Stephen Colbert, who returned to “The Late Show” this week after recovering from COVID, had a bone to pick with the virus during his opening monologue Wednesday night.
After tackling the Republican response to the leak of the Supreme Court majority opinion draft set to overturn Roe v. Wade and retract abortion rights across the US, Colbert turned to the recent increase in COVID cases across several states.
“Over in pandemic land, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising again in the United States. How many comebacks does COVID get? It’s the Mel Gibson of viruses,” Colbert joked.
“Cases are going up in Washington, Mississippi, Georgia, Maine, Hawaii, South Dakota, Nevada and Montana,” he said, focusing on that last state.
“Come on, how does it possibly spread from person to person in Montana. Every person is 20 miles apart. To give someone COVID, you have to lick a prairie dog and throw it through a window of a homestead. I believe they still homestead there, right? Montana still has cabins?” I have asked.
The “Late Show” host did a little dance as the audience cheered that last joke, but he had still more in the tank on the topic of COVID, including the virus’ continued mutating.
“The rise in cases can be blamed on newer, fitter descendants of the omicron variant. Come on, omicron, we broke up with you and now you’re getting fitter? I hope you don’t have abs, or in a moment of weakness, we might hook up again,” he joked.
He also had fun at the expense of the new nomenclature.
“One major subvariant making the rounds is a spinoff of omicron’s BA.2 subvariant called BA.2.12.1,” Colbert noted. “Evidently the WHO ran out of Greek letters and now they’re just using the password that comes with your router.”
You can watch the portion of Colbert’s monologue tackling COVID about midway through the video above.