Late Night Lately: Hosts Express Joy and Relief at Election Results

8:00 AM 11/14/2020

by THR staff

The Hollywood Reporter's Late Night Lately rounds up the best sketches and guests with a look at what's to come next week.

Late Night Lately Graphic Nov. 14
Courtesy of HBO; Comedy Central; CBS

The Hollywood Reporter's Late Night Lately is a one-stop shop for all of the most memorable moments of late night TV, coming to you each Saturday morning to ease you into your weekend.

So pour your coffee, set your DVR for the week and sit back. Below are a few of the week's best, funniest and strangest late night moments that you can't afford to miss.

This week: John Oliver celebrated the projected Joe Biden presidential victory on Sunday night, noting that President Trump's "bullshit" did not work in his favor in this election. Stephen Colbert reacted to the news with champagne and a T-shirt canon, but also shared his emotional reaction in the moment he found out. Seth Meyers shared a Late Night memory of Biden and Trevor Noah spent some time examining Trump's current claims of voter fraud.

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • John Oliver Reacts to Election: Trump's "Bulls*** Did Not Work This Time"

    John Oliver wasted no time getting to his main segment on Sunday's Last Week Tonight: the 2020 election. "This was clearly a very long, very tense week, although thankfully, it all felt worth it due to how it ended," Oliver said, before cutting to a CNN clip wherein Wolf Blitzer announced that Joe Biden had been projected to win the presidency. 

    "Yeah, that definitely happened," a giddy John Oliver said. "Donald Trump isn't going to be president anymore."

    Oliver commented that it took several days to call the election after Tuesday, Election Day, which felt drawn out even though it had been expected, and how impatient the media seemed to get. "Starting that evening, almost every news channel was overtaken by some version of a guy playing with a big screen while someone comes in to interrupt and pester them with questions. It was basically the equivalent of watching the security footage at a Best Buy for four straight days."

    Oliver added that Trump's reaction also was predictable as the counts were happening, including delivering a speech early Wednesday about the "fraud" of the election, how ballots were being "found," and how he was taking that argument to the Supreme Court.

    "For starters, you can't just threaten to go to the Supreme Court when things aren't going your way. It's the highest court in the land, not the middle school principal's office," he said. "Secondly, they weren't finding ballots, they were counting them. And counting and finding are just not the same thing."

    Oliver also summed up the events of the past several days thusly: "Here is the really important thing. After this absolute year of a week — the days of counting, the misinformation, the desperate, pathetic attempts to paint this process as fraudulent — the fact is, Trump lost this election. He lost. All that bullshit which we've grown accustomed to seeing work, did not work this time. And it's not like Trump and his family are going to stop. They're going to carry on grifting and lying like they've always done. But once he's out of the White House, it's just not going to have the same effect anymore. It's not going to directly impact every American's life. And that alone is fucking fantastic."

    As for any conclusions to be drawn from the past week, Oliver said it's too early to tell, but did not that this election had record-breaking turnout but more than 70 million people did vote for him "and everything he said and stands for."

    "That is something that we are going to have to reckon with for the foreseeable future," Oliver said, adding: "We cannot and should not ignore that millions voted for Trump, meaning they either actively supported his bigotry or at the very least were comfortable enough with it to vote for him anyway."

  • Stephen Colbert Reveals Why He Cried Over Election News

    Stephen Colbert appeared elated on Monday's Late Show at the news that Joe Biden was the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election. The CBS host kicked off his monologue by pouring two glasses of champagne, one for himself and one for his wife, Evie, who had joined him in his small, COVID-19-era studio.

    And, as he recapped how people were celebrating and cheering on city streets, he danced and fired a T-shirt cannon at his crew. "It's never a good sign when the majority of Americans react to you losing your job the way they did to us getting Bin Laden," Colbert said. "It feels like America is — what's the word — great again."

    Beyond that, Colbert revealed how he, specifically, reacted to the news that Biden was projected to have won enough states to receive the necessary 270 votes for an Electoral College victory, explaining that he and his wife were on their porch and he sat down and "just started crying with relief."

    He added, "Evie said, 'You never have to talk about him again.' And then I cried with joy."

    And, despite discussing the president's refusal to concede, Colbert mused about his hopes for a calmer, "nicer" era.

    "When he leaves, you know what I'm looking forward to? Sleep. But also the possibility that for the first time in four years, we will be able to shift our collective focus away from him, onto anything else, maybe each other," he said. "Wouldn't that be nice?"

    He added, "I got up this morning. I was walking down the steps, and I just felt all of this available brain space. It's not filled with anything else yet. It's just like a clean kitchen counter where something could be made, if we're just not cluttering it up with that guy."

    He argued that even though former President Barack Obama was "charismatic" and considered by some to be a celebrity, "there were whole days when you didn't think about him. Remember that? Probably not, because you weren't thinking about him."

    And Colbert hoped that after Trump's term ends, people, including himself, he said, might be "nicer."

    "One of the things that I've found about this job is that I tend to reflect back the national tone, and that tone comes from the top," he explained. "The president's only emotions are 'I'm angry,' 'Look at me,' and 'I'm angry you're not looking at me.' And because he was the only thing we were focused on for the last four years, and this was entirely my responsibility, I've done harsher jokes than I've ever done in my entire life.

