On the eve of the inauguration, Colbert honors a national treasure

With a new president about to take the helm of the country, CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” last night paid tribute to one person who did the most to get us through these tumultuous four years:

Laura Benanti.

The actress’ periodic visits to Colbert in her deliciously campy alter-ego of Melania Trump was a saving grace and a comedic high point for late-night TV.

This very special musical sendoff finds Benanti’s Melania returning to New York City.

“It’s so good to be back in NYC, the Be Bestest city on earth, the huge apple, the city that never sleeps – with a porn star and lies to you about it. Being here makes me feel – which is something I don’t normally do.”

What follows is a delightful musical send-up in Times Square as Melania discovers what native New Yorkers truly think about her.

Watch for yourself:

The real Melania’s birther views, her casual indifference to children suffering at the border, and her recent attempts to define herself as the true victim of the Capitol insurrection have made her a notoriously difficult First Lady to respect, much less admire.

Benanti’s impersonation was the best thing that happened to her and to this country, giving viewers a chance to laugh and blow off some steam.

For her service to the nation, Benanti deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom – except with Donald Trump’s record of giving it to such disreputable folks as Rush Limbaugh, Jim Jordan, and Devin Nunes makes it about as valuable as donkey turd.

It truly is the end of an era, and God willing, Benanti will never need be pressed into service again.

Ouch. Laura Benanti as Melania Trump (Photo: CBS).
Ouch! Laura Benanti as Melania Trump (Photo: CBS).