Stephen Colbert responds to controversy over ‘offensive’ Trump joke

The host of 'The Late Show' faced an online backlash over the quip earlier this week, prompting the hashtag #FireColbert

Stephen Colbert has responded to the backlash over a controversial joke he made about Donald Trump on his show earlier this week.

The host of The Late Show concluded his monologue on Monday’s (May 1) episode by going on a rant about Trump, reeling off a plethora of insults towards the President. Towards the end of the rant, Colbert said: “You’re turning into a real prick-tator. Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine. You have more people marching against you than cancer. You talk like a sign language gorilla that got hit in the head.”

He then said the offending joke: “In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock-holster.” Watch the monologue in question below.

Following the transmission of the episode, a #FireColbert campaign spawned on social media from those who had been offended by the Putin quip. One of the offended wrote: “So, Colbert is saying homophobic things again? Disappointing that CBS supports and empowers this.”

Colbert responded to the furore during last night’s (May 3) monologue, where he began by saying: “Welcome to The Late Show. I’m your host, Stephen Colbert. Still? I am still the host? I’m still the host!” to cheers from the studio audience.

“Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine,” referring to Face the Nation host John Dickerson. “So at the end of that monologue, I had a few choice insults for the President in return. I don’t regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it’s a fair fight.

“While I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be,” he continued. “I’m not going to repeat the phrase. But I just want to say, for the record: life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else, but that.”

Watch Colbert’s response below.