Back in his fifth makeshift studio after testing positive for Covid, Seth Meyers (boosted and asymptomatic, he noted) returned to Late Night to mock Ted Cruz’s groveling appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show over the weekend.
The Texas senator’s appearance on Carlson’s show, in which he apologized for condemning the 6 January assault on the Capitol as a terrorist attack, was “so pathetic, I honestly thought I was delirious from the Covid”, Meyers said on Monday evening.
“Look, we all know Ted Cruz has a thing for self-humiliation,” Meyers noted. “He slinked back from Cancún after escaping the blackout in his state, he endorsed Donald Trump after Trump insulted his wife and his father,” and “he keeps showing up in public with that facial hair, looking like a Chewbacca who shaved everything but the beard.”
So Cruz’s about-face wasn’t entirely surprising. Just a day before the first anniversary of the insurrection, Cruz told Congress, “we are approaching a solemn anniversary this week, and it is an anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol.”
“I mean, it’s the right thing to say, even though it’s definitely a little weird to condemn an attack you helped whip up by spreading the very lies that fueled that mob,” Meyers explained. “It’s like when OJ promised to find the real killer, except in Cruz’s case it’s arguably worse because he’s doing it at the scene of the crime.”
But “even that bare minimum condemnation of the January 6th attack was apparently too much for the new enforcers of Republican orthodoxy like Tucker Carlson.”
Carlson, who is rumored to harbor ambitions for a Republican presidential run against Cruz, tore into the senator on-air. “You called this a ‘terror attack’ when by no definition was it a terror attack,” Carlson said. “That’s a lie. You told that lie on purpose, and I’m wondering why you did.”
Cruz corrected: “I agree with you, it was a mistake to say that yesterday.”
“Wow, I knew Ted had a thing for self-humiliation, but that is next-level,” said Meyers.
On the Late Show, Stephen Colbert tepidly addressed the discovery of 25 cases of a coronavirus strain in Cyprus which combines elements of the Delta and Omicron variants, nicknamed “Deltacron”.
“Deltacron: also the name of the disappointing Transformer who turns into a delayed flight for Atlanta,” Colbert joked.
The new variant follows on the heels of the Omicron surge, which may or may not decline sharply by the end of the months, according to experts.
Said Dr Anthony Fauci over the weekend of Omicron’s future: “I would hope – I can’t predict accurately because no one can – but I would hope by the time we get to the fourth week in January – end of the third week, beginning of the fourth week – that we will start to see this coming down.”
“Can you be more specific?” Colbert responded. “That’s like your horoscope reading ‘Capricorn, you will make a connection with a handsome stranger. Or not. Maybe he’ll give you a disease. No one can predict accurately.”
And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel noted the rapid spread of Omicron among his staff, which shut down production last week, and encourage alternative motivations for getting the unvaccinated to participate. Quebec, for instance, has announced a vaccine requirement for the purchase of alcohol and cannabis; first-dose appointments have increased from 1,500 a day to 6,000.
“I think maybe Pfizer needs to come out with some gummies and a hard lemonade,” said Kimmel.
“Of course, there are all sorts of new crazy miracle cures and remedies,” he said, pointing to a particularly egregious anti-vax evangelist named Christopher Key who touts “urine therapy” – drinking one’s own urine – as a Covid treatment.
“If this guy’s kids ever set up a lemonade stand in your neighborhood, run,” said Kimmel.
“Urine therapy – that’s actually one conspiracy theory I’m OK with,” he added. “You think vaccines were created by the devil or George Soros or Bill Gates? Go ahead, pee in a mason jar and chug along with Dr Dumbass.”