Stephen Colbert Interviews A Cartoon Donald Trump

by Joseph D. Lyons

On Wednesday night's episode of The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert had a few questions for Donald Trump — but the presidential candidate wasn't scheduled to be on the show. Not a problem. Arguing that Trump has become a "cartoonish version of himself" in recent weeks, Colbert opted to interview a slightly less cartoonish version of him: Cartoon Donald Trump. Yup. At this point, an actual cartoon might be better.

Before introducing the cartoon, Colbert caught the audience up to date on Trump's most recent shenanigans, like posting an unflattering picture of Ted Cruz's wife on Twitter. Colbert then showed a clip of Anderson Cooper's CNN town hall with Trump, during which he was asked about that controversy. Trump defends himself by saying that he didn't start the conflict, which Cooper counters is the argument of a 5-year-old.

So the first words out of Cartoon Donald Trump's mouth? "Thank you, Stephen, it's great to be here. He started it."

"Wait, wait, what?" Colbert counters. "Who started what?"

"Anybody, Stephen. Whatever they started," Cartoon Trump replies. "You know, unless it makes America great again, in which case I started it. It's very exciting. The best."

Cartoon Trump goes on to call Cooper a "dumb-dumb," "stupid head," and "total poopy-pants," which is not too unlike the deflections Trump actually used during the town hall. You've got to give The Late Show team some credit — the cartoon is fairly lifelike, even breaking out a few "I know you are, but what am I" jabs.

Colbert's next questions had to do with the controversy surrounding Trump's campaign manager, who was charged with simple battery for allegedly assaulting a reporter while she was trying to ask Trump a question. Trump has stood by his campaign manager. You'll have to see how the cartoon version responded, but taking responsibility and apologizing? Not so much.

It's no secret that Colbert likes to pick fun at right-wing politicians. He pretended to be such a pundit for years on The Colbert Report, and while he lost that alter ego with his move to CBS last fall, he hasn't given up the ghost completely. For Colbert, Donald Trump must be the equivalent of a joke goldmine.

After killing it with the Donald Trump vs. Donald Trump debate, Wednesday night's segment really needs to become a regular act on the show — at least until Trump loses the nomination or the election is over in November. At whatever point real Trump is forced to bow out, the cartoon version would surely have a good explanation why.