Leaked footage recently showed O'Donnell, "The Last Word" anchorman, having several tantrums on-camera over technical difficulties, which Colbert described as going from "zero to Dad on Day 3 of road trip like that."
"Folks, I gotta say, while the footage is not flattering, as a broadcaster, I sincerely feel for Lawrence O'Donnell in this clip," the "Late Show" host said in his opening monologue. "Hosting a television show is extremely stressful. ... It is really hard to do with any distractions."
In solidarity with O'Donnell — and "just to get ahead of the story before it breaks" — Colbert decided to release his own expletive-laden tape mimicking O'Donnell's startled reactions to off-camera drilling and a woman reciting the "12 Days of Christmas" in his ear.