Colbert Reimagines 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' for the COVID Era (Video)

We’re with Rudolph on this one


On Thursday’s “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert drew inspiration from a recent report about COVID-19 transmission between humans and animals to reimagine the classic Christmas special “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” as a cautionary tale.

At issue is reporting out of Iowa according to a recent study, there is evidence that Deer in the state may be catching COVID-19 from human beings. Yikes for the deer to be sure. (And yikes for humans if this causes another variant surge.) It’s not entirely clear if this is actually the case — the study this news came from has not been peer reviewed. Nevertheless, it inspired a pretty good “The Late Show” cold open gag.

The gag redubs the dialogue from the Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated classic during the scene where Santa comes in to ask Rudolph “won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” But this time, Rudolph wants none of it.

“Back off, fat man, or you’ll give us all COVID,” Rudolph says.

“I’m immunized,” Santa says. “I went with Aaron Rodgers.” This being a reference to the pro football player who lied about getting vaccinated in order to keep playing, only to catch COVID.

“He’s lying,” all of Santa’s elves shout.

“Fine, I’m not vaccinated. I don’t want my jingle balls to swell up like Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend,” Santa said. “Besides, COVID is a myth, like the abominable snowman.”

This prompts a surprised “what an idiot” from the abominable snowman, who is a character in “Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer.”

“Sorry Santa, we won’t pull your flying sleigh this year,” Rudolph replies. “Fine, I’ll do it myself,” Santa says.

Next scene, Santa has turned into one of those incredible right wing jerks who keep starting fights on commercial air flights. He even says “Let’s go Brandon.”

Watch the whole thing below:

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