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Cookie Monster and Stephen Colbert

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is a late-night talk show hosted by Stephen Colbert since 2015. It is the second iteration of CBS's Late Show franchise, following Late Show with David Letterman. Stay Human, formerly led by bandleader Jon Batiste, serves as the show's house band.


Image Description
Late Show Colbert Kermit 2016-02-01
February 1, 2016

Kermit the Frog appears to promote the return of The Muppets following its mid-season hiatus. Colbert engages him in a segment called "Big Questions with Even Bigger Stars," where they ponder why we're here, time traveling to meet oneself in the past, and if it's better to give than receive. (YouTube)

February 22, 2016

In a special web-exclusive video, Kermit appears backstage with Jon Batiste to have an impromptu jam session. (YouTube)

Colbert and Grover
March 1, 2016

In a special introduction directed by guest Spike Jonze, a homeless-looking Stephen Colbert wakes up in Central Park and is encouraged and guided back to the studio by Grover. (YouTube)

Cookie Monster on Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confession
April 13, 2018

Cookie Monster appears in a confessional with Colbert during the "Midnight Confessions" segment, promoting his book The Joy of Cookies. (YouTube)

Late Show Oscar 1
Late Show Oscar 2
April 9, 2019

Oscar the Grouch appears to promote his book The Pursuit of Grouchiness, and sings a song with Colbert. (YouTube)

Colbert Elmo
May 18, 2020

Elmo appears via video call to promote The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo. (YouTube)

Colbert IdeaMan
June 19, 2024

Ron Howard appears in a sketch to promote Jim Henson: Idea Man. (YouTube)



Trump And Co. Audition To Voice Kermit The Frog

July 12, 2017


Kermit The Frog's Very Ugly Contract Negotiations

July 19, 2017


Who Will Be The Next Big Bird?

