Stephen Colbert this week shared a wild anecdote about how he came to be in the possession of a pair of pants that once belonged to Nicaragua’s late brutal dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle.
Colbert recalled his mother casually making the startling revelation that she once dated the future-authoritarian when, years later in the 1970s, the young Stephen was watching TV footage of Debayle fleeing his country.
“My mom, who’s standing behind me, wiping her hands on a kitchen towel, goes, ‘Poor Tacheo.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean Tacheo?’ And she said, ‘Well, that’s what we used to call him.’ I said, ‘Who’s we?!’ She said, ‘Oh, your uncle Ed,’” Colbert recalled in the first episode of the “Strike Force Five” podcast with his late night rivals.
Debayle and Colbert’s uncle Ed, it then emerged, both attended La Salle Military Academy on Long Island. Debayle would stay with Colbert’s grandparents during the holidays instead of returning to Nicaragua.
Debayle ended up leaving a load of clothes at the house “so I have Anastasio Somoza’s pants,” Colbert added.
Listen to the episode here: