Roundup: Late-night talk show highlights on the Trump-Kim summit

Late-night talk show comedy stars probably had one of the more easiest days of their careers by having unintentionally comical moments dropped on their laps during the course of the historic summit in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Maybe they had to work extra hard to come up with quips about things that, some would say, are already a joke.

Either way, hosts seemed to agree that some moments were more spoof-worthy than others, and we’re bringing you our favorites.


When asked at a press conference on Monday how he would know if Kim Jong Un was serious about negotiations, President Trump replied he would be able to size up Kim’s intentions within a minute. How?

My touch, my feel. That’s what I do.

We were speechless, but luckily John Oliver and Stephen Colbert helped us unsee that terrifying image of Trump and Kim.

John Oliver

“It’s not a great sign for negotiation where so much depends on tone and choice of words that he’s describing the strategy in the single most upsetting possible way. ‘Oh I’m gonna grope my way through this, we’re both gonna use our tongues and mouths to bring this summit to a satisfying climax. Why is everyone looking at me weird?’”

Stephen Colbert

“Oh, we know that’s what you do. ‘When you’re a star, they let you do it.’” Thanks, Stephen, for reminding us of how disturbingly similar Trump’s diplomatic strategy sounds to his Access Hollywood tape scandal.

Trevor Noah

Like us, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah also thought it was disturbing to see the leader of a country with an appalling human rights record treated like a star in Singapore. “People are screaming for a brutal tyrant like he’s the newest member of BTS. Except in his world ‘K-Pop’ stands for ‘killing populations’”.

Summit Day

The next disaster was at the photo-op after the summit’s first session. Trump, Kim, and Singaporean officials were waiting for lunch to be served, so naturally, Trump was talking. He asked the photographers to “Make us look nice and thin” after which one genius video camera operator swung his camera to Kim’s face, zooming in at breakneck speed to catch his reaction in real time. And Kim didn’t disappoint, giving the best moment from The Office that’s actually not on The Office.

All the late-night comedians caught this one, so we had to call it a draw, but we think that videographer deserves a standing ovation for his anticipatory vision to make sure the side-eye of the century would be recorded and thus enjoyed for years to come.


Before you walk away from this exercise pleasantly surprised by Trump’s ability manage mostly appropriate leader-like behavior through the most important 24-hours of his presidency so far, don’t miss the most bizarre post-event press conference we could have conceived of.

This was the toughest category, and a number of blunders could have easily been a winner here. Maybe you think, the propaganda-trailer-movie-type-thing the White House sent to Kim ahead of the summit was the craziest part.

But we had to go with Trump’s absolutely, 100 percent, “It’s not my problem if it doesn’t stop me from making money,” sociopath-to-sociopath love-connection dismissal of concerns about human rights without even batting an eye. Simply for its shock value and its ability to remind us that these two men have way too much power, and we still better pray every day that they don’t get us into World War III:

As Stephen Colbert put it, “There is the small detail that Trump is entering into a deal with a homicidal dictator”

When an NBC reporter asked the president why he would call Kim Jong Un “very talented” despite having a history of killing family members, starving his own people, among other confirmed atrocities, Trump responded:

“Well, he is very talented. Anybody that takes over a situation like he did, at 26 years of age and is able to run it…and run it tough. I didn’t say he was nice.”

Seth Meyers kicks us off, with his takedown of this incredibly heartless and thoughtless gaffe: “This is a guy who starves his own citizens and assassinates people with anti-aircraft guns. You’re talking about him like he started Apple in his garage.”

And Colbert takes us home with a double hit: “You don’t give dictators points for being young!”  he yelled. “That’s like saying ‘Vlad the Impaler became ruler at age 20. Nobody talks about that. Everybody gets all hung up on the impaling part, not how young he was. He was the Mozart of sticking wood through people.”

Then, he sees it from Trump’s perspective:

“Kim kills his own people, but it’s not like he kneeled during the national anthem…”

Mic drop. Summit over.

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