Stephen Colbert didn’t lose sleep over the fact that President Trump took time to call him out and insult him in a major interview with Time. In fact, the Late Show host wore his targeting as a badge of overdue honor. “Mr. Trump, there is a lot you don’t understand,” Colbert cracked in his Thursday night monologue. “But I never thought one of those things would be show business: Don’t you know I have been trying for a year to get you to say my name? And you were very restrained, admirably restrained. But now, you did it.” He then whispered, gleefully, into the camera: “I won.”
Despite controversy over a bad, arguably homophobic joke and its fallout, Colbert is exiting the week riding high. His ratings continue to soar, he generated some lovely nostalgia after reuniting with his old Daily Show colleagues, and of course, he’d made enough of an impact to draw the ire of the president. He was feeling confident, in other words, going into Friday: “Since all of my success is clearly based on talking about you, if you really want to take me down, there’s an obvious way,” he said to Trump: “Resign.” Given this week’s events, such an ending seems as plausible as anything else.