Stephen Colbert on Trump: 'There’s no reasoning with him at this point'

Late-night hosts rue Trump’s refusal to concede the election and mock his campaign’s ‘comedy of errors’ efforts to delegitimize Biden’s victory

Stephen Colbert on Trump: ‘He’s like a toddler too hopped up on sugar to go to bed.’
Stephen Colbert on Trump: ‘He’s like a toddler too hopped up on sugar to go to bed.’ Photograph: YouTube
Stephen Colbert on Trump: ‘He’s like a toddler too hopped up on sugar to go to bed.’ Photograph: YouTube

Last modified on Thu 12 Nov 2020 12.38 EST

Stephen Colbert

“It’s been five days since it became clear that Joe Biden won the election,” said Stephen Colbert on Wednesday’s Late Show, “at which point the current president refused to concede, duct-taped himself to the resolute desk and slapped a sign on the Oval Office door that says ‘No Dems Aloud.’”

Over a week since the polls closed, and days since all major American networks, including Trump’s beloved Fox News, declared Joe Biden the next president of the United States, Donald Trump has still refused to concede the election. “He’s like a toddler too hopped up on sugar to go to bed,” Colbert joked. “There’s no reasoning with him at this point, you just have to let him tire himself out, wait until he falls asleep on the kitchen floor and hope he hasn’t conspired with the dog to stage a coup.”

While Trump’s refusal to acknowledge his defeat has material consequences for the Biden transition team, the president-elect’s staff is not too concerned about the Trump campaign’s efforts to undermine the results, reportedly viewing its PR and legal efforts as a “comedy of errors”.

“Yes, it’s just like Shakespeare,” Colbert deadpanned. “The president’s fraud claims are much ado about nothing, because he’s pulling out these accusations of fraud right out of his Coriolanus.”

Samantha Bee

On Full Frontal, Samantha Bee celebrated Biden’s victory, but warned that Trump and his base are far from over and done. “While it will be nice to see the Secret Service drag Trump out of office, the president is leaving behind a wave of white resentment and disinformation,” she said. “Plus, out of spite, Trump is probably gonna upper-deck all the toilets in the West Wing.”

“As much as we’d like to think that a Biden presidency will instantly solve America’s problems, Trump will still exist and so will the base he fired up,” she added. “He’s also leaving enough filet-o-fish wrappers on the White House lawn that kids can jump in them like a pile of majestic autumn leaves.”

“Trump’s more ardent supporters are mad as hell and they aren’t going away,” Bee said, pointing to protests in several swing states in which Trump supporters chanted both “stop the count!” in Philadelphia and “count the votes!” in Arizona. Trump isn’t going anywhere, either – “he is an ageing, bitter, fame-hungry personality who craves the spotlight more than anything,” Bee explained. “The best we can hope for is that he’ll go on Dancing with the Stars and get lifted by his partner with so much force it shoots him into space.”

Still, “there’s a lot to celebrate right now,” she concluded. “We have a chance to reverse four years of an administration that ruled with cruelty, deceit and dangerous misinformation. But we have to stay vigilant, because Trumpism isn’t going away any time soon.”

Trevor Noah

“It has now been four – or possibly 12? – days since Joe Biden was declared president-elect and Kamala Harris’s sassy white friend,” said Trevor Noah on the Daily Show, and yet America’s “tenant-from-hell”, Donald Trump, still had not conceded the election – a choice Joe Biden called an “embarrassment” that “will not help the president’s legacy” in a speech on Monday.

“Joe Biden is right,” Noah said. “Does Donald Trump really want denying the election results to be his legacy? Because I’d like to remember him as the president who kidnapped kids and helped kill 240,000 Americans, not for this.

“Everyone around Trump knows he lost, but they’ve gotta all go along with the lie,” Noah added of reports that Trump had instructed his staff to prepare a budget and interview new hires for a non-existent second term. “That’s got to be exhausting, especially when you’re already running a fever from Covid.”

Biden was also right, Noah continued, in that Trump’s refusal to concede amounted to an embarrassment. “Donald Trump has never looked more pathetic than this, and yes I’m including the time he played tennis in his sport diapers,” Noah said. “Because the only way he could overturn the election is to prove that there has been nationwide voter fraud, and the truth is that’s just not panning out,” as no issues of substantive or widespread voter fraud have been reported. The New York Times and AP called election officials in every state; none reported any cases of widespread voter fraud.

In other words, “everyone knows Donald Trump lost. Even Trump knows that he lost,” said Noah. How did he know? Because Trump hasn’t been seen in public since Saturday, when Biden was declared the winner. “You think that if Donald Trump really thought he’d won he’d be hiding? No. We know this guy,” said Noah. “This guy would be holding a victory rally every single day. He’d be flying around the country on top of Air Force One doing that weird jerk-off dance that he does.”