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The Drill Down

Stephen Colbert Spoofs Rachel Maddow’s Big Reveal of Donald Trump’s Tax Returns

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Stephen Colbert kicked off The Late Show Wednesday with a spoof on Rachel Maddow’s anticlimactic reveal of part of President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns. Apparently, Colbert wasn’t impressed by Maddow’s big reveal.

“I hold in my hand something very significant,” he said, dressed in Maddow’s signature blazer. “It is a joke, a joke that we have confirmed has been heard by Donald Trump. We believe this is the first time any joke dealing with Donald Trump has been released.”

Colbert performed the spoof in front of a backdrop similar to the one Maddow uses for her show, which according to The Independent, has recently become the most popular cable news program among anti-Trump viewers.

The Late Show host then ranted about chickens and roads and whether or not either have something to do with Russia.

“But whether or not you’re a Trump supporter, whether or not you’ve heard this joke before, it should give you pause that after all of this buildup I still haven’t gotten to the punchline,” Colbert built up the joke, only to go to a commercial break.

Since Maddow’s Tuesday show, others have been slightly more critical of the exclusive story than Colbert. In response, Maddow has defended her arguably disappointing segment, which showed that Trump earned $150 million in 2005 and paid $38 million in income taxes that same year.

“My priority is to get the story right and put it into proper context, and explain the weight of it and why it is important,” Maddow told The Associated Press. “This is a super interesting first window into his finances, and the question of his finances is a legitimate scandal.”

On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Maddow discussed the Trump tax returns and how she and journalist David Cay Johnson obtained and verified the forms with the help of tax experts and even The White House. She then explained that while they waited for verification, two completely separate shows were produced, just in case the documents turned out to be fraudulent.

“One was, ‘We’ve got his tax returns,’ and one was, ‘Nothing to see here,’” Maddow told Jimmy Fallon. “We had different guests booked, a whole different show completely lined up and ready to go in case it falls through.”

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