October 19, 2018

Colbert IdeaMan2

June 19, 2024

  • January 21, 2016 - In an edition of "Stephen Colbert's Hot Takes", Colbert talks about Sesame Streetโ€™s move to HBO. (YouTube)
  • July 12, 2017 โ€” To both reference the departure of Muppet performer Steve Whitmire from Disney, and to offer political commentary on the Trump administration, an unofficial Kermit puppet (performed by Rick Lyon) appeared in the cold open of the show, as if being performed by Sean Spicer, Donald Trump Jr., Ben Carson and the President himself during an audition session.
  • July 19, 2017 โ€” In reference to the controversy surrounding Whitmire's departure, the Kermit puppet is shown having angry contract negotiations and making threats such as making a "Rainbow Connection with my foot and your ass."
  • October 19, 2018 โ€” To reference the news of Caroll Spinney's retirement, an unofficial Big Bird puppet (performed by Rick Lyon) is shown lip-syncing to Brett Kavanaugh, Kanye West, Alex Jones, and Donald Trump, as if they were auditioning to be the new performer of Big Bird.
  • January 25 or 26, 2019 - In a story about finding a mate for a Sehuencas water frog, once thought to be the last of its kind, Colbert comments, "although, that doesn't explain why he was single. Everyone knows that a frog's natural lover is a brassy pig." (YouTube)
  • November 4, 2020 โ€” After prematurely declaring an election win, Donald Trump gets the Sesame Street treatment in the cold open of the show, with a parody of "One of These Things." (YouTube)
  • December 12, 2020 โ€” The cold open about fraudulent voting in New Zealand's Bird of the Year contest includes a pheasant with the voice of Donald Trump. Briefly, a clip from Episode 1957 of Sesame Street is shown. The bird says "They give this big bird status, that he doesn't deserve. He's a fake bird. There's a man inside of the bird outfit, okay. It's all a lie. Which means I won Bird of the Year, by a lot." (YouTube)
  • April 13, 2021 - In the cold open, Lin-Manuel Miranda's promotion of a Broadway vaccination site for the theatre industry is featured. In a parody of the Hamilton song "My Shot", there's a line that goes "I've got a monologue, I'm well prepared; I ran it by some of the Elmos working in Times Square." (YouTube)
  • May 20, 2021: In his monologue, Colbert talked about the House Republicans' opposition to an inquest into the Capitol insurrection attempt. "Really makes you wonder, who were these Republicans talking about when they said 'back the blue?' The guys from 'Avatar'? Cookie Monster? Mitch McConnell's hands?" (YouTube)
  • June 14, 2021: During his first monologue back in the Ed Sullivan Theatre, following COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, Colbert opined: "It's wonderful to see New York City coming back to life... Just today, I saw two Times Square Elmos breeding. Life finds a way." (YouTube)
  • September 22, 2021: After noting that his special Stephen Colbert's Election Night 2020: Democracy's Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020 beat the broadcast of President Joe Biden's inauguration at the 2021 Emmy Awards, Stephen Colbert ponders if that means that he gets to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. He lists Dolly Parton, Kermit, and Conan O'Brien. (YouTube)
  • October 22, 2021: During a Rescue Dog Rescue segment themed to Halloween, a dog dressed as Elmo is shown. "Meet Toni. Toni isn't just dressed like Elmo: Toni owns the copyright to the name Elmo. Adopt her, and you'll get paid every time Elmo says the name Elmo, and Elmo says Elmo a lot." (YouTube)
  • November 2, 2021: Showing a wide-eyed photo of Boris Johnson, Colbert dubs him "Muppet learning that snacks are better when you share." (YouTube)
  • November 8, 2021: Colbert addresses the controversy over Big Bird being vaccinated over COVID-19, which Senator Ted Cruz attacked as "propaganda." The controversy was dubbed "the craziest anti-vaxx Muppet outrage since they claimed Pfizer gave Swedish Chef giant meat balls," a reference to the alleged cousin of Nicki Minaj. After a clip of a New York Post columnist stating that "if that clip were real, Big Bird would be shamed right now for not having his, you know, vaccination yet." Colbert replied, "If that show were real, we'd have much bigger problems. There's a monster living in a trash can. A little red furry guy is asking strangers to tickle him. And Ernie keeps waking up his husband with trumpets and livestock." (YouTube) The cold open of the show also tackles the topic, parodying the song "ABC-DEF-GHI" as "ABSOLUTELYSTUPIDESTTOOLINALLTEXAS." (YouTube)
  • November 16, 2021: In the monologue, Colbert mentions the introduction of Ji-Young to Sesame Street, quoting The New York Times article saying she "loves playing electric guitar and skateboarding. She is the coolest Muppet since that one episode where Cookie Monster smoked weed. It was the seventies. Why do you think he eats so many cookies?" Noting that the character is to counter anti-Asian bias, he asks "are we giving some Muppets more responsibility than other Muppets? 'Okay, folks, bring it in here. I got your assignments. You be angry in a trash can, you count everything you see, and uh, you solve systemic racism.'" (YouTube) Later, he talks to bandleader Jon Batiste about his appearance on the upcoming season. (YouTube)
  • November 17, 2021: In the monologue, Colbert talks about New York City administering third shots of the COVID vaccine for anyone who wants them. "Any chance we can expand that to adults who don't want them? 'Cause they're the problem. Just deputize the Times Square Elmos to jab anyone who comes within ticklin' distance. 'Elmo welcomes you to New York. [jabbing motion] Gunh! Take your vaccine!'" (YouTube)
  • November 19, 2021: In the monologue, Colbert spends a good portion of time talking about conservative reaction to Big Bird's vaccination. After a pastor says "this is the most demonic thing I've seen in a long time," Colbert replies "repent, for low I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, an eight foot tall canary on roller skates, who taught me my letters, and how to share my toys, and it's the work of the devil." Asked whether the street is "full of demon hellspawn," Jon Batiste replies "definitely not, and don't dare call Big Bird a demon, doofus." (YouTube)
  • December 15, 2021: In a cold open of Liz Cheney reading the texts sent to Mark Meadows, during the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, a faux message from Marjorie Taylor Greene is shown. "Best. Koo. Ever." with the Elmo fire GIF attached. (YouTube)
  • February 22, 2022: At the end of his "Meanwhile..." segment, Colbert announces that since it's "Twosday," tonight's segment has been brought to you by the number 2, and welcomes the number as a surprise guest. A drug-addled puppet version of the number 2 (puppeteered by Rick Lyon) appears on the show, and exclaims in part "I'm going to make those prudes at Sesame Street regret firing me!" (YouTube)
  • March 8, 2022: In the monologue, Colbert says " such, I've got a lot of comedy idols, many of whom I've had the honor to meet, thanks to this job right over there: Steve Martin, John Cleese, Elmo. He just tickles me." (YouTube)
  • March 9, 2022: On noting in the monologue that Russia had begun using the letter Z as a symbol for support on the war against Ukraine, Colbert said "This is upsetting for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I was the letter "Z" in the Sesame Street All-Star Alphabet. That's right, I'm Z! Officially. That is Sesame Street. That's Sesame Street. That's as official as it gets. So as Z, I get to define what Z means. And right now, Z stands for Zelenskyy!" (YouTube)
  • April 1, 2022: Colbert highlighted upcoming guest Ken Burns who was there to promote his new documentary on Benjamin Franklin, and asked the band if they liked Franklin. Colbert then asked Louis Cato to ask him if he liked Franklin, to which Colbert responded โ€œI donโ€™t know, Iโ€™ve never Frankeled.โ€ He added โ€œI heard that joke on โ€˜โ€™The Muppet Showโ€™โ€™ in 1977 and I remember thinking that is the greatest joke ever written.โ€ (YouTube)
  • June 8, 2022: After UK prime minister Boris Johnson responds to his surviving a no-confidence vote by trying to focus his attention on the issues that really matter to people, Colbert imitates him: "Yes, the stuff that really matters to people, like 'Am I a human man or some sort of grizzled Muppet; part of a--an elaborate prank by the Jim Henson Creature Shop?' I've never seen me from the waist down." (YouTube)
  • June 10, 2022: A piece uses "The Muppet Show Theme" (mixing elements from the first and fifth season versions) reflecting on the events of the January 6th insurrection hearings held the night prior. (YouTube)
  • June 30, 2022: The original footage of "Elmo's Song" is redubbed to reference Ted Cruz getting upset at the news of Elmo getting the COVID vaccine. (YouTube)

See also[]

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