On Tuesday night, several late-night shows returned to air after their holiday breaks—and not a moment too soon. As Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un continue to goad one another about nuclear capabilities, both Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert hit the ground running, doing what’s required of comedians now: easing people’s mind about potential impending doom.
On Tuesday, following an ominous comment from Jong-un—“The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat”—Trump couldn’t resist firing back on Twitter, where he penned a typically bombastic response: “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
Kimmel’s response? “Happy New Year, everybody! We have two maniacs with nuclear warheads bragging about who has the bigger button.” And though he appears to have taped his show before Trump’s evening tweet, Colbert was able to address an earlier dig, in which the president wrote, “Sanctions and ‘other’ pressures are beginning to have a big impact on North Korea. Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not – we will see!”
Understandably, the Late Show host didn’t find that last bit particularly reassuring.
“We will see?!” Colbert said. “That’s a little nonchalant. ‘Maybe it’ll lead to peace. Maybe it’ll lead to thermonuclear war. No way of knowing. I as the president would do something about it, but I’m too busy keeping all the planes in the sky.’ ”
Whichever way this goes—whether it blows over or leads to total nuclear annihilation—Kimmel summed one viewpoint up very well: “It’s only January 2,” he said. “I don’t think I can take another year like last year. I might need to be put in one of those hyperbaric sleep chambers. . . just until 2020 or something, right?”
Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:The Versace: American Crime Story Cast and Their Real-Life Counterparts
Édgar Ramírez as Gianni Versace
The Emmy nominee stars as the limited series’s namesake, the flamboyant designer murdered in Miami at the peak of his career.Photo: Left, by David Lees/The LIFE Images Collection; Right, by Rachel Murray, both from Getty Images.
Penélope Cruz as Donatella Versace
The Oscar-winning actress will go blonde to play Versace’s sister, who took over the creative aspects of her brother’s fashion empire after his murder.Photo: Left, by Catherine McGann; Right, by Samir Hussein/WireImage, both from Getty Images.
Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan
Criss has come a long way from his Glee days; he’ll play serial killer Cunanan, who ended his cross-country murder spree by killing himself before the police could apprehend him.Photo: Left, by Jamie Scott Lytle/Sygma; Right, by Mike Windle, both from Getty Images.
Ricky Martin as Antonio D’Amico
The Latin pop sensation will show off his acting chops as Versace’s longtime partner, an Italian designer with a fraught relationship to the Versace family.Photo: Left, by Alberto Roveri/Mondadori Portfolio; Right, by Venturelli/WireImage.PreviousNext
Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com. She was formerly an editorial assistant at Slate and lives in Brooklyn.