‘The Late Show’ marks a year since the Capitol riot with darkly hilarious ‘Rent’ parody

Thursday marked one year since rioters stormed Capitol Hill, a haunting moment in recent American history. Members of Congress have shared their harrowing experiences from the day, a prayer vigil was held on Capitol steps, and late night shows commemorated it the best ways they knew how.

Amongst the latter was Stephen Colbert and his writers, who delivered a parody of Rent‘s most famous song “Seasons of Love” — aptly titled “Abhor-Rent”.

The two minute song not only summarized the events of last year, but also offered some lines like: “727 insurrectionists arrested / Who else should be jailed / For this unsuccessful coup? / How about this unsuccessful bum?” Cue a picture of Donald Trump.

This is a relatively light-hearted take on one of America’s darkest days. Yet, The Late Show didn’t shy away from humor, but still accurately reflected the horror of Jan. 6, visually and lyrically.

The song has, so far, better received than the Hamilton performance during the Democrats’ one-year anniversary event of the Capitol riot. The number, introduced by writer Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Broadway cast of the musical, was deemed overwhelmingly cringe (mostly by Twitter), for transparent self-righteousness.

The difference is “Abhor-Rent” isn’t self-aware or preaching, instead delineating the many forces behind the attempted coup, simply using a Rent track to do so. One YouTube commenter said, “This is heartbreaking and hilarious all at the same time”, while another wrote, “Thank you making me laugh, easing (for now) the anger, frustration and anxiety that built up while watching today’s coverage.”

Colbert gave a few memorable monologues following the riots last year, furiously calling out the rioters as “terrorists” and decrying the state of democracy in the country.

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