Stephen Colbert Wins ‘Hi Stranger’ Challenge with Disturbing Donald Trump Cartoon
Stephen Colbert trumped artist Kirsten Lepore’s unnerving viral video “Hi Stranger” on Friday’s episode of The Late Show with a much creepier parody.
Colbert first introduced the original to his audience: “Speaking of disturbing, have you seen this video that has been burning up the interwebs? It’s called, “Hi Stranger.” Have you guys seen this? It’s in animation? Well, strap in.”
“It’s kind of beautiful and creepy, isn’t it at the same time? In fact, there is a sort of debate on the internet about this thing. Some people find it really comforting and others want to know if you can take a restraining order out against a cartoon.”
“In fact, some people have said this is the most disturbing cartoon they have ever seen. Well, we here at The Late Show took that as a challenge.”
Colbert presented an animated Donald Trump — sporting a red Make America Great Again bikini and a Putin lower-back tattoo — seducing the viewer with his health care bill.
You’re right, Colbert. You win. We wish we can un-watch that but we can’t.
Stephen Colbert is currently slaying the late-night game and he has Donald Trump to thank for it.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert beat The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in total viewers for the first quarter of 2017, according to Nielsen data released on Thursday.
Colbert’s series averaged 3.29 million viewers per episode during the first three months of this year, while Fallon’s NBC show averaged 3.02 million.
Insiders connect Colbert’s success with Donald Trump’s presidency. Colbert was actually struggling at first after taking over for David Letterman in 2015. Since the election, he has inspired viewers to tune in who knew him firsy as the hard-punching political satirist on Comedy Central.
Fallon hasn’t really risen to the challenge of political satire, something extremely popular right now in entertainment. Sure, he shows up in Trump drag from time to time, but he doesn’t have the intellectual capability to mock what’s happening in Washington, something Colbert is a pro at.
“Fallon has had a lack of pointed humor,” says Katz Television Group’s Bill Carroll, “whereas Colbert has gone full to the wall on Trump.”
Fallon also still hasn’t fully recovered from the backlash experienced when he had Trump on his show back in September. Critics panned him for “normalizing the views of a seemingly unstable man who was threatening the central tenets of the country, all in exchange for a few cheap laughs and maybe a slight ratings bump.”
“The perceived momentum is in the Colbert column,” Carroll says. “The key is going to be what happens to both Fallon and Colbert demographically. Total audience is one thing; demographics is another.”