Late night mockery: Kimmel, Colbert and more deride judge, airline passengers over mask mandate repeal

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Late night show hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah reacted derisively to the federal mask mandate repeal for airplane and transit, dedicating time on each of their shows Tuesday to mock the federal judge responsible for the ruling and airline passengers who erupted in cheers during onboard announcements of the news. 

Colbert, host of CBS’ “The Late Show” and one of the most reliable boosters of Democratic talking points in late-night, remarked it was “no surprise” that a Florida federal judge made the ruling, and said that the state should not make health decisions for the entire country.

“That’s not smart,” Colbert exclaimed. “The Florida food pyramid is just gator jerky and meth!”

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Stephen Colbert for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert appears at the 73RD EMMY AWARDS.

Stephen Colbert for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert appears at the 73RD EMMY AWARDS.
(Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images)

Colbert proceeded to assert that the country should not imbue so much legal power to a judge with “zero cases under her belt,” before mocking the judge’s legal abilities.

“Uh, counsel will approach the bench and explain to me what this tiny wooden hammer is for. Am I supposed to tenderize the jury,” Colbert said, pretending to be U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle.

Meanwhile, Kimmel snarked over the judge’s choice of neckerchief in a picture of her that he flashed onscreen. 

“It’s amazing that a woman with an entire tablecloth around her neck gets to tell us whether to wear a mask or not. She’s like dressed like a Nissan in a Christmas commercial,” Kimmel said.

Noah instead decided to point his ridicule at airline passengers rather than the judge. The Comedy Central show host played videos of people on planes celebrating news that they could now remove their face coverings, before claiming people were acting like they were “suffocating in their seats.”

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FILE - Trevor Noah appears at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on March 14, 2021. 

FILE – Trevor Noah appears at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on March 14, 2021. 
(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

“Why are people cheering along like that” Noah asked. “People are cheering like they said you can take two bags of chips instead of one. ‘What, hell yeah! I’m glad I paid another $300 for economy plus. Yeah!”’

Fallon was a bit less bold with his jokes on “The Tonight Show,” saying  airlines are now essentially “turning off the seatbelt sign for COVID and telling it to move freely about the cabin.”

“If you though Omicron was bad wait ’til you meet the Spirit variant,” Fallon joked.

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