Colbert on Bezos: ‘Billionaires and their rockets end up looking just like each other’

Stephen Colbert discussed the billionaire race to space on Tuesday evening, after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and three others shot into space on a phallic-shaped Blue Origin rocket. “I guess it’s true what they say – billionaires and their rockets end up looking just like each other,” the Late Show host joked.

Before the launch, Bezos told reporters: “I don’t know how it’s going to change me, but I know it’s going to.” Bezos exited the spacecraft … wearing a cowboy hat. “So he went into space and somehow became extra divorced,” Colbert mused.

“Now all day, the news networks covered this breathlessly,” he continued. “It was all billed like some sort of big, official, important thing. It’s not. It’s fun, I love space travel, good for them. But it’s not important.

“Here’s how I know it’s not important: I hosted the last one of these, for Branson,” he added, referring to his episode this month with the British billionaire who also grazed space on a commercial rocket. “A lot of fun, but talk-show hosts don’t anchor important historic events.”

Colbert then turned to Bezos’s comments after the space trip: “I want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all this.”

“It’s funny because he doesn’t pay taxes, or his employees,” Colbert said.

Colbert also addressed anti-vax propaganda on Fox News, after one former executive told the New York Times that the network has “contributed substantially and directly” to the “unnecessary deaths of many Americans by fueling hesitation and doubt” about the safety of vaccines. “Well, it’s no surprise. It’s right there in Fox News’s slogan: ‘We report. You just died,’” Colbert joked.

“But Fox tries to pass off their anti-vax segments as being about freedom,” Colbert added, pointing to a segment by Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade in which he defended unvaccinated people who chose to defy mask mandates. “If you didn’t get a vaccination, that’s your choice,” Kilmeade said, just as it was a choice to go cliff-jumping. “Well, that analogy does work,” said Colbert, “if you first strap that cliff jumper to a group of old people.”

“First Branson, now Bezos, and tomorrow Warren Buffet is gonna try to get up there with balloons like the old guy from Up,” joked Jimmy Fallon of the Amazon founder’s trip to space.

The Tonight Show host also poked fun at Bezos’s cowboy hat. “I guess space turns you into Kenny Chesney?” he said. “You know you’re rich when you put that on and everyone who works for you goes, ‘Oh, looks great! You’re a man of the people just going to space.

“He looks like a mashup between Buzz Lightyear and Woody,” Fallon added. “He got the spacesuit and cowboy hat together by searching for the midlife crisis bundle.”

As for the phallic shape of the rocket, Fallon and his co-hosts had a litany of jokes, such as: “it’s the only rocket that shrinks in the cold”, “they designed it at the Johnson space center”, “it looks like R2D2 took some Viagra”, “right after the launch the rocket goes into sleep mode” and “it looks like someone undid their asteroid belt”.

And on Late Night, Seth Meyers also discussed the Bezos rocket launch. “I’m not sure what they used to fuel the rocket, but based on the design, I’m gonna say 2D batteries,” he joked.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are increasing in every state, and “if you’re going to insist on not getting vaccinated and prolonging the pandemic, we’re starting jokes over from the beginning”, Meyers threatened over a very 2019 pun of coronavirus with Corona beers.

With the cases rising, predominantly among unvaccinated people, “the only thing more dangerous than Covid is Carole Baskin”, he added.

And Fox News host Sean Hannity told viewers this week to take coronavirus seriously. “July 2021, right on time,” Meyers deadpanned. “It’s like if today I asked if anyone’s heard of Lizzo.”

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