Late night hosts lightly try to square the GOP's Liz Cheney purge with its avowed hatred of 'cancel culture'

Stephen Colbert
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube/The Late Show)

"Today, House Republicans voted to kick Liz Cheney out of her leadership role," Jimmy Fallon said on Wednesday's Tonight Show. "Man, Republicans haven't turned on someone this fast since they tried to murder Mike Pence. You could tell Dick Cheney was upset when he offered to take House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on a hunting trip to 'talk it over.'"

"I'm confused, I thought these guys hated 'cancel culture,'" Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. Cheney "said today she'll do everything she can 'to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.' You know she's used to this. Her dad was a Dick, too."

"Remember, she said she'll do 'everything' — and she's a Cheney!" Stephen Colbert said at The Late Show. "Her principle political patron is a man who was compared to Darth Vader — and took it as a compliment. She learned Washington infighting from a man who lived a year with no heartbeat. If I was Kevin McCarthy, I'd grow a beard and dig a spider hole."

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Instead, McCarthy and other House Republicans played the victim, Colbert said. "Railing against 'cancel culture' right before you cancel someone for holding a different opinion is like shooting a 'Just Say No' commercial then celebrating by doing a line of coke off of Nancy Reagan's a--."

Republicans are "like Dorothy at the end of Wizard of Oz: It turns out the cancel culture you were looking for was right there inside you all along," Late Night's Seth Meyer joked. "Liz Cheney is among the very last people in the world I want to side with," but "this is not about heralding her as a hero, because she isn't one. It's about the GOP's hard turn against Democracy. She's being punished for pointing out that Trump lost and that his claim that he won is a big lie."

"I respect Liz Cheney taking a stand against Trump, but it does feel a little less threatening when she's doing it as she's being removed from power," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "It's got the vibe of a villain falling into a volcano while saying 'This isn't over....!'" It's over, and to show where the GOP is headed, Noah profiled Cheney's replacement, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.). "Stefanik surrendered her principles, her dignity, and even her voice to Donald Trump," he said. And honestly, "it seems like it was kind of worth it." Peter Weber

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.