Stephen Colbert Tackles Historic Midterm Elections In Live 'Late Show'

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert took the Late Show live for the midterms on Tuesday night. 

The host similarly broadcast his show, usually filmed a few hours before airing from the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, during the 2016 presidential election. As the results of that election rolled in, and it became clear that Donald Trump would be elected as the 45th President of the United States, Colbert had to manage his guests and crowd, which were clearly left-leaning, against the news. 

On Tuesday, Colbert was joined by The Circus' John Heilemann, who was also the host's guest in 2016, and Alex Wagner. In addition to the two political pundits, Colbert also welcomed fellow Daily Show alum and current Patriot Act host Hasan Minhaj to the Late Show's live event.

The host kicked off the show by “pretending to vote” in a pre-taped segment that quickly turned into a song about the 2016 election and compared America’s current state to a sinking submarine. “We may collapse from all the pressure but if we do at least we’ll all crumble together,” Colbert intoned.

During his opening monologue, Colbert addressed the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives. “That’s the first news of the evening…they can now open investigations into the President and we can finally find out if Donald Trump has ever done anything unethical,” the host said.

After showing footage of Fox News reporting the Democrats victory, Colbert said, “Is Donald Trump right? Is Fox the only not-fake news? Are we in the upside-down?” he asked, referencing Netflix’s Stranger Things.

After tossing to a clip of Trump saying that the midterms used to be “boring” and are now a much bigger deal, Colbert said, “Gee, I wonder why? It used to be super boring to run out of the pool screaming, but ever since I pooped in it, it became all the rage.”

Colbert did, of course, reference his 2016 live show. “If you remember our last live election show, well, that makes one of us. The bad news that night took me a bit off-guard, but tonight I’m prepared,” he said as he pulled out a bottle of bourbon.

Colbert was not the only late-night host to go live on Election Night as Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah also helmed live broadcasts of their programs.

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