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Jimmy Kimmel took his late-night ABC show live Tuesday night for the midterm elections, where he was joined by Showtime’s Who is America creator and star Sacha Baron Cohen, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and a hologram of George Washington.
During his opening monologue, Kimmel took shots at Donald Trump Jr. and the so-called “blue wave” describing theories that Democrats would dominate the midterms. Discussing the tense atmosphere accompanying midterm Election Day, considered a referendum on the Trump administration, Kimmel joked, “All day today it felt like America was in the doctor’s office waiting for our STD results to come in.”
He added, “I think we can all agree that the big losers are our Thanksgiving dinners.”
Kimmel also mentioned Tuesday’s poor weather in certain states across the country, and cited research that bad weather can increase voter turnout among Republicans. “Liberals tend to stay home when the weather is bad because our vegan leather shoes melt,” Kimmel joked.
The ABC host then showed footage of a campaign tent for Florida governor candidate Andrew Gillum breaking, and water pouring inside: “That’s that blue wave everyone is talking about,” Kimmel said.
Throughout the night, Kimmel consulted what he called his “Wall of Wolf Blitzers,” which featured 11 real versions of the CNN host and Kimmel’s dad, who looks like Blitzer. (Kimmel has made this joke on the show before.) Also featured during the show was a “Lie Witness News” sketch that saw a Live! correspondent taking to Hollywood Boulevard to ask pedestrians to respond to Kid Rock winning the Michigan Senate Race (a fictional scenario, though most featured on the show didn’t know it).
Kimmel additionally welcomed a hologram of George Washington, to whom the late-night host broke the news that Trump was president and Twitter had been invented.
Before his Borat sketch, Cohen first appeared as a guest on Kimmel’s show, entering wearing an “I Voted” sticker, which perplexed Kimmel. When the ABC host asked Cohen how he exercised Americans’ right to the franchise as a British citizen, Cohen said, “You just go in and you vote … It’s not hard. You just call up your agent and sort it out.”
Cohen then reviewed some of Who Is America?‘s most viral moments with Kimmel. The actor said, for instance, he was “surprised” that Dick Cheney signed a waterboard for one sketch. He added that he realized he had no backstory to his character 20 minutes before Cheney arrived. “Mr. Cheney, at the age of 8, I went to school with a lunchbox under one arm and a gas mask under the other,” Cohen says he eventually told the former vice president.
Cohen called Jason Spencer, a former Georgia U.S. representative who resigned after mooning Cohen and saying a racial slur four times on Who Is America?, “a wonderful human being.”
“The amazing thing is that he did not resign for 48 hours” after his episode aired, Cohen said. “Which I actually quite respect.”
Cohen also said that for one sketch, in which he told Kingston, Arizona, citizens that he was going to build a “state-of-the-art” mosque in their town, a production member built him what he called a “bulletproof clipboard” in case one of the attendees decided to draw a firearm on the performer.
Cohen’s appearance was the first television appearance the actor has made since his show stirred up serious controversy over the summer.
Cohen’s show targeted many high-profile political and media figures such as Bernie Sanders, Roy Moore, O.J. Simpson and Sarah Palin (though her bit never made it to air).
Kimmel wasn’t the only late-night host to broadcast live Tuesday, as Stephen Colbert’s Late Show on CBS, Seth Meyers’ Late Night on NBC and Trevor Noah’s Daily Show on Comedy Central also held live editions of their programs.
During Garcetti’s appearance, the L.A. mayor addressed rumors that he may be running for president in 2020: “Certain days I think everyone who’s a patriot should think about running even if they have a snowball’s chance, and other days I think I don’t want to be away from my life and my family and L.A. I’m thinking about it,” Garcetti said.
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