There’s nothing funny about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s deadly invasion of Ukraine, which at press time had reportedly resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and a global effort to isolate and financially punish the former KGB boss. But, of course, late night shows are tasked with finding the funny in the horrific and on Monday night (Feb. 28) Stephen Colbert nailed that pop culture triple Lindy with a pitch-perfect Taylor Swift spoof.
The subject was the move to remove certain Russian banks from SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), a special messaging service that connects global financial institutions and helps to coordinate money transfers as a means of punishing Putin for invading neighboring Ukraine. Instead of a boring explainer, Colbert “acquired” a special message from Swift that broke down the geopolitical financial smackdown.
“Economic pain for invading Ukraine/ That’s how Vlad will pay, hmm mm, Here’s his Wordle today,” the stand-in Swift sang over images of the Russian Ruble’s value collapsing on world markets and a world puzzle that spelled out “Broke” in instantly recognizable green letters. “Financially he’ll grieve, for sending troops to Kyiv/ Nipples please just leave, you’re not Keanu Reeves.”
The 90-second bit, which interspersed pics of a shirtless Putin with shots from the original “Shake It Off” video boldly announced that it’s time for sanctions, excommunication and a hard break from interbank telecommunication.”Cuz I’m cutting off his banks, banks banks, banks, banks/ Til he turns around his tanks, tanks, tanks, tanks, tanks/ Vladdy I’m not gonna take, take, take, take take sanctions off, sanctions off!”
The world has condemned Russia’s aggressive action, with dozens of artists from Green Day to Louis Tomlinson, Yungblud, Health, Frank Ferdinand, Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd and Barbra Streisand either canceling planned shows in Russia or expressing solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
Watch the video below.