next to at Thanksgiving imagine that John-John is not only alive, but is also the shadowy “Q” of QAnon himself and is secretly planning to run as seditious, twice-impeached former POTUS Donald Trump’s 2024 running mate, Colbert could only speculate. (Especially since there’s already an existing-in-this-reality Kennedy son spouting the sort of anti-vax conspiracy bullshit Q types can really get behind.)
Nope, as Colbert noted wryly, QAnon-ers had to take things just one step too far by throwing in the detail that JFK Jr.’s big prestige would occur at the very spot in Dallas where his dad was infamously gunned down in 1963. “And they had to throw in the grassy knoll,” lamented Colbert, adding sadly, “Up ’til then, it had the ring of truth.” When JFQ stubbornly refused to materialize (even in his scraggly, MAGA-rallying spectral form) at their “créme de la cray-cray” rally (what with being 22-years dead and all), Colbert noted how, like all doomsday cults who foolishly peg their gabbling grab-bag of nonsensical gibberish to a specific time and place, the minions of Q simply shifted their epoch-shattering announcement down the road a piece. That being Tuesday’s concert appearance by the conveniently still-alive members of The Rolling Stones. “Guys! Come on!,” ranted Colbert, “You can’t always get what you want! But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.”
As to whether this conclave of deeply deluded loudmouths deserve such a media walloping, one need only point to the undeniable fact that QAnon adherents have being doing some real-world damage. There are Republican Q cultists roaming the halls of Congress, and excreting their crazy all through your local elections, not to mention the occasional eruption of gun-toting violence from rank-and-file cultists who take all the Q-talk of Jewish space lasers and Democratic pedophile cannibal rings all too seriously. (The clip Colbert showed of the hundreds-deep Dallas rally included an enthusiastic call-and-response chant about the U.S.’ supposedly faked moon landing, just to fold some more Camelot into the fairy tale.)
With Colbert noting how the younger (but still very not-alive) JFK Jr.’s no-show at the Stones show inevitably gave birth to the mutated conspiracy theory that Kennedy is, in fact, actually immortal Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, the host could only admire the tenacity of this hardy strain of reality-resistant conservative delusion. So keep watching the stages, QAnon. The Oak Ridge Boys are playing Dallas on Saturday—anybody could be hiding under that one guy’s beard.