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How Late-Night Hosts Reacted to the Trump Impeachment Inquiry News

Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert. Photo: Vulture and YouTube

Yesterday, the news dropped that many late-night shows have been training for: Following a scandal involving a whistle-blower claiming that Trump tried to extort Ukraine to get dirt on Joe Biden’s son, Nancy Pelosi announced that formal impeachment proceedings are in the works against the president. It’s huge news for the country, and huge news for late-night hosts’ punchlines. So how did the hosts react? Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Trevor Noah, Conan O’Brien, and James Corden all had something to say about it, so we’ve rounded them all up for you in one easy place.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert dove right into the story for his opening monologue on The Late Show: “Lordy, what a day. You really feel the ground shifting under your feet. But if you’re at home and you’ve got a seatbelt on your couch, number one: Why? Number two: Buckle up.” After running through a list of all the terrible things Trump has done before the Ukraine scandal broke, Colbert said, “Every time, people have asked ‘Is this the thing? Surely this must be the thing.’ And every time, it wasn’t the thing. But here’s the thing: There’s a new thing, and it might be the thing.” Rolling the clip of Pelosi’s announcement prompted a standing ovation and huge cheers from Colbert’s audience, to which Colbert replied, “Okay, but how do you feel?”

Late Night With Seth Meyers

Pelosi’s announcement came late in the day yesterday, which is probably why Meyers’s coverage was just a quick joke during a longer news segment. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced this evening that Democrats will open a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump. I had my doubts in the past, but I think this time, she’s serious,” Meyers said, cutting to a graphic of Pelosi wearing Braveheart face paint. Presumably, tonight’s “A Closer Look” will be a little more in-depth.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

On his ABC show, Jimmy Kimmel commented on Pelosi’s decision to finally go ahead with impeachment proceedings after months of refusing to consider it: “She’s been very reluctant to do this, but once again, Donald Trump is doing what he does best: forcing a woman to do something she didn’t want to do.”

The Daily Show

Over on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah opened up his impeachment coverage by saying, “After two years of avoiding it, Trump may finally face articles of impeachment — which, believe me, he is not happy about. It’s impeachment, which Trump hates, plus articles, which he hates even more.” While recapping the Ukraine-whistle-blower scandal, Noah commented, “It’s an abuse of power, it’s extortion, and maybe worst of all, it’s asking a foreign country to meddle in America’s election — which is the one thing that, if you were Donald Trump, you should stay away from.”


While Conan O’Brien doesn’t usually dip into politics too heavily on his TBS show, he still dedicated a joke to yesterday’s big news. In a dig to Sean Spicer, O’Brien said, “We don’t know who the whistle-blower is yet, but we do know they’ll end up on Dancing With the Stars.”

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

O’Brien wasn’t the only one to use Dancing With the Stars as an impeachment-joke punchline last night. During his opening monologue, Jimmy Fallon said, “The whole thing is moving very fast. We found out about the Ukraine scandal last week, the impeachment inquiry is starting this week, which means Trump will be on Dancing With the Stars next week.” O’Brien poked fun at the excitement of MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow at the end of his segment, while Fallon decided to go after Maddow’s colleague Chris Hayes for some unfortunate Champagne bottle-shaking hand-gesturing.

The Late Late Show With James Corden

And finally, on The Late Late Show, James Corden offered up a snarky reaction to Pelosi’s big announcement. “You heard Pelosi! Finally the time for talking about impeachment is over. It’s time to inquire about impeachment! This is it, guys! Let the talking stop and the inquiring begin!” he said. “At this rate, Democrats should have Trump impeached by the last six months of his second term.” He had a similar reaction to the news that 180 House Democrats are now in favor of impeachment: “It’s like the old saying goes: Work with a foreign government to undermine a democratic election once, shame on you. Do it twice, we are going to inquire about the possibility of doing something this time, maybe, we’ll see, possibly, I don’t know.”

As Fallon said, this story is moving very fast, and today the transcript of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president was released, so expect a second wave of late-night host reactions tonight.

How Late-Night Hosts Reacted to the Impeachment Inquiry News