Stephen Colbert reacts to Reddit’s Pizzagate accusations on The Late Show

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 6: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Vice President Joseph Biden during Tuesday's 12/06/16 show in New York. (Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 6: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Vice President Joseph Biden during Tuesday's 12/06/16 show in New York. (Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images) /

The Late Show host Stephen Colbert isn’t happy about being roped into the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

Stephen Colbert addressed the growing conspiracy theory known as Pizzagate on Wednesday’s episode of The Late Show, becoming the first late-night host to thoroughly cover the idea that Hillary Clinton’s inner circle is involved in a child sex abuse ring. It follows an incident involving gunfire earlier this week by a man who claimed he was taking a “closer look” at the Washington D.C. restaurant rumored to be at the center of the operation.

The online conspiracy theory was spread across sites like 4chan, Reddit and Alex Jones’ Infowars — and eventually social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter — after leaked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta that were released by Wikileaks earlier this year showed multiple mentions of “cheese” and “pizza,” leading to claims that they were using the words as code for illegal activity like child pornography.

Colbert was eventually dragged into the conspiracy after he mentioned pizza at the end of his Showtime election night special, and a leaked email showed a Bill Clinton staffer bragging about booking the former president on The Colbert Report several years ago, leading to accusations of collusion with the Clinton camp.

Colbert began by advising his audience not to get their news from him because, “This isn’t news. This is entertainment.” But he also urged viewers to not be duped by fake news sources that emerged throughout the presidential campaign, which led the Pope to compare the phenomenon to “people who have a morbid fascination with excrement.”

“If the Pope’s talking poop, you know we’re in deep doo-doo,” the host joked.

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He then brought up Pizzagate, which he labeled as “the craziest fakes news of all.” Colbert pointed out that the “folks with the spider eggs hatching in their brains” believe that there are smuggling tunnels that connect to the basement of the pizzeria despite the fact that the pizza place doesn’t actually have a basement.

He proceeded to trace the conspiracy theory back to alt-right folks who were going through the emails hacked by Russia and Wikileaks, before calling out some of the “uninformed, gullible people” that fell for the secret sex ring theory, such as Donald Trump’s pick for national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who tweeted out a link to a story about the theory, telling his followers: “U decide.”

“OK, then I decide a guy who spreads this bullshit shouldn’t be in charge of national security,” replied Colbert.

After mentioning the recent gun incident and mocking the pizzeria’s name, Colbert fired back at the “DaVinci choads” at subreddits like r/The_Donald and r/Conspiracy for dragging him into this mess by referring to his mention of pizza on Election Day as “CREEPY,” and claiming that he’s on the Clinton payroll due to the aforementioned email.

“For the record: She can’t afford me,” he quipped. He then chastised Jones, who accused shows like “Jimmy Fallon Live” of coordinating and choreographing Democratic politicians’ visits, for not understanding the concept of preinterviews.

“I’m starting to think these shows might be rehearsed,” he continued, later adding: “It’s like these show are some kind of business!”

Colbert then pointed out that perhaps this conspiracy goes all the way to the top to our next president since the show exchanged a series of emails with candidate Trump when he appeared on The Late Show last year. The comedian teased the audience with reading excerpts from the emails, but instead shredded the document only to reveal another copy, before explaining that there’s an agreement with guests that they won’t reveal the contents of the preinterview.

“Here’s what these conspiracy theorists don’t get: There’s a difference between a conspiracy and an agreement,” he concluded. “A conspiracy is what villains do. An agreement is what adults do. Look around the country. Wouldn’t you agree we need some more adults? So WikiLeaks, Alex Jones, and the subreddit sub-geniuses, and I mean this in the nicest way possible: Grow the f— up.”

Watch the entire segment below:

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Since the Pizzagate gunman’s arrest, the 28-year-old man has expressed some regrets about his actions, telling the New York Times that he “wanted to do some good and went about it the wrong way,” and also admitting that “the intel on this wasn’t 100 percent.” However, he refuses to outright acknowledge that the theory is fiction. Meanwhile, since the Late Show segment aired last night, negative content about Colbert is currently dominating the front page of the subreddit dedicated to the president-elect.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.