Late night host Stephen Colbert's Showtime special Stephen Colbert's Live Election Night Democracy's Series Finale: Who's Going To Clean Up This S‑‑‑? took a weird turn Tuesday night as Hillary Clinton's projected victory slipped away. As it became clear that Donald Trump was going to win the presidency, the politically liberal Colbert found it difficult to make jokes, because the Trump victory was more shocking than funny.
But he made a point that we should all agree on and be thankful for: this grueling slog of an election is finally over, and we survived, and we should never let it get this ugly again.
As political journalists and The Circus hosts John Heilemann and Mark Halperin reported that Trump was likely to win crucial swing states like Florida and secure unexpected victories in states like Wisconsin, Colbert said "Wow. That's a horrifying prospect. I can't put a happy face on that, and that's my job."
By the end of the show, an exhausted Colbert went into a seemingly off-the-cuff, occasionally darkly funny monologue lamenting and questioning how this happened, reminiscing on how his mother, who was born two days before women could vote in their first presidential election, told him before she died that she would vote for Hillary Clinton if she ran because it was time a woman was president. She only voted for one Democrat in her life, John F. Kennedy, "because, spoiler alert, we're Catholic."
In these times of discord, he appealed to things that all Americans can agree on, regardless of political party: work emails suck, Kit Kats should be broken into bars instead of bitten into with a big chomp, and that we'll never remember what the War of 1812 was about.
"Above all, we as a nation agree that we should never, ever have another election like this one. Do you agree?" he concluded, to cheers from the studio audience. "Now please get out there. Kiss a Democrat. Go hug a Republican. Give a Libertarian a reach-around. I don't care. The election is over. You survived. Good night, and may God bless America."
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