Stephen Colbert wasted no time addressing the elephant in the room when he kicked off Monday night’s edition of “The Late Show”, discussing the ouster of network head Les Moonves in the wake of more allegations of sexual misconduct in a second New Yorker investigation by Ronan Farrow.
As the episode began, a faux message appeared onscreen, accompanied by a voiceover. “Tonight’s episode of ‘Undercover Boss’ featuring Leslie Moonves will not be seen. It was accidentally sealed in a stainless steel container and fired into the heart of the sun. We regret the error.”
Colbert then tackled the sensitive issue about his network at the top of Monday’s monologue.
“Folks, if you watch the news you may have heard, the head of this network, Leslie Moonves was forced to step down yesterday. This came after a second Ronan Farrow expose featuring more women accusing him of sexual harassment and assault,” said Colbert.
“It’s never a good sign when you’re the subject of a Ronan Farrow double-dip,” he added.
As Colbert explained, the allegations detailed in Farrow’s latest are “disturbing,” and he read one of them to his audience. “[A] television executive said as she entered Moonves’s office to discuss a work matter… he said that he was going to get a glass of wine. He left briefly and, when he returned, she said, he was not wearing pants, and was aroused,” Colbert read from the article.
“Wow,” quipped the host, “that is an impressive way to open a bottle of wine.”
Colbert concluded by referencing Louis C.K.’s ill-advised attempt at a comedy comeback when he made an unannounced appearance at a New York comedy club recently.
“The article is extremely disturbing and, I’m not surprised, that’s it,” he added. “Les Moonves is gone — for at least nine months until he does a set at the Comedy Cellar.”
Meanwhile, Deadline reports that Colbert’s fellow CBS late-night host James Corden also addressed the situation, but in a joke-free manner.
Sitting at his “Late Late Show” desk, Corden solemnly addressed the camera. “A late-night host’s job is to come out and make jokes about the news, but sometimes that news isn’t very funny,” he began.
“It’s been a very difficult day here at CBS, but that pales in comparison to how difficult it must be for the many women who are coming forward,” Corden continued. “They are being listened to, and they are being heard. And it’s only by listening to these stories that we as a society can make sure the corporate culture that has been exposed in this last year or so may never be allowed to return.”