How the Late-Night Hosts Reacted to Joe Biden's Inauguration
Wednesday night was filled with jubilation from late-night hosts as Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and James Corden all celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s exit from the White House.
The hosts, who all publicly condemned the Trump presidency, didn’t hold back as they talked about the Inauguration Day ceremony and the outgoing president, widely discussing the relief they felt at the arrival of a new administration.
Here are the highlights from The Late Show, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night, and The Late Late Show:
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Going live with his wife, Evie, by his side, Colbert didn’t try to suppress his excitement.
“Well, you did it. You survived the last four years and your reward, a shiny new, old president,” he quipped. “The inauguration was a joyful occasion. Like I do with most happy things, I cried a lot. It was extremely emotional and not entirely in the way I expected, because I have to tell you, I have zero gloat in me. There is no end zone dance here. What I feel is enormous relief.”
He went on to share that the Biden presidency has made him look back on the last four years.
“Watching the inauguration today, I recognize just how worried I’ve been for my country,” Colbert admitted. “We’ve all been too deep in it for the last four years to truly realize what we were deeply in. It’s like we were on a ship that’s been in a storm for four years and we just stepped onto dry land. I want to kiss the ground, but, you know, COVID, so I’m just gonna fist bump it.”
Colbert also had a little fun with the fact that it snowed briefly during the ceremony, singing, “Oh, the last guy in charge was frightful, but the new one seems delightful. And now there’s four years to go, President Joe, President Joe, President Joe!”
Acknowledging the historic swearing in of Vice President Kamala Harris, he joked, “It’s a moment that future generations will look back on and say, ‘Wow, that took a long time.'”
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Fallon too expressed relief at the new administration, joking, “It was a bright, sunny day in Washington, and now we finally have a president who knows not to stare directly at the sun. Seriously, anyone else feel like they just lost 280 pounds?”
The comedian also joked about how other countries were reacting to the news, saying, “Somehow we made it to the inauguration. Today Canada wrapped us in a foil blanket while Mexico offered us soup. It feels like the country is back. Sure, the GPS took us on some crazy back roads for the last four years but now we’re back on Main Street and we can tell people we were lost.”
Fallon also took the opportunity to poke fun at some pop culture news, joking, “Biden is taking over at a time when the country has never felt more deeply divided, and I mean deeply divided. We don’t even have peace among the cast of Sex and the City.”
In addition to acknowledging Biden’s victory, Fallon also saved some jokes for Harris, saying, “Not only is she the first female Vice President, she’s the first Black VP, the first South Asian VP, and the first person to be considered cool while married to a guy named Doug.”
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Kimmel didn’t hold back, making some well-placed barbs at the outgoing president.
“I don’t know about America yet, but I feel great again,” he joked. “Today this country showed the world that there is no My Pillow large enough to smother our democracy.”
He also referenced the day’s performers, saying, “To paraphrase Michelle Obama, when they go low, we go J.Lo. And we did.”
He concluded by joking, “You know what they say, don’t cry because it’s over, cry because it happened.”
The Late Late Show With James Corden
The British host mostly let his American band members speak about how they felt regarding the historic day. But he did joke, “Democracy prevails, but the game definitely went into overtime.”
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Starting off his signature “Closer Look” segment, Meyers looked around before joking, “Wow, that’s what it feels like when you’re not grinding your teeth, I’d forgotten. And yeah, I can see colors again.”
Of the 46th president’s first speech, Meyers joked, “Biden talked more about unity than a marriage counselor who only gets paid if the couple stays together.”
He added of Biden, “Like any president, Biden has his strengths and weaknesses. But clearly one strength is his ability to give the nation a pep talk and in many ways his inaugural address was basically the halftime speech America needed.”
He also noted that he felt Trump’s exit would greatly benefit the country, saying, “Donald Trump is no longer the President of the United States and look, this isn’t going to solve all of our problems, but it will remove a big one. If you’re addicted to heroin, gambling and prostitutes and you only quit heroin, that’s still a huge step.”
For more from the Inauguration Day festivities, watch the clip below.
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