Laura Benanti Reprises Melania Trump Role to Mock White House Christmas Décor

Stephen Colbert brings the Broadway star back to The Late Show

By Zach Johnson Dec 01, 2017 2:30 PMTags

First Lady Melania Trump's Christmas décor inspired a myriad of mean memes earlier this week—so, obviously, Stephen Colbert invited her to talk about it on The Late Show Thursday.

On Sunday, the First Lady's director of communications, Stephanie Grisham, tweeted a sneak peek of one of the decorated White House chambers. The spooky lighting in the photo made the White House look more like a haunted house than a winter wonderland, and it went viral for all the wrong reasons, as Twitter users compared it to horror films like The Babadook and The Shining. As he reviewed the photo, Stephen said, "Gah! Which holiday is that for—St. Gorlan's feast of human bones?" Speaking in a creepy voice, he said, "Come children, your Christmas guests are here. Those pale young girls we all thought died of the plague are waiting for their kiss in the hall of eternal shadow, right beneath the bleeding mistletoe." To be fair, he told viewers, "The First Lady shared a video of that same hallway, looking a lot more cheerful with the lights on, as well as a beautiful look at the White House's official Christmas tree." To discuss it further, Broadway's Laura Benanti reprised her role as Melania on the CBS talk show.

Stephen began by saying, "I want you to feel like The Late Show is your home."

"Aw," Laura (as Melania) replied. "Can I move in here?"

In response to a report that Melania is unhappy with her role as First Lady (which her team vehemently denied), Laura (as Melania) said, "Stephen, this is a fake news lie. I am very happy to be First Lady." As she struggled to maintain a smile, she insisted, "Look at me—being happy!"

Stephen then showed footage of the real First Lady silently observing her jewelry box ballerinas during a recent White House walkthrough. "There I am—alone on my staircase of happiness, admiring the freedom of movement," Laura (as Melania) said. "Fly away, little birds! Fly away!"

Asked about the backlash over her holiday décor, Laura (as Melania) said, "More proof of my happiness is how much I love to decorate. It's all so merry, the stringing of the lights, the baking of the cookies, and Santa Claus—such an inspiration to me. If you can come down a chimney to go into a house, then you can go up a chimney to get out of a house. I have gotten all the family Christmas stockings and tied them into a rope. Merry Christmas to all—and to all, a goodbye!"