After yesterday’s siege of the nation’s capitol and the disruption of the peaceful transfer of power, late night’s hosts felt the need to address the moment with the seriousness and solemnity it deserved. Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, both broadcast from New York City, went live with their messages, while Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Late Show with James Corden, were broadcasting from their homes, with Los Angeles grappling with a horrific COVID-19 outbreak.
If like me, you fell asleep on the couch at 9 p.m. out of sheer emotional exhaustion (only to wake back up at 3 a.m. to frantically check the news and make sure nothing else insane happened in the brief time you were fitfully asleep), here’s what you missed:
Seth Meyers called explicitly for President Traitor to be immediately removed from office.
“The only way our democracy is going to survive this harrowing moment is if he’s immediately removed from office by either the cabinet or the Congress and prosecuted. Anything less is tacit permission to continue to use his office, and his influence after he leaves office, to foment sedition and dismantle democracy.”
Stephen Colbert took aim at Republican leaders and Fox News.
“Who could have seen this coming? Everyone. This is the least surprising thing I’ve ever seen. For years now, people have been telling you cowards that if you let this President lie and lie over again and then join him in that lie and say he’s right when you know he’s not, there will be a terrible price to pay. But you just thought you’d never have to pay it too. I really do hope you’re enjoying those tax cuts and those judges, because they’re going to be busy throwing these idiots in jail.”
Jimmy Kimmel referred to yesterday’s events as the “treason finale.”
This was one of those days that I always assumed was behind us. This was not the sort of thing I ever imagined would happen in this country in my lifetime. The President of the United States, because he is too angry, too insecure and too incompetent to deal with the fact that he lost an election, a fair election, an election that was no different than any other election, an election he lost by seven million votes and 70 electors, turns an angry mob against members of Congress and his own Vice President. Not to mention endangering the Capitol police. Those blue lives he claims matter so much to him.”
Jimmy Fallon, who typically shies away from being too political or alienating, insisted that while yesterday’s events were disgraceful, there was room for hope.
“Today was a disgrace, today was disappointing but sadly today was not a surprise. It’s important to remember this is not who we are. I assure you there are more good people than there are bad. Good will prevail.”
James Corden also tried to find a positive note in a dark moment, arguing that we can still have hope.
“I used to look to America as this beacon of light and possibility, a place where anything can happen and you’d be lucky to work, a place where many people I knew used to fantasize about living in, a place that gives an individual more opportunity than they would get elsewhere, yet cares for their fellow man. And yet today people across the world would have looked at these pictures of Washington and they would have wondered what on earth has happened to this great country.
“But make no mistake, they know that the America that they admire still exists. They know that the America that so many aspire to will be back. It’s just been hijacked by a lunatic and his crazy army for the last four years. But that’s about to end because in two weeks on those same steps, where the mob fought and pushed past the police, Joe Biden will be sworn in as President of the United States and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as Vice President of the United States.”