For day three of “Russia Week” on The Late Show, Stephen Colbert visited Mikhail Prokhorov – the Russian billionaire who owns the Brooklyn Nets – to gain a better understanding of power in a country ruled largely by a small cadre of the uber-rich.
“This is how things work over in Russia: over there, the political system is controlled by wealthy elites who buy influence and pull strings of the government,” Colbert explained. “Whereas in America,” he deadpanned, “we speak English.”
The rest of the segment lacked that political bite. During his time with Prokhorov, Colbert poked fun at the woefully bad Nets – referring to them as the “Nyets” and “the worst basketball team in the world ” – and enjoyed the lifestyle of the rich and idle.
He set up a joke Tinder profile for his single billionaire-host, who once owned a nickel-mining conglomerate. Colbert decided his profile should read, “I made my fortune mining, but I haven’t found my gem.” Prokhorov smiled gamely.
After a tour of the billionaire’s mansion, which comes complete with a pool, gym and sauna, the bizarre second half of Colbert’s segment was devoted to the practice of tescao, an obscure martial art that Prokhorov enjoys. The two drove to what Colbert accurately describes as “a club house painted in Dr. Seuss colors” and practiced dribbling balls while off-balance and throwing axes at walls.