Stephen Colbert pokes fun at 'Kentucky Fried Bandits' caught by NZ Police during Auckland's COVID-19 lockdown

Stephen Colbert has joined a growing list of international broadcasters poking fun at the gang associates who attempted to enter Auckland with $100,000 in cash and a "car boot-full of KFC" on Sunday, breaking COVID-19 restrictions in doing so.

The Late Show host has a long history of discussing Aotearoa on his show as a passionate Lord of the Rings fan and, more recently, a friend of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Colbert appeared delighted with what sounded to him a light-hearted misdemeanour and compared it to a more sinister "illicit" act apparently common in the United States.

"Meanwhile, Auckland, New Zealand is currently under lockdown with fast food restaurants closed and yet New Zealand cops have arrested men 'entering the locked-down city with large amounts of illicit KFC'," he said as a news headline was displayed on-screen.

"Oh, New Zealand. That's what counts as illicit for you? In America, we've got meth-heads getting busted for cooking Viagra bath salts [which would give a user] the most terrifying boner you'll never escape."

Colbert also mocked the COVID-19 alert level 4 rule-breakers for including coleslaw as part of their contraband.

"Apparently, these Kentucky Fried Bandits were attempting to smuggle in three buckets of chicken, a big stash of fries and 10 tubs of coleslaw. Ten tubs of coleslaw? Arrest them for that! Who looks at mac & cheese and mashed potatoes and says 'You know what I could go for? Wet cabbage.'"

The 'car boot-full of KFC' story has already been covered by global outlets including CNN, the Guardian, AJ+, the New York Post, 9 News Australia and the Mirror.

Jimmy Fallon also joked about it, but mistakenly said it happened in Australia.