Seth Meyers, John Oliver, George Lopez Deliver Dread-Tinged Jokes at NRDC Comedy Event
“What if we're at the downfall section of America’s Wikipedia page, but we don’t realize it yet?” 'The Daily Show's' Hasan Minhaj wondered as he and other comics addressed Donald Trump's presidential win. “We’re just living through history. Someone’s gonna write a musical about this. But we’re just living through it.”
Less than 24 hours after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, the Natural Resource Defense Council held a Night of Comedy event in New York, hosted by Seth Meyers, with sets from John Oliver, George Lopez, Mike Birbiglia and Hasan Minhaj.
“Look, I had a whole different act,” Meyers said, using bits of the monologue he delivered on Wednesday's Late Night. “So this is, like, hot off the presses, you guys. I can only do gallows humor.” The host also joked about how the depression felt by those who opposed Donald Trump's campaign and were exhausted by an ugly election created a great atmosphere for the event.
“You definitely want to be playing a Manhattan room the night after a Trump victory to save the environment, cause everybody’s in a fantastic mood,” Meyers said.
Meyers said the NRDC will be more important than ever, with Trump denouncing climate change, even calling it a hoax created by the Chinese. And neither candidate addressed climate change during the debates, Meyers pointed out.
"Alicia Machado has an incredible story, but she shouldn’t have been mentioned more than Earth,” the Late Night host joked. “Having a kid now, I want him to have a planet the whole time."
The Daily Show's Hasan Minhaj seemed most shaken by Trump’s victory, given his Muslim background, saying he wasn’t sure if he would be coming that evening, and that he couldn’t answer his mother as to whether she would be readmitted into the country come February. “What if we're at the downfall section of America’s Wikipedia page, but we don’t realize it yet?” he wondered. “We’re just living through history. Someone’s gonna write a musical about this. But we’re just living through it.” He ended his set saying, after a long pause, "We gotta fight though, I don't know, man. That’s all I can say."
Birbiglia, meanwhile, addressed the day head on, calling it depressing and hard. “This got me out of bed,” he joked. “I don’t think I would have left my bed.”
John Oliver, who like Meyers rallied against Trump on his late-night program, wasn't sure where to begin: “I don’t know really what to say tonight to you. You’ll probably hear versions of the same thing. You’ll hear despair characterized in different ways. I was trying to think of a way to tell you that everything going to be OK. I’m obviously impractically not sure I can do that. That depends who you are and what you’re definition of OK is. Looking out, most of you — fine. That's not the point.”
George Lopez closed the show, cursing Trump almost immediately. “I can’t stay long,” he joked, nervously looking at the crowd, saying the piece of paper he placed on the podium was his birth certificate, not notes. “Do not fear us, because I know there’s a big divide in this country. Do not fear the Latino; we’re here to help,” he said, before ending his set with, “This will be the last time that you see me in America.”
The election results were on the minds of most of the comedians, though some delved into different topics. For those who did tackle the election, they expressed a sense of frustration and a daze that many were feeling on Wednesday. Meyers said at the end of the night that he thought the evening was cathartic for those who touched the stage.
Guests in attendance included CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, NBC News head Andrew Lack and designer Diane von Furstenberg.