Stephen Colbert addressed defunding the police on Tuesday night’s episode of The Late Show and he sees one major problem with it: CBS would have to shake up its entire television lineup. “Defunding the police might sound a little scary to some people, like CBS,” Colbert joked. “They’d have to change their entire primetime lineup. SWAT would have to become Community Health Services and NCIS would stand for ‘No Cops! Instead Soup’. It would still have a lot of murders in it, but it would also have a lot of bisques and chowders.”
Colbert went on to explain that the phrase “Defund The Police”, which he cracked sounds like a more listener-friendly version of legendary hip hop group NWA’s protest song “F-ck tha Police,” doesn’t mean abolishing the police. Instead, it means reallocating some of their budgets to social service organizations, mental health care, and housing.
“Right now, because those other services have been underfunded for years, all of that eventually falls to the police,” said Colbert. “And that’s way too many things for them to be doing. It’s like in the Middle Ages, it wasn’t a good idea that your barber was also your dentist and your surgeon. And saying ‘defund the barber’ doesn’t mean no-one’s getting haircuts—although, admittedly, right now no one is getting haircuts.”
In response to a recent poll that showed that 74% of Americans said they support the protests, including 53% of Republicans, Colbert said. He later continued: “This protest movement is really popular but what has taken a hit in popularity are monuments to America’s racist history like Confederate statues and Donald Trump.”
Colbert went on to say that the President is currently “contemplating” holding a speech on race and unity, while also sharing conspiracy theories about Martin Gugino, an elderly protester who was injured and hospitalized after Buffalo police shoved him to the ground. Colbert, though, is pleased to see that 53% of registered voters now support the Black Lives Matter cause, up from 42% at the end of April. “So just over half of Americans voters believe black people have the right to live,” said Colbert. “Good news? It’s a start?”