Weds Night Monologues: Arizona’s Abortion Time Machine

Missed Wednesday’s late-night monologues? We’ve got you covered with our round-up of the night’s best laughs from across the dial.

Judicial Heat Stroke

On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an absolute abortion ban based on a law drafted in 1864 that provides no exceptions for rape or incest and only grudgingly allows the procedure to actually save a woman’s life. (Unless of course, as has been the case in other states with draconian abortion laws, doctors who’d perform a life-saving abortion have either left the state or are too afraid of prosecution.) The throwback ruling to a time before there even was an Arizona caught even some previously staunch anti-choice Republicans flatfooted, as they spent yesterday and today trying to save their political careers by sweatily assuring pissed off and deeply coveted woman voters that they think the court went too far. (Principles are nice and all, but not when faced with losing your cushy government job.)

It’s a right old mess for the GOP in an election year, which is nothing compared to the bind Arizona women will face once the law goes into effect, with Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs and Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (both Democrats) defying the ruling and proclaiming that the state will not prosecute any women for seeking an abortion. As far as the majority of late-night hosts went on Wednesday, the sheer, mind-melting ridiculousness of an ultra-right, all-Republican court reaching all the way back to covered wagon days to deprive women of their rights opened the monologue floodgates. As The Daily Show‘s Michael Kosta put it, “Is Arizona really using an abortion law from the 1860’s? Back then there wasn’t even a test to become a doctor. It was just a gross guy saying, ‘I love lookin’ at scabs. I want to be a doctor.'”

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“It is April 10, 2024. Unless you like in Arizona, where its 1864, pardner.”

stephen colbert

“As we all know, there’s an ongoing battle in America about who should decide on abortion. Should it be women? Should it be Congress? Well, today Arizona is saying, ‘How about men from the Civil War era?'”

michael kosta

“That is crazy. But remember its Arizona, so its a dry crazy.”

stephen colbert

“1864? Was anybody even there yet? Was this their first law after ‘Don’t shoot the piano player?'”

seth meyers

[On Donald Trump’s backpedaling on the issue post-decision] “And I get that it’s confusing. I mean, he’s says that he’s pro-life but he definitely seems like a guy who’s paid for an abortion, or at the very least told a woman he would go halvsies.”

seth meyers

“This guy has truly been all over the place on abortion. I feel like his positions change based on which of his kids he saw last. Ivanka? Ehh, pro-life. Eric and Don? Mandatory abortion.”

michael kosta

“It’s a law so old that it was passed before women had the right to vote. To which the Supreme Court said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll work on that one next.'”

stephen colbert

[On how politically poisonous abortion has become for Republicans post-Roe] “Voters even rejected and anti-abortion measure in Kentucky, which is so conservative their state bird comes in a bucket.”

seth meyers
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“Theres a new viral health trend on [TikTok] where people are walking backwards to improve their joints. And if you love moving backwards, may I suggest Arizona.”

jimmy fallon

“This law is so old that it predates the invention of the cowboy hat, the urinal, the paper clip, and the machine that makes paper bags. Should we really be enforcing laws from an era where the cutting edge tech was ‘bag?'”

stephen colbert

“Just to give you an idea of how insane this is, this law dates back to the Civil War. Before women had the right to vote, before the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery, before Arizona was a state, and when Abraham Lincoln was still President. To put that in Lincoln terms, this law is eight-score old. And it was Lincoln himself who said, ‘Anything higher than four-score is too many f**king score.'”

seth meyers

“Since the Dobbs ruling, this issue has been a disaster for all the Republican attempts to keep suburban women voters. So now GOP candidates are backpedaling like a tweaked-out unicycle chimp.”

stephen colbert

[On Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake’s backpedaling] “She cited the exact law—by name—in question and now she’s trying to pretend she opposes it. ‘No, no, no I didn’t mean that ARS 13-3603, I meant the other ARS 13-3603, the one that makes it illegal to do a Zoom interview without 13 ring lights pointed directly at your face.'”

seth meyers
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“Over the last 25 years [Trump’s] position on abortion has shifted over 13 times. [Trump voice, while pulling petals off a daisy] ‘I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-choice not.. you know flower, you kind of look like a pretty lady with white hair spiked up there. You wanna make 130 thousand dollars?'”

stephen colbert

“Former House Speaker Nacy Pelosi yesterday criticized former President Trump’s announcement that he does not support a national abortion ban and said, ‘He’s either is stupid or he thinks the rest fo us are stupid.’ Oh lady, it’s both. That’s like saying, ‘Either he’s guilty or he has bad lawyers.’ Two things can be true.” 

