While The Late Show With Stephen Colbert has found its footing, both comedically and ratings-wise over the past year, it’s hard not to miss “Stephen Colbert,” the Bizarro World version of Colbert who nimbly parodied right-wing blowhards for so long on The Colbert Report. And while “Colbert” has returned infrequently to wreak bloviating havoc on the news of the day, last night’s Late Show saw a return of Colbert’s suspiciously Alex Jones-specific “Colbert” cousin, Tuck Buckford.
As host of the one-man rant-a-thon, Brain Fight, the gravelly voiced Buckford is Colbert’s attempt to out-Alex-Jones Alex Jones, with the jockish, braying conspiracy theorist spouting furious invective against the myriad schemes attempting to unman, undermine, and in all ways undersell the manly greatness of the blustering, macho, thoroughly bananas worldview he holds so dear. This time, Buckford echoed “shrieking funnel cake” Jones’ recent courtroom humiliations, in which girlymen (or even actual women!) legal authorities robbed him of his God-given right to spew defamatory gibberish like a high-pressure fire hose hooked up to a bile-hydrant, by forcing the shirt-averse Jones to apologize to the makers of Chobani yogurt. (Jones, displaying the manliest xenophobia in all the land, had claimed Chobani was “importing migrant rapists and spreading tuberculosis,” which was found—to paraphrase—like something a drunk, racist seventh grader would come up with after a foreign exchange student beat him in a foot race.)
Like Jones was forced to on his Infowars hate-waves, Tuck Buckford growled out a series of court-mandated retractions for his lunatic ramblings, including spurious rumors about listening devices in Breakstone’s cottage cheese, the particularly brutal pro-vaccination efforts of a professional sports team, and just what’s really controlling Jeff Goldblum. Unlike “Colbert,” whose Bill O’Reilly-inspired hypocrisy and blinkered bullying broadened to take in all manner of right-wing media types, Buckford is specifically Jones-ian, making his appearances a more narrowly entertaining takedown. Plus, as Colbert shows in introductory clips of Jones’ sweaty, vein-throbbing real-life conspiracy craziness (he’s very worked up about Justin Bieber, for some reason), even Buckford’s fevered “man words” from his “man mouth” are hard-pressed to top Jones’ actual, slanderous nonsense.