Comedian Stephen Colbert’s crypto send-up for a good cause

Late Show with Stephen Colbert pokes fun at El Salvador's Bitcoin City and the NFT craze

Stephen Colbert with his AFT being auctioned for charity                                 
Stephen Colbert with his AFT being auctioned for charity – CBS/Late Show with Stephen Colbert
                                

The reigning king of US late-night TV admitted that he is “not quite sold” on crypto.

But El Salvador’s Bitcoin City and the NFT craze were joke fodder for the 22 November edition of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on the CBS network.

Crypto fans mocked

The first episode of the show during the US’s Thanksgiving Week opened with a news report about El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele’s extravagant 20 November announcement of the geothermal-powered Bitcoin City by the Conchagua volcano and then morphed into a satirical tourism ad for Bitcoin City.

“Ignore the haters that say cryptocurrency is a fad or living at the base of a volcano is stupid,” said the voiceover. “Who are you gonna trust? A volcanologist, or a president cool enough to wear a backwards hat? And the financial charts have never been more promising… oops, that’s a seismograph!”

Amid images of a lava-spewing volcano, the voiceover climaxed: “the crypto market is about to erupt and we want you to be in Bitcoin City when it explodes!”

Stephen Colbert's AFT
Stephen Colbert's AFT, on the auction block for charity until 2 December – Stephen Colbert/eBay

Later, Colbert showed an animated video explaining what NFTs are and how they work, mentioning sales of the $3,600 Gucci Ghost GIF, $500,000 for Disaster Girl meme and almost $600,000 for the Nyan Cat meme.

Colbert said the animated cat in space with a Pop Tart body and trailing rainbow “makes slightly more sense to me than the concept of NFTs.”

He also referred curiously to the $17,000 Azealia Banks sex tape NFT: “But I thought these things were non-fungible; a sex tape is two people ‘funging’ each other,” he said.

Thing auctioned on eBay

Then he unveiled the world’s first “AFT” — or Actual F****** Thing, as it appeared on screen. The handwritten and autographed script for the animated NFT explainer video on a used, brown paper lunch bag is offered for auction via eBay until 2 December. Proceeds will go to the charity DonorsChoose, which funds projects at public schools and is supported by Google.org, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow and T-Mobile.

“You’ll help fund classrooms, where kids can learn important stuff,” Colbert said. “They can learn important stuff, like the difference between things that exist and things that don’t”.

By midday, New York time, on 23 November, there were already 88 bids for Colbert’s “AFT”, topping out at $28,000.

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