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Late-night hosts skewer Trump’s immigration order with airport jokes and riffs on ‘Finding Dory’

The hosts of late-night skewered President Trump over his controversial travel ban barring travelers from seven majority Muslim nations, as well as his choice to watch "Finding Dory" while protestors descended upon the nation's major airports. (Video: Erin Patrick O'Connor/The Washington Post)
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On Monday, late-night television hosts reacted to President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from across the globe from entering the United States. As the hosts tell it, the order made a lot of people very angry, but it also brought a lot of people together. At airports, no less!

We’ve rounded up some of the memorable late-night commentary about Trump’s immigration order and the resulting protests.

Just about everyone made an airport joke 

Conan O’Brien: “This weekend, the nation’s airports were filled with people protesting President Trump’s Muslim ban. It was the largest collection of angry people at an airport since every United Airlines flight.”

On “The Daily Show” Trevor Noah asked correspondent Hasan Minhaj, who had recently landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, what he thought of the order.

“Usually, being a Muslim in an airport sucks,” Minhaj explained. “But this weekend, it was like I was The Weeknd. I mean I land at JFK, I get to the arrival section. Literally, three white people run up to me, hug me and say ‘thank you for being Muslim.’ I’m 31 years old. That’s the first time anyone has thanked me for being Muslim.”

Jimmy Kimmel: “There were demonstrations in just about every major city yesterday, people went to the airport to protest — that’s when you know people are mad. It’s Sunday, they have no travel plans, and they go to the airport.”

Jimmy Fallon: “Here in New York, thousands of people showed up at JFK airport over the weekend to protest Trump’s immigration ban. People who were actually at the protest said ‘This is awful,’ while the people at LaGuardia were like, ‘You think you got it bad? We’re at LaGuardia.’”

Stephen Colbert: “Now, all of this is upsetting, if you’re one of those people who thought about it. Which is why tens of thousands of protesters spontaneously demonstrated — do you have any idea how angry people have to be to voluntarily go to JFK?”

Seth Meyers: “He was detained for 18 hours at JFK and he still loves America,” the ‘Late Night’ host said of an Iraqi man who once worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army. “If you can spend more than two hours at JFK without losing your s—, you should get automatic citizenship.”

There were also ‘Finding Dory’ jokes (Trump reportedly held a private screening of the animated film over the weekend)

Kimmel: “While all this was happening, President Trump was hosting a screening at the White House of the movie ‘Finding Dory,’ which, ironically, is a movie about a fish trying to find her parents. To his credit, he was so moved by the film that he lifted all travel restrictions on clownfish.”

Conan O’Brien: “Kind of a turbulent weekend, but you should feel good about this, Donald Trump did find time to relax. True story, yesterday, Donald Trump spent the afternoon at the White House watching ‘Finding Dory’ with his family … apparently, in this version, Dory couldn’t be found because she was being detained at the airport.”

Noah (in a Trump-esque voice): “Shhh, don’t disturb me I don’t care what’s happening at the airports. I’m watching a movie about families being separated. It’s hilarious.”

Noah: “By the way, who hasn’t watched ‘Finding Dory’ yet?! It’s 2017! This man is not fit to be president. Not fit!”

Fallon: “While all this was going on, yesterday at the White House, Trump hosted a screening of the movie ‘Finding Dory.’ Trump said he actually related more to ‘Finding Nemo’ because that was about an orange and white cartoon.”

The hosts analyzed how Trump and White House staffers responded to criticism

Colbert: “Now Trump has responded to criticism that the plan was rushed, tweeting, ‘If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there!’ I don’t think President Trump has ever used quotation marks before.”

Kimmel: “Travelers from the seven restricted countries, most of them got a plane, had no idea they would be stopped or detained by immigration, including a 5-year-old boy who was detained for hours while his mother, who was born in Iran, waited at the gate for him. And that meant lucky Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, had the unenviable job today of trying to explain how to detaining a 5-year-old helps to keep the country safe.” (Cut to Spicer saying ‘ … to assume that someone’s age or gender or whatever that they don’t pose a threat would be misguided and wrong.’) UNLESS THEY’RE 5-YEARS-OLD.”

Colbert: “At Dulles Airport, a 5-year-old Iranian boy was detained for hours and kept from his mother. Or as Kellyanne Conway calls it, alternative day care.”

They suggested that maybe Trump didn’t write the executive order after all

Meyers: “When Trump first announced the order at a signing ceremony over the weekend, he read it aloud like he was seeing it for the very first time. Hey man, it’s not comforting to us when you seem shocked by the stuff you’re signing. That’s the way people look before they sign the injury waiver on ‘American Ninja Warrior.’”

Noah: “Hey Donald, I know you don’t actually write or read any of those boring papers so let me explain to you what you did. You banned everyone from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States. Even though you said your ban was to protect America from outside threats, that ban included people with green cards. It even seemed to include dual citizens of Canada or Britain or any other country you didn’t plan to ban, you silly billy. Now go back to watching CNN.”

They got serious

“Daily Show” correspondent Minhaj: “Here’s the beautiful irony. For years, Donald Trump has been terrified of the spread of Islam in America.” (Cut to photos of protest signs including one that read “We are all Muslim now.”) “Well, congratulations, Mr. President. Mission accomplished.”

James Corden’s “Late Late Show” began with of the host breezily making his way through a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. The video was followed by this message:

“Today James flew out of Los Angeles, so all of our shows this week have been pretaped. Freedom of movement should be this easy for all legal immigrants. Not just the white and Christian ones.”


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