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Stephen Colbert’s latest social-distancing innovation: The bathtub monologue

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Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show

After announcing that he (along with the rest of his late-night cohorts) would be going audience-free starting on Monday, Stephen Colbert (again, along with the rest) instead just bowed to scientific consensus and common sense and posted up a slate of reruns for the foreseeable future. Monday’s Late Show was, indeed, a rebroadcast of the Jim Carrey episode from February, although Colbert wasn’t taking all this coronavirus furlough business lying down. Instead, he opened Monday’s show sitting down, hunkered behind a wall of bubbles in his home bathtub, where the host did his usual monologue courtesy of a rinky-dink home camera. The episode’s “guests”: “Mr. Bubble, followed by a musical performance from the legendary duo Head & Shoulders.”

Wearing what he termed his “bathing suit,” Colbert first praised everyone who, like him, was at home, enjoying the comedy stylings of one Stephen Colbert. Delivering a sudsier-than-normal takedown of the ongoing Trump administration shitshow, Colbert couldn’t help but point out that the administration’s coronavirus task force consists of 21 people, which isn’t a good look. Nor is the fact that, when the president addressed the White House press corps yesterday, there were more than 10 people sharing a stage with a guy who’s been linked to numerous infected Mar-a-Lago guests, Republican legislators, and foreign dignitaries.

Before throwing to a pre-taped clip of Late Show field producer Jake Punkett taking his worried-and-decidedly-awesome mom Bootsie for a checkup and coronavirus tutorial, Colbert continued to praise his viewers for being smarter than their president. Noting that all these years of sedentary, couch-potato TV watching has prepped Americans for an extended period of sequestration (and TV watching), Colbert urged everyone out there to—if not sit in a bubbly bathtub all day—safely and wisely catch up on their binge-watching. He hears that that Love Is Blind is a good place to start, probably since virtual dating is the only option people have at this point.