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Entertainment & Arts

Stephen Colbert roasts Les Moonves after former boss loses $120-million exit package

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Stephen Colbert sounded off on former boss Les Moonves on Tuesday night’s edition of “The Late Show.”
(Scott Kowalchyk / CBS)

Stephen Colbert took aim at former boss Les Moonves on Tuesday night’s edition of “The Late Show,” after it was revealed that the former CBS executive will not be receiving his $120-million severance package from the company.

Colbert shared the news, adding that the network had a perfect sound effect for the moment and then queuing up the fail horn from “The Price Is Right.”

“I wonder what’s going to happen to all that money,” the host pondered. “I’m pretty sure it goes to me. I get half of it. The other half goes to Tom Selleck’s mustache.”

Moonves stepped down from his position as CBS chairman in September, after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct were revealed and a four-month investigation was launched by the network. The TV mogul has denied engaging in nonconsensual sexual conduct.

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“Investigators say Moonves should forfeit the severance in part because of ‘his willful failure to cooperate fully with the company’s investigation,’” Colbert informed the audience. “How on earth did Les Moonves think he’d get away with that? Every show he greenlit for the last 20 years was about investigations.”

The screen then cut to a collage of many, many CBS series centered on, yes, investigations, including “CSI,” “CSI: New York,” “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: Los Angeles,” “CSI: Cyber” and other shows not included in the greater “CSI” universe.

Colbert himself was initially torn when allegations against Moonves cropped up, since the former chairman had opened so many doors for him, but Colbert also advocated for accountability at every level.

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Colbert has not held back his derision for the disgraced mogul. And, as he wryly assured viewers, there’s no need to worry about Moonves’ pocketbook taking a hit without his severance payout.

“In the past 10 years, his compensation totaled more than $1 billion,” Colbert said in astonishment.

“What’s he going to do now? What job could a famous TV billionaire with sexual allegations possibly get — oh, my God!” he gasped, realizing that Moonves was now — apparently — qualified to be president of the United States.

“He’d still be better,” Colbert added.

libby.hill@latimes.com

Twitter: @midwestspitfire


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