    "I'm mostly looking forward to the idea of knowing things again. The last four years have been an assault on objective reality … We have spent the last four years debating the value of the Enlightenment with a reality show host."

  • Trevor Noah Mocks Trump's Golfing Amid Election News

    Trevor Noah rejoiced in the news from Saturday that Joe Biden was projected to be president-elect, especially that it happened on a weekend so people could take to the streets to celebrate. 

    "One guy even found out at the golf course," he said, referencing President Trump, who drove by crowds of elated people as he returned to the White House. "I think we can all agree that is a terrible way to find out you're fired."

    On Biden's speech over the weekend, Noah commented that it was "almost weird" to hear a normal presidential address. "Wait, so we're not blaming anything on Hillary? Nothing? It's genuinely going to take some time getting used to speeches that sound like speeches."

    Calling the claim of a widespread plan to "steal the election" from Trump "batshit," Noah said, "you're telling me that the crafty Democrats have used their Satanic powers to steal the election, but for some reason they didn't steal the Senate? Because, what, they were using the free version of Satanic powers and taking the senate is a premium feature?"


  • Seth Meyers Recalls Joe Biden as Early 'Late Night' Guest

    Seth Meyers recalled asking former Vice President Joe Biden to be the second guest on his first Late Night show, feeling strongly that his friend Amy Poehler should be his first guest.

    "I did not believe then and do not believe now that I would ever have this job, if it wasn't for her," he said, explaining that despite asking the United States' then-vice president to follow Poehler, Biden "said without hesitation that it would be an honor to follow the great Amy Poehler."

    "I believe he said that for two reasons: Number one, he is at his core a decent human being, and number two, he knew that if we asked Amy to go second, it would be a whole thing," Meyers joked. 

    Meyers then showed off the presents that Amtrak fan Biden gave him, including a conductor's hat in his size and a train whistle, which Meyers explained has become increasingly valuable to him because he blows it after he tells his sons goodnight and before he does the show. "So every day that I look at it, I think about Joe Biden. I also think about Trump, because the last four years have totally blown," Meyers said, blowing the whistle.

    The NBC host also tweaked the assumption that Trump gave late night hosts a trove of material. He kicked off the show by greeting his audience before noticing that the rest of his cue card was empty.

    "Huh, I guess we were over-reliant on him," Meyers mused.

  • Stacey Abrams: "Orange Menace of Putrescence" Will No Longer Occupy White House

    Joining Stephen Colbert on Monday night, Stacey Abrams reacted to many crediting her as the reason Georgia turned blue and secured a Joe Biden win. The Southern state has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton, but Abrams has been praised for her efforts in working to get Georgia citizens to register and take to the polls.

    Abrams recounted seeing Biden's numbers in Georgia rise last week and feeling hopeful. "This was the first time I've woken up in a November without curling into the fetal position first," Abrams told Colbert. "The numbers got bigger and bigger and we got happier and happier. "

    When asked what she would say to those questioning whether the Democratic Party truly won the election amid claims of fraud, Abrams laughed and said, "We really won." She also added that it's a "big deal" to know that "an orange menace of putrescence" will "no longer be able to occupy the White House." Colbert jokingly began writing down Abrams' comment to reference in the future.

    Abrams also praised Biden for being "an incoming president who has moral leadership and character and who actually believes in science and facts." She celebrated that America now gets to see a "change in the face of leadership" through Harris, who made history after becoming the country's first woman elected to that position as well as the first Black and South Asian person in the role.

    "Women of color, in particular, can see themselves in the highest positions in the land," Abrams said before quipping, "Oh, did I mention Trump is leaving? That's a big win. We can get the rest of it done."

    With many celebrating a Trump loss, including Colbert, who said earlier in the show that "after four years, Americans can exhale," Abrams admitted she isn't giving herself much freedom to celebrate.

    "I had about 17 minutes on Saturday afternoon and I'm good. We've got to win two Senate races," she said.

  • Michael Moore Won't Make a Trump Documentary

    Oscar-winning documentarian Michael Moore joined The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Thursday night where he celebrated the election results and discussed his letter to President-Elect Joe Biden.

    Moore's appearance on The Late Show came the same day that he wrote a lengthy open letter, to President-elect Joe Biden. Speaking more on the letter, Moore explained that he spoke a lot about faith given he and Biden are both Catholics. "He and you and I we all went to Catholic school and we learned the same lessons," Moore said, with Colbert also mentioning that he was "really struck" about the conversations he's had with Biden about faith."He's a man of faith and that is going to serve us very well," Moore said.

    He also explained that Biden choosing Harris to be his running mate, despite their spar of words during the first Democratic debate, also spoke of his "moral compass." "He held no grudge. He just didn't forgive. He put her on the ticket. Who would do that?"

    Moore said that the beginning of a Biden and Harris term has symbolized a"positive sign" overall. "We are going to be in the polar opposite era than the four years that we just went through," he said.

    Moore may be no stranger to taking on politicians in his documentaries, but he said don't expect a Trump-centered film from him."I would not make that film in part because who would want to watch a film that showed you the last four years? The worst thing I could do to people is show them the last four years."