This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
For the better part of the last four years, when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was mentioned on late-night programs it was to play the “woke political bae” foil to U.S. President Donald Trump. But last night was a little different.
As one would expect when, uh... three separate incidents of a world leader donning blackface and brownface come out, there were plenty of takes to be had. So, of course, comedy writers couldn’t help but weigh in.
Here were some of their best bits:
In a short clip to open Late Night With Stephen Colbert, Colbert kicked off the party mocking the Canadian accent with an “aboot” joke before saying, rather enthusiastically, “It’s not us this time! Suck it, Canada!”
Conan O'Brien on his show made light of the, likewise racist, scandal going on at Saturday Night Live (which saw a new cast member fired for making racist jokes on a recent podcast) by saying, “as a result, Trudeau has been dropped from the cast of SNL.”
Seth Meyers on Late Night With Seth told his audience he wasn’t going to show them the picture because it’s “really bad.” “It’s so bad that Canadians traveling in Europe are going to start telling people they’re American,” he said.
The late-night host who got the most play from the photos was Daily Show host Trevor Noah. In a six-minute video, Noah starts by advising Trudeau, “If you’re going to darken your skin at least get the color right. He’s not dressed as Aladdin; he’s dressed as Aladdin doing blackface.”
Noah went on to make fun of the fact that in the video, Trudeau colored not only his face but his arms, hands, and seemingly his legs, which appear black if you look through the rips in his jeans.
“He’s wearing jeans but he still did the legs? This guy is committed,” said Noah. “Most people do the face but Trudeau was like black neck, black back, black pussy, and black crack.”
Noah ends the segment by proposing new legislation: a buy-back law to get black makeup “off the streets,” red flag laws to stop “white friends from buying an afro for a talent show,” and an amnesty day for white people to put out old blackface photos without being canceled.
Trudeau was supposed to appear on the debut late-night show of YouTuber Lilly Singh in a pre-taped video segment but was pulled before the show went to air. CTV reported that the video wasn’t an interview but a “short comedy clip.”
Probably a good call to pull that one.
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