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Colbert Roasts William Barr Memo with Cliff Notes Parody That ‘Exonerates’ Moby Dick

Stephen Colbert lampooned Attorney General William Barr‘s four-page memo on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation with a parody commercial for “Barr’s Notes,” condensing classic literature into abruptly anodyne conclusions.

The cold open for Tuesday night’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert began with a news clip about the now-famous Barr memo, after which an announcer asks “Are you curious about classic texts but don’t have access to the material? Wish there was an easier way?”

The ad then introduces “Barr Notes,” a takeoff of the popular “Cliffs Notes” study guides that everyone read instead of reading the actual books, before there was Wikipedia.

“Barr notes provide extremely brief summaries of complex ideas so you can move on!” the announcer says, giving examples like “Romeo and Juliet, the play where two people fell in love and drank poisons. There was no evidence there was conspiring in the poisoning or stabbing,” or “Little women, a coming of age tale. The book does not draw conclusion on character size or gender.”

For Moby Dick, the Barr’s Notes say that “The author lays out the facts of the de-legging by the whale without reach anything legal conclusions, leaving it to me to decide whether the conduct of the whale constitutes a crime. I have concluded that the evidence does not establish such guilt by the whale. Total exoneration!”

“So pick up Barr notes today, and get just enough information to leave you confused and angry!” the parody ad concludes.

Watch the clip above, via CBS.

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