seth meyers

[On Trump’s repeated lie that democrats want abortions to happen ‘post-birth’] “C’mon dude, Democrats don’t execute babies after birth. They send them to Hillary so she can harvest their organs.”

michael kosta

“You can’t enforce state laws from before it was a state. If you could, people from Massachusetts would be arrested for failure to buckle hat.”

stephen colbert

Stormy’s A-Brewin’

Another day, another Hail Mary attempt by Donald Trump’s legal team to delay his felony criminal trial swatted away by an appeals court on Wednesday. The trial, alleging the former President falsified business records in order to cover up his affair with adult actress Stormy Daniels, begins on Monday, with defendant Trump required to be in court every single day. With the prospect of the thrice-married favorite of evangelical conservative voters being forced to sit in court while his history of sordid infidelities and sexual improprieties is read out in public, late-night hosts weren’t shy about the potential grim hilarity of it all.

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“The first order of business is jury selection. Reportedly, Trump’s lawyers want a jury that includes public employees like police officers, firefighters and sanitation workers. Well sanitation workers make sense. They’re gonna want jurors who are comfortable with giant sacks of garbage.”

stephen colbert

[On prosecution notes looking for jurors who like, among other things, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert] “Damn straight, my audience is perfect to decide this case. It’s all in our new slogan, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Guaranteed to get you jury duty!'”

stephen colbert

“I can’t wait to see what he’s like on the stand. ‘Did you pay hush money to a porn star?’ ‘If I did it would be legal.’ ‘Did you pay hush money to a porn star?’ ‘If that happened it would have been fine.’ ‘Did you pay hush money to a porn star?’ ‘Yes, because I was afraid she’d tell everyone I have a weird penis!'”

seth meyers

[After Trump’s legal team subpoenaed the wrong witness] “Two Jeremy Rosenbergs in New York City? What are the odds? Oh, and I’m being told ‘very good.’ That was my researcher, Jeremy Rosenberg.”

stephen colbert

[On reports that the wrong Rosenberg got a disconnected notice when he tried to contact Trump’s lawyers] “Okay, but that’s probably on Rosenberg’s [lawyers]. If you’re dialing Trump’s lawyers, you have to dial the county code for Russia first.”

stephen colbert

“Watch out Jeremy, you don’t want to piss off Donald Trump. He will send a squad of goons to rough up… someone with your name.”

stephen colbert

Potpourri

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“Five major networks are working on a joint letter to both candidates [urging them to debate]. They said the letter is not finished because they’re waiting for more networks to sign on. And it’s taking a while because no one at Newsmax knows how to read or write.” 

jimmy kimmel

“Also, not the main point here, but that’s more spray tan than usual, right? Your first thought when you see someone’s face should never be, ‘Is it cake?'”

michael kosta

[On the NCAA women beating the NCAA men in basketball ratings] “Its official—women’s basketball, now your basketball. Everyone else is playing boysketball.”

stephen colbert

[On Trump’s photo op offering to buy fast food shakes for an entire restaurant] “After Trump placed the order, the cashier said, ‘Uh, we’re gonna need to see the money first.’

jimmy kimmel

“The NFL announced yesterday that players can choose from 12 new helmet designs next season. Unfortunately, some will get stuck with this one. [Picture of a NY Jets helmet] Yeahh! Off-season Jets burn!”

seth meyers

“We’ve had no shortage of reminders lately about the Supreem Court’s shift ot the right. They overturned Roe. They killed affirmative action. Last summer they issued that ruling that just said, ‘No homo.'”

michael kosta

[On reports that Lunchables contain high levels of lead] “You never want to hear your teacher say, ‘Kids, sharpen your baloney and get ready for your pop quiz.'”

jimmy fallon

“Of course the cherry tree is the basis for one of our nation’s most cherished untrue stories, about a young George Washington who used his new hatchet to chop down his father’s cherry tree. And then when his father asked did you do this, he replied, ‘No, it was a total witch hunt.'”

jimmy kimmel

[On news of a new Monopoly movie] “I’m especially looking forward to Ryan Goslings big musical number, ‘I’m just Baltic Avenue.”

jimmy fallon

“It’s a movie about a real estate developer who gets involved in hotels and beauty contests before landing in jail… [audience laughter]… You beat me to it. “

jimmy fallon

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