News / TV

Late-night comedians react to Election 2016 and news of President-elect Trump

Although Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert both broadcasted live Tuesday during Election Night, the outcome of the presidential vote was still not called by the time they went off the air at midnight Eastern.

A day later, not only they but also everyone else in America had some time to process the unexpected turn of events and the election of Donald J. Trump. For everyone and anyone who thought that comedians hoped Trump would win to give them four years of easy jokes, Wednesday night’s broadcasts across late-night TV would be instructive in also proving them wrong, too. For comedians really put their country and their personal feelings ahead of their comedy. Across the board. And their comedian correspondents and guests also grappled with the idea of how they and their fellow Americans will move forward from here.

10:30 p.m. EST

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS): Samantha Bee was an unabashed Hillary Clinton supporter, and the Canadian native could vote for the first time in a United States presidential election on Tuesday. Suffice it to say, Bee wasn’t expecting this.

As her cold open showed.

So, what now?!

11 p.m. EST

Conan (TBS): Conan O’Brien said, “We have been here before.” During his opening monologue,  he noted that Wednesday was a strange day: “In the last few years I’ve traveled to a bunch of countries – Cuba, Armenia, the Middle East – where the people would give anything to have our system. In America, we get to pick who’s going to ruin our country, and that is a privilege. It has given me a great perspective– I was watching President Obama and Hillary Clinton speak today about a peaceful transfer of power and it gave me chills.”

Today, Americans have the right to feel happy, angry, pessimistic, optimistic, but everyone should feel grateful that we get to vote and if we don’t get our way, we have the chance to try again. Winston Churchill once said ‘Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried.’  Of course, Winston Churchill also said, when healing a divided nation always resort to cheap, visual comedy.”

He also welcomed Bill Burr to the panel, where Burr didn’t really know what to make of the situation, although he certainly could joke about so-called “undecided” voters and the process at large.

The Daily Show  with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central): Trevor Noah was joined by correspondents Michelle Wolf and Hasan Minhaj, who shared their concerns for women and Muslims, respectively.

11:30 p.m. EST

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS): Stephen Colbert had gone live Tuesday on Showtime, and went live again Wednesday back on CBS from his same studio, where he could make a bit more sense than he did the night before. Just a bit, though. “I’m not sure what to believe about anything anymore.”

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (Robert Smigel) had pooped all over this election campaign for several Hulu specials, and last night he had insults for all parties involved.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC): Jimmy Fallon, who not only impersonated Trump but also made nice with him and caught a lot of flak for it just weeks before the election, perhaps unsurprisingly or not, didn’t put his monologue on YouTube, and had the least to offer us about it.

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC): Jimmy Kimmel imagined the Trump administration and future for the Democrats with an Animal House homage. He also showed Russia’s Vladimir Putin congratulating Trump, and celebrating Kimmel’s own “VP” bid.

12:30 a.m. EST

The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS): James Corden opened his monologue by acknowledging it was the two-year anniversary of his decision to move to America with his wife and young child, and what they thought America would have in store for them, versus what America they face today.

Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC): Seth Meyers had made no secret of his dislike of Trump, banning him from the show and devoting nightly segments of “A Closer Look” to the madness of the campaign. On Wednesday, Meyers reached out to everyone, though. And made a bold offer to Trump. How’d you like your own Trump TV series on NBC? 22 episodes. Sound good? Offer expires on Inauguration Day…

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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