By now, we’ve come to expect Stephen Colbert to get really weird with his political coverage, and he definitely delivered Monday night. His coverage of Philadelphia’s Democratic National Convention opened with Colbert doing a psychedelic 1960s-style musical number. “Death, Taxes, Hillary” was introduced as a bad cheesesteak-induced trip through the realms of consciousness and current events, such as the Democratic Party’s recent email scandal and the Melania Trump plagiarism accusations. And let me tell you, it was a glorious trip you don’t want to miss.
While the cast was decked out in hippie fashion classics including love beads, fringed vests, headbands, and bell-bottoms, Colbert shone in his mind-expanding swirls and stripes, which of course were red, white, and blue. His moves aren’t too bad either, as you can see in the video.
Although he sings about how Hillary Clinton is “your destiny,” don’t take it as a wholehearted endorsement. Earlier this month, Colbert ripped into Clinton on the Late Show for what he perceives as her lack of integrity. The linkage of her name with “death and taxes” in his DNC song presents her as an inevitability rather than a goal to strive for; nobody likes taxes, and we’re not huge fans of death either.
There’s only one way to deal with that: smoke a pretend joint with a multiracial group of beautiful women until you transcend the dimensional boundaries of space and time.
Actually, considering how surreal this election season has been, Colbert’s musical number makes as much sense as anything else that’s happened so far. What if we’re all on a bad trip and we just don’t know it?
Given how terrible the reality of 2016 has been so far, it’s kind of nice to sit back and trip by proxy in the name of satire.
This isn’t Colbert’s first time showing off his song and dance skills, either/ Back in 2007, Colbert sang (in Korean!) and danced in a pop video to kick off a mock rivalry with Korean pop star Rain. Even though his style isn’t quite as on-trend in the DNC video, he’s still got that K-pop charisma.
Somewhat worryingly, however, we never see Colbert come out of his cheesesteak haze in the DNC video. It segues into the Late Show intro without showing us whether he came back to reality, which raises the possibility that he’s still tripping. If he’s still on his dimensional journey, does that mean his subsequent coverage will also be part of that cheesesteak trip?
What if all of our country’s political coverage is just his hallucination? It wouldn’t surprise me. In fact, I think I’d prefer that. If only our political problems could be erased simply by passing a bad cheesesteak.
Original by Kelly Kanayama