President Donald Trump provided late-night hosts with more fodder than usual Wednesday, when news broke that some Americans’ COVID-19 relief checks would be delayed because the president was insisting his name be printed on each of them.
On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert’s cold open was a faux infomercial for the “Donald J. Trump Commemorative Coronavirus Check,” illustrated with an image of Trump punching the virus in the face and dated April 1st, 2020, “in memory of the date the president assured us this crisis would miraculously go away.”
Colbert later tackled Trump’s decision in his monologue, noting that Trump isn’t legally allowed to sign the checks from the IRS, so Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin ordered his name to be written in the “memo” section.
“Still better than Trump’s alternative,” Colbert cracked, “tucking the cash directly into Americans’ G-strings.”
Over on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel fumed over Trump’s desire to plaster his name on the checks when it’s not his money he’s giving away and, “He didn’t even put his name on the check he sent Stormy Daniels.” Kimmel noted that the stimulus checks are effectively funded by American tax dollars, adding, “As far as I know, [Trump] doesn’t even pay taxes. He certainly hasn’t produced any evidence of it. He’s like a drug lord giving the villagers cash on Christmas so they look the other way the rest of the year.”
Seth Meyers, on Late Night, deadpanned one of the most succinct jabs, quipping that the checks will mark the “first time [Trump] has ever put his name on something helpful” — as a photo of Donald Trump Jr. flashed on the screen.
On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah joked that Trump’s signature would cause extra hurdles for Americans because “the banks would probably decline it out of habit.” He also used the stimulus checks as a jumping-off point to discuss the larger issue of people struggling to obtain unemployment benefits because their state systems are either overwhelmed or built on decades-old technology.
Noah showed a news clip of one woman who said she’s tried, and failed, thousands of times to call her state unemployment office, prompting Noah to joke, “That’s as many calls as a mom makes when something goes wrong in the city where you live!”