Both The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and Late Night With Seth Meyers went live last night to react to Trump supporters rioting at the Capitol in D.C. yesterday, and the move to go live paid off with two sharp monologues in which the hosts did their best to process the day’s events. (Elsewhere in late night, Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue revealed he doesn’t know how Plinko works; Jimmy Fallon only spoke for two minutes, never said Trump’s name, and argued that “this is not who we are.”) Colbert’s monologue took on a more emotional and exasperated tone — he called the Capitol riot “the most shocking, most tragic, least surprising thing I’ve ever seen” — while, over at Late Night, Meyers did his best to pick up the pieces of the day and be as direct as possible. Meyers issued a blunt call for Trump to be removed from office and prosecuted ASAP.
“I think it’s important, as the first draft of history is being written — and as we’re all processing what we witnessed today — to be as plainspoken and clear-eyed as possible,” Meyers said near the beginning of his monologue. “What we saw today was a violent insurgency and attempt to overthrow the legitimately elected government of the United States, and it was incited, directed, and encouraged by the president, Donald Trump, and more than a few members of the Republican party and right-wing media.” Similar to Colbert’s monologue, Meyers added that “we can be shocked, but we can’t be surprised” by the violence that played out on the news all afternoon.
Also like Colbert, Meyers name-checked Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz “and the rest of the sedition caucus in the House and Senate” for encouraging everything that led to the riot. “They’re responsible for this. They should wear this shame and disgrace for the rest of their lives. No one who aided and abetted today’s actions should ever be allowed to serve in the democracy they so clearly detest. There must be consequences for stoking violence and sedition; otherwise, we’re gonna see it again,” Meyers said. “And as for Trump, the only way our democracy will survive this harrowing moment is if he is immediately removed from office by either the Cabinet or the Congress and prosecuted. Anything less is tacit permission to continue to use his office and and his influence, after he leaves office, to foment sedition and dismantle democracy.”
Meyers wrapped up his monologue by emphasizing the importance of Trump being removed from office — as well as anyone in the government who stands in the way of that goal. “Multiracial, pluralistic democracy is fragile and precious, and it requires our vigilant stewardship and protection, and anyone not willing to forward that project with the fullness of their effort must be shamed and disgraced and removed from office,” he said. “And that must start immediately with Donald Trump. We are gonna try our best tonight to process what happened. I promise if you come back tomorrow, we will have jokes.”