Stephen Colbert's jokes about Canada

Before Stephen Colbert retires his bear-hating, Canada-mocking persona and takes the reins at The Late Show, we look back at the many times Canadians were the butt of his jokes and, on one rare occasion, the subject of his praise.

Man who called Canadians 'poutine-suckers' hosts The Late Show starting Sept. 8

Comedian Stephen Colbert regularly poked fun at Canada on The Colbert Report. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Stephen Colbert, as the faux-conservative host of The Colbert Report, often mocked Canada's food, health care, cities and even wildlife. And every time, Canadians couldn't seem to stop talking about it.

One pro-democracy group even petitioned to crown the funnyman King of Canada

Now that he has retired his bear-hating, Canada-mocking persona, and before he starts hosting The Late Show on Sept. 8, we look back at the many times we were the butt of his jokes and, on one rare occasion, the subject of his praise. 

'Earth's rectum:' Windsor or Winnipeg?

Colbert drew the ire of some disgruntled Windsor, Ont., residents when he referred to the city as "Earth's rectum" in his book, America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't.

Colbert vs. Windsor, CBC

9 years ago
American comedian Stephen Colbert stood by his declaration of Windsor, Ont., as the rectum of the earth, and also took aim at the CBC. 3:40

The quip had politicians fuming. 

Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MP Joe Comartin told CBC News the joke was "a cheap shot."

Sandra Pupatello, then-candidate for the Ontario Liberal Party leadership, told Sun Media Colbert "should keep his nose out of Windsor."

The ensuing controversy only propelled Colbert further. He addressed the backlash on a segment of his show called "Who's Attacking Me Now?"

"It is my job to ask these probing questions," Colbert said, adding that the Earth's rectum "could just as easily be Winnipeg."

The Colbert Report also poked fun at CBC's coverage of the kerfuffle, noting that "the maple-stream media have their mittens in a bunch."

Invading Saskatchewan 

The Windsor debacle isn't the only time Colbert's comments sparked a retort from a Canadian politician.  

When he suggested during an interview with Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, that American troops should invade Saskatchewan, Premier Brad Wall told him to "back off."

The Late Show's old host, David Letterman, also put Saskatchewan in the spotlight. He was amused by Regina gas attendant Dick Assman's name and featured him on the show in 1995.

'Stripper bears'

When an Alberta Parks video of bears scratching their backs against a tree went viral, CBC called them "folksy 'dancing' bears." Colbert, however, had another term: "godless twerking machines."

In keeping with a recurring bit that bears are the No. 1 threat to America, Colbert decried the "stripper bears" for dancing while "topless and bottomless."

"These godless twerking machines are turning our forests into their very own episode of Grizz Gone Wild," he said. 

'Poutine-sucking' Canadians 

Colbert takes aim at Canada's loonie. (Comedy Central)

Responding to news in 2012 that Iceland was considering adopting the Canadian loonie as its currency, Colbert waxed poetic about the days when the American dollar was the international standard.

"I have never trusted our poutine-sucking, health care addicted nemesis to the north," Colbert said. "They always have to make our stuff their stuff."

He then poked fun at the loonie.

"Everyone knows George Washington should be the only icon recognized by the world's markets, not the first Canadian president, Featherton B. Loon," he said.

"We must fight this before we lose a generation of young Americans to the scourge of Canadian politeness and fiscal sanity."

Canadian Pope?

When Pope Benedict retired in 2013, there was speculation that Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet might take the post, much to Colbert's chagrin.

Colbert said Canadians are too mild-mannered for such an important position of authority.

"The Pope cannot be polite," said Colbert said. "I'm sorry but 'I think God might not want you to use a condom, eh' won't work."

'Crack-smoking Toronto mayor'

Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford's scandal-plagued career provided plenty of fodder for late-night comedians, and Colbert was no exception.

On one episode, Colbert referred to Ford as a "possessed Cabbage Patch doll" and mocked Toronto City Council for being unable to expel him from office.

"According to Canadian law, the only ones with the power to arrest the mayor are the Queen and Wayne Gretzky," he said. 

The big apology

House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers earned Colbert's praise for his dramatic takedown of the Parliament Hill shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, prompting the comedian to sing O Canada and apologize for all his previous Canada cracks.

"I was wrong about Canada. I have said some awful things about you over the years. I've said you're nothing but maple-sucking moose-humpers. I've said you're a bunch of beaver-stroking ice-holes," he said.

"But now I know that you are steely-eyed, snow-balled, John Woo-diving sh-tkickers who not only take out the trash, but also the recycling."


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