Screengrab via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube

Stephen Colbert tries to make sense of the election results—and fails

'Above all, we as a nation agree that we should never, ever have another election like this one.'


Michelle Jaworski


Published Nov 9, 2016   Updated Feb 28, 2020, 8:57 pm CST

Stephen Colbert, like many Americans, probably expected Election Day to play out much differently.

As was the case in his Colbert Report days, he taped a live election special on Showtime and tracked it like any network would with his own humorous twist. But as the results continued to pile in and a Donald Trump presidency looked more certain, Colbert found himself at a loss for words.

He noted how maddening the results were, noting that the rest of the world will be asking if America has collectively lost its mind. He didn’t have the final Electoral College vote in toward the end of his special, but he openly wondered in a likely improvised monologue how we ended up this way and how politics became so poisonous.

He thought about his mother, who was born two days before women were allowed to vote in their first presidential election and how she once said she wished she could have voted for Hillary Clinton before she died. He also hopes that we never have another election like this again.

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“Politics is everywhere, and that takes up precious brain space we could be using to remember all the things we actually have in common,” Colbert said. “So whether your side won or lost, we don’t have to do this shit for a while.”

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*First Published: Nov 9, 2016, 10:34 am CST