On Tuesday’s “Late Show,” the host blasted Kelly for saying it was a “mistake” to “take what is today accepted as right and wrong” and apply it to events from hundreds of years ago ― resulting, for instance, in the removal of Confederate statues.
“Nope, sorry,” Colbert said. “A lot of people thought slavery was wrong back then. For example, I’m gonna go out on a limb here, black people.”
Colbert also mocked Kelly’s “interesting take” that a “lack of an ability to compromise” led to the brutal conflict.
“The Civil War happened because of compromise,” he said. “You’re a general and you don’t know why the Civil War happened? What do you think caused World War II, a zoning issue?”
The comedian further speculated that Kelly perhaps knew better but was just being “willfully ignorant” due to his role of constantly defending “the positions of an idiot.”
“But we cannot judge Kelly by today’s standards,” Colbert said. “He said it yesterday.”
Check out the full segment above.