Late Show Comedian Stephen Colbert Opens With A Monologue Mocking Ethiopian Air Disaster

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If you’ve ever wondered at the capacity of Americans to misunderstand the world, and, shall we say, lack a little empathy for anyone not born in the good old US of A, an opening monologue of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert overnight might give you some insight.

The video uploaded to The Late Show’s official Youtube channel reads, ‘Stephen Does The Math On Manafort’s Jail Time’. But that’s not really what the opening is about – it centres around the crash over the weekend of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302, which claimed the lives of 157 people from 35 countries.

Colbert, of course, is renowned by the left for his lampooning of conservative politicians, Trump in particular. And his audience is, generally speaking, very much on the left side of politics. Which makes last night’s Late Show even more perplexing, and a little disturbing. It started like this:

“Welcome ladies and gentlemen, in here, out there, one and all, all around the world to the Late Show. I’m your host Stephen Colbert.”

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Having just welcomed plane earth, Colbert then got busy shitting all over it. Or at least the parts of it which aren’t American. This is his opening line.

“Now let me ask you something. Personal question. Anyone here afraid to fly?” To a collective ‘yeah’ from the audience.

“You ain’t crazy.” Followed by hearty laughs.

“There have been some real problems with the Boeing 737 MAX 8… two of them have gone down since October, one just this past Sunday.”

At this point, you might ask yourself, ‘Colbert is a comedian, this is a comedy program, and 157 people were killed in that crash… where could this possibly be going…?’

Well, it went pretty much where you hoped it wouldn’t.

“Here’s the problem. According to one pilot, Boeing’s Jet’s autopilot appears to cause the aircraft to tilt down suddenly.” To more laughs from the audience.

“That’s not good.” And more laughs.

“I don’t even like it when the seat in front of me tilts down suddenly.” More laughs. “Sir I just wanted to watch Infinity War, I didn’t want to lick it.” Even more hearty laughs.

The monologue went on like that for another few minutes, including a lengthy piece taking the piss out of Canadians, who lost 18 people in the air disaster.

In case you hadn’t already guessed, the total number of Americans killed in the crash was… zero. Hence it’s fair game and fodder for late night entertainment. And bear in mind, this is on CBS, not FOX News… i.e. even the left in the United States are so insular they think the very recent death of 157 people is something to joke about.

For those interested, along with the 18 Canadians who died, the crash also claimed the lives of 32 people from Kenya, nine from Ethiopia, eight from China and Italy, seven each from France and the UK, and five from Germany.

You can watch the Colbert monologue here (maybe have a bucket handy) and you can read about the victims in substantially more sensitive coverage from Al Jazeera.

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