Trevor Noah investigated pressure at the pump on Tuesday evening, as the US recorded its highest average gas price ever recorded: $4.17 per gallon, up 10 cents in one day and 55 cents over last week. Some gas stations in Los Angeles hit nearly $7 a gallon. “If you thought gas prices were already high, Russia invading Ukraine has only made things worse,” the Daily Show host said. “Which sucks for everybody!”
“It sucks for parents who need to drive kids to school, it sucks for small businesses who have to spend more money to move things around,” he continued. “It sucks for everyone, because the price of gas affects the price of everything. Like, if this keeps up, the next Fast and Furious movie is gonna take place on public transportation.”
It’s particularly frustrating for people who can no longer afford to fuel their cars despite no change in salary or income. “Can we agree on this as a concept? It’s weird that the price of gas changes but like instantly at the pump,” Noah mused. “Do you get what I’m saying? I feel like the change should only affect the gas that’s on its way, not the gas that’s already there.”
“You’ve really got to hand it to corporations when you think about it, man,” he added. “Because you hear people all the time being like, ‘Ah, the price of oil has gone up, so everything costs more.’ But they’ve done a great job of tricking all of us into thinking that prices are these magical things that nobody has control over.”
Consumers understand that if the price of oil goes up, they pay more, “but who made that rule?” Noah wondered. “Oil companies are making windfall profits right now, over $100bn a year. Why can’t they take a hit? Just a tiny hit?
“Because when prices go up, you know, the oil companies are there and they’re just making the money.”
On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert expressed his admiration for the Ukrainian president and former successful comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who has emerged as a stalwart leader of a country under siege. “Normally I’m against electing comedians to political office – and keep in mind, I ran for president twice,” Colbert said, referencing his satirical runs as his Colbert Report character. “But this guy is inspiring the world with his courage in the face of the Russian invasion.”
And on Monday evening, Zelenskiy “took his bravery to a whole new level of bad-assery” with a video filmed in Kyiv, where he has remained despite offers of an evacuation by the US and despite reports of assassination attempts.
“I stay here. I stay in Kyiv,” he says in the video. “I’m not hiding, and I’m not afraid of anyone.”
“That is so brave. I am personally inspired by his example,” Colbert said. “And I just want to say: Vladimir Putin, I’m not afraid of you, either! If you’re looking for this comedian, I’m at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on Broadway in Manhattan … five hours ago. We pre-taped this show.”
As a response to Russia’s escalation of bombings in Ukraine, Joe Biden banned all Russian imports of oil and gas to the US. “Take that, Vlad! America doesn’t need your klepto-crude! America is perfectly happy to stay home and frack ourselves blind.”
In response, Russia released a list of “unfriendly” countries including the US, Australia, the UK, Canada and South Korea. “Oh no, not an unfriendly list!” Colbert exclaimed, feigning concern. “This is the most devastating attack since Fidel Castro put JFK in his burn book.”
And on Late Night, Seth Meyers ribbed Biden’s latest approval rating of about 45%, “which if you’ve seen his past numbers, pretty much counts as beloved”, he said. “To the Biden camp, this is like Paul Rudd numbers.”
As for Biden’s ban on Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports: “Honestly, I’m surprised Russia sends us any fuel since they can’t even get it to their tanks,” Meyers joked, referencing reports of abandoned and stalled Russian tanks throughout Ukraine.
Meyers also admired Zelenskiy’s video from Kyiv, in which he said wasn’t hiding. “Dude, I salute your courage, but it’s fine if you hide,” said Meyers. “It’s a war, not WWE – ‘I’m right here, brother! Any time, any place.’”