From Trevor Noah to John Oliver, how late night talk show hosts covered the US elections

Late night talk show hosts spoke about the 5-day long counting process, condemned Donald Trump’s victory claim and trace misinformation regarding the US presidential elections.

FP Staff November 09, 2020 15:29:53 IST
From Trevor Noah to John Oliver, how late night talk show hosts covered the US elections

Joe Biden was elected the US president late on Saturday after a long campaign, sparking celebrations among supporters in major US cities, even as Donald Trump refused to accept defeat. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris made history by becoming the first female, Black and Indian-American Vice President-elect of the United States.

Most late-night US television hosts, like much of the country, experienced frustration and anxiety while waiting for the results to determine the faith of the much-awaited 2020 US Presidential elections. While some took to sharing a recap of the campaign and preached patience, others called out the confusion of this seemingly eternal wait.

Here’s how the major shows have handled the post-election night situation so far, from Seth Meyers, Steven Colbert to Trevor Noah.

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Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Trump's attempt to undermine the presidential election by claiming it was rigged, was a topic of conversation for late-night host Stephen Colbert. In a 16-minute long emotional monologue, the host criticised Trump, calling his voter fraud claims an attempt "to poison American democracy."

Colbert explained that he was dressed in black “for a funeral,” because “Donald Trump tried really hard to kill something tonight.”

Colbert said, “For weeks we’ve been talking about how there would be a red mirage, how all those outstanding Biden mail-in ballots might let Joe catch up, and that Trump would then probably come out and pretend that he won and accuse everybody else of cheating.”

“What I didn’t know is that it would hurt so much. I didn’t expect this to break my heart. For him to cast a dark shadow on our most sacred right, from the briefing room in the White House, our house, not his. That is devastating.”

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

John Oliver did not waste any time getting to the main segment of his late-night show. “Trump isn’t going to be president anymore,” he said at the top of Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight.

Oliver then showed video footage of people in the streets celebrating Biden's win — and Trump's defeat.

"It was like that all day here in New York. There was a mood here that can only be described as a reverse 9/11. Why? Because it combined complete euphoria, abiding disgust for Rudy Giuliani and this time, people were actually dancing on the rooftops in New Jersey. It was a really good day. Never forget." That comment was a reference to a statement that Trump made in 2015 about the 11 September terrorist attacks.

Oliver added that Trump’s claims of election fraud were “desperate and pathetic.”

Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers criticised Fox News after the network ran with Trump's statements concerning voting in the election. Meyers said he was disgusted, with everything kicking off when Trump attempted to declare an early victory Tuesday. “Sure enough, Fox News picked up on Trump’s line of bullshit as soon as he ended his speech,” Meyers said.

Meyers raged that the notion of ballots being "found" is nonsensical, as they are merely being tallied.

“Again, they are all valid ballots that are just getting counted the way we always count ballots days or weeks after an election,” Meyers said. “This always happens.”

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah dedicated several recent episodes to a countdown of “Trump’s 100 Most Tremendous Scandals!”. Also, Daily Show was one of the few shows that actually ran an episode on election night. It was a live hour, with host Noah joined by Roy Wood Jr. in the studio, and other segments featuring former regular Jordan Klepper and the rest of the current crop of correspondents, reports Paste Magazine.

The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon compared the US election to “waking up with a hangover and finding out you’re still at the bar” as US waits to find out who will be the next president. He said, “I’m not sure [patience] is one of America’s strengths, if a TikTok video isn’t fun in the first three seconds, we’re like ‘next’. We need to be patient in a country that invented a Dominos tracker so we know exactly when our pizza will arrive.”

In a prophetic turn of events, Fallon had previously interviewed democratic senator Bernie Sanders whose remarks on Trump's election move and the voting delay are now going viral.

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel echoed Fallon's statements and declared that the election night had been a "pollercoaster of emotions and nausea."

He referenced to Trump initiating lawsuits in multiple states where he is behind in the polls, or even ahead.

“If they hadn’t cancelled the Olympics this year, he would have won that too. Basically, his message last night, in a nutshell, was, ‘We won a completely fraudulent election’.”

On a lighter note, Kimmel also shared a round of Mean Tweets, politics-style.

Saturday Night Live

It didn’t take long for Saturday Night Live to come up with its comedic take on the presidential election results — complete with Maya Rudolph wearing a white suit like Vice President-elect Kamala Harris wore for her acceptance speech.

Jim Carrey played President-elect Joe Biden, taking the stage and poking fun at the five-day wait for results. He even offered a throwback to one of his infamous ’90s-era lines, calling President Donald Trump a “Looooosseer!” to laughs and applause. Carrey and Rudolph each made an L out of their hands and held them to their foreheads and were joined by Alec Baldwin, reprising his role as Trump.

Host Dave Chappelle opened his monologue by lighting a cigarette and calling it “a pretty incredible day.”

He quickly got serious, saying he was thinking about his great-grandfather, who was born a slave in South Carolina and after being freed, devoted his life to three things: “education, freedom of Black people and Jesus Christ.”

“I wish I could see him now, I wish he could see me,” Chappelle said before launching into a joke about how his popular Comedy Central series was on two streaming services and he wasn’t being paid for it.

“Now Trump is gone,” Chappelle said, before joking about Trump’s response to the coronavirus. He cited Trump’s use of a racist name for the virus before saying, “I’m supposed to say that, not you.”

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