Colbert on Biden’s gas price plan: ‘still not enough to save the Democrats’

Show caption Stephen Colbert on the highest inflation rate in the US since 1981: ‘You shouldn’t be effected as long as you don’t eat anything, be anywhere, or go any place.’ Photograph: YouTube

Late-night TV roundup

Late-night hosts discuss inflation, Biden allowing ethanol gas blends to cut prices, and a planned Spirit Halloween store film

Guardian staff

Wed 13 Apr 2022 11.35 EDT

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert discussed troubling inflation figures released this week: prices have jumped 8.5% since last March, the highest rate of inflation in the US since 1981, affecting especially food, shelter and gasoline. “So you shouldn’t be affected as long as you don’t eat anything, be anywhere, or go any place,” the Late Show host mused on Tuesday evening.

In an effort to reduce gas prices, Joe Biden has waived a federal rule banning summer sales of E15 gasoline, a fuel with a higher blend of ethanol than regular gas. “Oooh, a blend! This sounds so sophisticated,” Colbert joked. “I’m getting notes of Iowa corn, some oaky hydrocarbons, oh this is really fracking my taste buds. Is this from North Dakota?”

The E15 blend costs 10 cents per gallon less on average than regular gas. “OK so that’s … uh … yeah, still not enough to save the Democrats in the midterms,” said Colbert, holding a faux calculator.

Colbert also touched on a disgraced former Trump lawyer, John Eastman, who is still pushing to decertify the 2020 election. “That’s right, the election that’s been over for a year and a half! And which Biden won!” Colbert exclaimed. “To put that into perspective, when the election was decided, J-Lo was engaged to a different guy.”

Eastman recently visited Wisconsin and urged the Republican assembly speaker, Robin Vos, to nullify the 2020 election, and specifically to move forward with “either … having a new slate of electors seated that would declare someone else the winner.”

“A do-over?!” Colbert fumed. “Our ex-president isn’t allowed a ‘do-over’ just because he didn’t like the result the first time! That’s how you get an Eric.”

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah also discussed soaring inflation on Tuesday’s Daily Show. “Seriously? This inflation is taking us back to 1981?” he said. “I don’t want to go back to 1981! First of all, there’s no wifi. Secondly, I could never pull off a Jheri curl, people.”

Noah attempted to explain what was happening: “because the economy opened up suddenly, and the government gave everyone money, everyone is spending again. But there’s supply chain issues, so there’s not enough products for people to buy, so that drives the prices up. And then on top of that, Vladimir Putin decided that, oh, now would be a nice time to Airbnb eastern Ukraine by force, raising oil prices, which makes everything more expensive.

“The point is: everything has gotten expensive,” he concluded. “So expensive that even Bed Bath Beyond coupons are starting to get all cocky with us – ‘Well, well, well, who’s the junk mail now!’”

Jimmy Kimmel

In Hollywood, “it’s hard to get a movie made,” said Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday night. “You have Oscar-winning actors, writers, directors, every one of them has a project that they can’t get going, so that is why it comes as a surprise” that there’s a picture in the works about Spirit Halloween, a seasonal US pop-up store. The company is what Kimmel called a “scavenger store”, as in “when another store passes away, they put a sign up and they fill it with knock-off Harley Quinn costumes”.

“Two companies thought this was a good idea,” said Kimmel. “Maybe they figure if they go broke, they can turn their offices into Spirit Halloween stores? I don’t know.”

The plot of the film starring Rachael Leigh Cook and Christopher Lloyd, according to a press release obtained by Variety, will be: “When a new Spirit Halloween store appears in a deserted strip mall, three middle-school friends who think they’ve outgrown trick-or-treating make a dare to spend the night locked inside the store on Halloween night. But they soon find out that the store is haunted by an angry evil spirit who has possessed the creepy animatronic characters.

“Which to me sounds like a regular visit to Chuck E Cheese at any time of year,” Kimmel quipped. Back to the Future’s Lloyd “is going to use his time machine to travel back to kill his agents for putting him in this movie”.

“Why not a movie about the 99 cent store?” Kimmel wondered. “I mean, Spirit Halloween isn’t even a real store – it’s a parasite that feeds off the bodies of dead stores! But what do I know, the most popular TV show on Netflix right now is called Is It Cake.”

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