Brow Beat

Watch Stephen Colbert Do a Spit Take Over the Les Moonves News

Stephen Colbert, mid-spit take.
“Ronan Farrow?” CBS

This Stephen Colbert segment is mostly about Rudy Giuliani’s bizarre, shoot-yourself-in-the-foot-then-gnaw-off-the-foot legal strategy, and Colbert gets in a few good licks over the course of his monologue. But the highlight is Colbert’s expertly executed spit take upon hearing that the recent New Yorker article about Les Moonves—Colbert’s boss—was written by Ronan “Harvey Weinstein” Farrow.

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Whether you’re grading on difficulty or execution, this spit take is nearly a perfect ten. Colbert maintains a perfect 25-degree angle-of-spew throughout the duration—nearly an entire second—while effortlessly hitting the kind of water throughput levels more commonly seen in aqueduct design than comedy sketches. As for difficulty, the host gracefully transitions from a spit take to a stagger to a cringe to a stage whisper to his trademark “rinsing the taste out with bourbon” maneuver, a gold-medal-worthy combination few of his competitors could even conceive of, much less successfully execute. While it’s early to make predictions about the 2020 Olympics, Colbert clearly has Tokyo on his mind. The good news, given all the bad news, is that he’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice.

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