Late-night hosts pivoted from candidate Donald Trump to President-elect Trump on Wednesday night, combining punchlines and audience group counseling after the billionaire's defeat of Hillary Clinton, the AP reports. A selection:
- "For years I've come out every night and asked how you're doing, but I've never meant it. Tonight I actually mean it. Does anyone need a hug?" Conan O'Brien said in his monologue Wednesday on TBS. Despite divisions among voters, he said, "the optimist in me chooses, today, to be happy that we have fair and free elections at all. It's an amazing thing. "
- ABC's Jimmy Kimmel took viewers through the stages of grief, including denial ("No, the host of the Celebrity Apprentice is not our president") and bargaining ("Maybe he'll only build the wall waist-high, to keep short people out") and, finally, acceptance. "No matter how you feel about it, Donald Trump is the president of the United States. Of America. So thank God we legalized marijuana yesterday," Kimmel said, referring to pot-related measures passed by voters in several states.
- Like O'Brien, Stephen Colbert began his monologue by asking CBS' The Late Show studio audience how they were doing, drawing cheers and applause."I'm glad. That's better than I thought," he said, suggesting the country was facing "four very interesting years." "This is what it feels like when America's made great again. I was wondering, and I was really hoping it would feel better because this sucks."
- CBS' Late Late Show host James Corden, recalling the excitement of moving from England to America with his wife and son two years ago, said after the "nastiest" of campaigns it was critical to remember the nation's values.
- Daily Show host Trevor Noah feigned deep confusion at Trump winning through the electoral college despite having received fewer votes than Clinton, the Huffington Post reports. He showed the Trump University logo and quipped: "So once again, Trump benefits from a bullshit college."
- Seth Meyers, who had sharply criticized Trump's campaign on his Late Night show on NBC, struck a philosophical tone. "I felt a lot of emotions last night and into today: some sadness, some anger, some fear. But I'm also aware that those are the same emotions a lot of Trump supporters felt, emotions that led them to make their choice. And it would be wrong for me to think my emotions are somehow more authentic than their emotions. We're always better as a society when we have empathy for one another, so I would just say to those Trump voters, congratulations. I sincerely hope he addresses your concerns."
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