"I've got good news, and I've got bad news," The Late Show host Stephen Colbert said at the top of his Wednesday night monologue. "The bad news is I lied about the good news, and both bads combine to be the worst news: Bill Cosby has been released from prison after his sexual assault conviction was overturned."
Colbert's opener achieved the desired effect: his audience booed when they heard Cosby's name, allowing the host to land his next punch line. "Yeah, I agree with you," he said. "Or, to put it another way, me too."
As Colbert explained, "This is not an exoneration." Rather, "Cosby is getting off on a technicality" that stems from a 2005 agreement the disgraced comic struck with then-prosecutor Bruce Castor. "If the name Bruce Castor rings a bell, it's because he's the same paragon of legal ethics who went on to represent the former president during his second Senate impeachment trial," explained Colbert. "His business card just says: Actual Devil's Advocate."
The Late Show host prepared to move on, but not before landing one final zinger. "In other news, the country is as hot as hell," he said. "So, at least Cosby has a preview of the afterlife."
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 PM ET on CBS.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.