“The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, like many Americans, was surprised when West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin changed course and came out in support of a reconciliation deal with Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer that would help fight climate change. So, during Thursday night’s monologue, Colbert imagined how Manchin finally came around — and it involved a classic Charles Dickens plot twist.
“This bill is a marked departure from Manchin’s positions only days earlier. So what happened?” Colbert asked. “Turns out Manchin was visited by the Ghost of Climate Future.'”
He then played a clip from “A Christmas Carol,” replacing the dialog and casting Manchin as Scrooge.
“You there, boy. What day is today?” the Scrooge character asked.
“Today? Why it’s July 27,” the boy replied.
“Of course. Go down to the Senate and get me $370 billion of climate spending. Hurry! It’s snowing in July,” Scrooge replied.
The bit cracked up Colbert’s audience, but the host had more comedy in the tank over Manchin’s support.
“All these provisions were originally Joe Biden’s idea,” Colbert said, having earlier noted the bill contains $370 to fight global warming.
“But in his announcement, Manchin proclaimed Build Back Better is dead. And instead, we have the opportunity to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together. Yes, Build Back Better is dead. Instead, Manchin’s going to Construct Again. Things More Good,” Colbert joked in a mock branding exercise.
As he continued, Colbert tackled GOP leader Mitch McConnell’s reaction to Manchin’s support of the bill.
“This change of heart … really surprised Senate Minority Leader and taxidermy chicken side, Mitch McConnell,” Colbert began, showing a photo of the Kentucky politician. “McConnell can’t filibuster this bill because it’s part of the budget reconciliation process. But to dissuade Democrats from even trying that, McConnell had threatened the Republicans would block a different bill — a popular semiconductor chip bill that would make us more competitive with China called the ‘Chips and Science Act,’ which I believe also pays for the development of new three dimensional Kool Ranch technology. It’s like the sodium is coming right at you.”
You can watch Colbert’s full monologue above around the 2:40 mark.