On Thursday night's edition of "The Colbert Report," host Stephen Colbert praised Eric Bolling of Fox News' "The Five" and said that Bolling's ingenious solution to lowering prison costs might be a brilliant way of saving taxpayer money. In fact, Colbert said, why not extend the idea of cash-saving suicides to Social Security recipients and other "freeloaders?"
Colbert began the segment by thanking the audience for allowing him to "latch on" to them "like an emotional lamprey and suck the joy from your young, vital bodies until they are as dry as a crouton."
There is a lot of bad news in the world, currently, said the host. "Chemical weapons in Syria, radiation in Fukushima, 'Breaking Bad' is ending. Even worse, I'm starting to think that Hank and Walt may not end up together."
When he needs a little lift, said Colbert, he turns to "Stephen Colbert's Smile File" for some happy news. "Tonight's Smile File," he said, "Ariel Castro."
"Now folks, you might be saying, 'Stephen, Ariel Castro is a vile monster whose suicide this week is just the dark end of a dark life. How can anything associated with that man possibly make me smile?'" he explained. "That's what I thought."
"Until I tuned in to Fox News' 'The Five,' starring Eric Bolling, who always sees the glass as half full," he explained, before rolling video of Bolling announcing Castro's suicide and crowing delightedly that taxpayers are off the hook for his care and feeding during his imprisonment.
Holding a white board with a drawing of a noose on it, Bolling counted up nearly $800,000 that would not be spent on keeping Castro fed, clothed and housed in a state penitentiary.
"But the Eric Bolling Sunshine Express doesn't stop there," Colbert said. Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Bolling said, cost even more to house per year. They should all hang themselves in their cells, Bolling said, to save taxpayers money.
"Thank you," said Colbert. "Would it kill those Gitmo detainees to kill themselves? I mean, for Pete's sake, what are they waiting for? Charges?"
"And if you look at his white board," Colbert said, "Bolling's already got some suggestions about who should take the next exit ramp to Dirt Nap City. He's got Nidal Hasan, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed" and someone named "@EricBolling."
"Oh, God, Eric, don't do it," he said. "You've got so much to live for! Nothing's coming to me right now, but one imagines!"
As the audience half-heartedly applauded, Colbert said, "See, Eric? The people are clapping for you like Tinkerbell. Like Tinkerbell with a gun in her mouth."
Why not apply the same logic to old people, he asked. "Peepaw, it's time to smear some of that pudding on the stairs and slide gently into that good night."
"And if any of you freeloaders out there need some inspiration," Colbert concluded, "just turn on 'The Five,' cos every time I watch Eric Bolling, I want to kill myself."
Watch the clip, embedded below via Comedy Central: