After MSNBC's Rachel Maddow fired off one hell of a tweet Tuesday night regarding "Trump tax returns," Twitter practically caved in on itself ahead of the big reveal. The "Trump tax return" in question turned out to be an excerpted 1040 form from 2005, though it was how Maddow revealed the contents of this excerpt that frustrated some and inspired Stephen Colbert to enter full parody mode on Wednesday's Late Show.
"I hold in my hand something very significant," Colbert, speaking to his audience from a very MSNBC-esque set, said. "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 connected with Donald Trump has been released. This is an old joke from before he was president. We have obtained this joke legally. The First Amendment gives us the right to tell this joke. This, this piece of paper I hold in my hand, the part facing me with the words that you can't see, this is the document with the joke. The joke in question, why did the chicken—but first a word on chickens."
Colbert spent an extended period of time diving deep on the history of chickens, somehow managing to fold in a Dmitry Rybolovlev reference. After speaking briefly with a chicken expert and diving slightly-less-deep on the history of roads, the joke was (almost) revealed. "But whether or not you're a Trump supporter, whether or not you've heard this joke before, it ought to give you pause that after all of this buildup, I still haven't gotten to the punch line," Colbert said.
During his monologue Wednesday night, Colbert continued his mockery of Maddow's big reveal. "Huge news about Donald Trump almost happened last night," he said. "For years now, people have wanted to see his tax returns. The only thing he hides more fiercely is the true color of his face. I'm gonna guess, um, bleached jellyfish." The Maddow broadcast, Colbert said, was like an "emotional rollercoaster" in that, like a rollercoaster, you end up right back where you started with the bonus of feeling queasy.
"Is this news or a reality show?" Colbert said. "I don't wanna watch America's Got 1040's."