“For those of you tuning in to see my interview with Louis C.K. tonight, I have some bad news,” Stephen Colbert said towards the top of Thursday’s monologue. “Then I have some really bad news.”
C.K., who was set to appear on CBS’ The Late Show, cancelled at the last minute after he was accused of sexual misconduct by five women, several of whom alleged that the comedian masturbated in front of them without their consent. Colbert, who worked with C.K. on the short-lived 1996 sketch-comedy series The Dana Carvey Show, addressed the allegations head-on in a monologue that also touched on reports that Alabama senator candidate Roy Moore engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with a teenage girl.
“Louis cancelled his appearance here tonight because The New York Times broke this story today: Five women are accusing Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct,” Colbert said. “When reached for comment, Jesus said, ‘La-la-la-la-la, I don’t want to hear about it. I was a big fan!'”
Colbert then went on to discuss the “avalanche of allegations” that preceded the Times‘ C.K. exposé, including those involving Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes and Kevin Spacey. “A lot of men look at this behavior and they feel like there’s nothing they can do,” he said, before ultimately poking fun at Keith Urban for attempting to do something using the power of song.
Colbert was far from alone in mentioning the C.K. controversy. Daily Show host Trevor Noah weighed in, suggesting that the Academy Awards will need a new category in 2018: Best Actor Whose Movies We Can’t Watch Anymore:
Late Night host Seth Meyers deadpanned, “Politics are so full of perverts and deviants, I’m so glad I work in comedy,” before a screen grab of the C.K. exposé appeared on screen:
The Opposition‘s Jordan Klepper refused to break character when discussing C.K., insisting that “it’s a confusing time, so we should return to what we know: good old-fashioned phrases that people say when sexual assault allegations arise. Phrases like, ‘you should separate the man from the art.'” He then pleaded, “When you are watching Louis C.K.’s movie I Love You Daddy, a film about an old man dating an underage woman featuring a serial masturbator, please, don’t think of Louis C.K.’s accusers.”