Stephen Colbert has enjoyed an uptick in the ratings of “The Late Show” where, for some reason, he replaced David Letterman by attracting a number of Donald Trump haters by relentlessly mocking the current president. But the former Comedy Channel clown almost certainly went too far when he made a homophobic suggestion concerning POTUS and Vladimir Putin. Colbert was triggered when Trump called “Face the Nation” “Deface the Nation” to the host of that show, John Dickerson’s face.

Colbert’s popularity has always been something of a mystery to most people, even since he started with appearances on “The Daily Show.” His show “The Colbert Report” was non-stop snark with very little if any humor.

The greatest mystery occurred when Colbert was selected as the replacement for David Letterman on “The Late Show” instead of the more talented and funny Craig Ferguson. For the first year or so, the ratings seemed to confirm that the suits at CBS had made a terrible mistake. But with the election of Trump, Colbert appears to have taken off.

To be sure, in his later years, Letterman was no prize, as one remembers the creepy, pedophile rape joke he made at the expense of Sarah Palin’s middle daughter. But, Colbert seems to have decided that Trump hatred is a license for vulgarity and rage.

Trump has raised eyebrows by some of his off the cuff remarks at campaign events and his now infamous use of Twitter.

But many of his celebrity opponents make him seem mild-mannered by comparison. Colbert’s behavior is likely to cement the president’s support among his followers. As the Sage of Instapundit Glenn Reynolds might say, “Do you want more Trump? This is how you get more Trump!”

It is doubtful that Colbert’s homophobia is going to get him suspended by the executives at CBS.

In times past or if the slur had been directed at a politician with a “D” in front of his or her name, Colbert would have found himself on a long vacation with no show after he came back.

Colbert may still be in trouble if his ratings start to slip again or if Trump fans start a successful advertising boycott. Network executives are not, by and large, motivated by common decency when it comes to the behavior of their on-air talent.

They are motivated, however, by the bottom line. If Colbert starts to hurt the network in the bank account due to his antics, he may find himself replaced. Now, if only Craig Ferguson can be enticed back to late night, Fallon and Kimmel may find themselves some competition.