Late Night Tackles 2018 midterms
December 5, 2018

"Hey you guys, remember the midterms?" Stephen Colbert asked on Tuesday's Late Show. "Well, guess what? The fun's not over, because there is a huge scandal brewing in North Carolina." The state elections board has refused the certify the race in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, where Republican Mark Harris currently has a 905-vote lead, because of evidence that hundreds of absentee ballots may have been tampered with or destroyed to help the GOP candidate.

There are several red flags, including the large number of absentee ballots requested but not returned — "That never happens," Colbert said. "That's like paying to go to the movies and then not watching the movie" — and sworn affidavits from voters who say people came to their door and illegally collected their absentee ballots, "like Jehovah's I-hope-there-aren't-witnesses," Colbert explained. He introduced the apparent mastermind behind this "throw out the vote" effort, Leslie McCrae Dowless, noting his hiring by the Harris campaign and 1990s convictions for felony perjury and election fraud. "Look, a man like that should not be working for a congressional candidate — he should be a congressional candidate," Colbert joked.

Colbert breezed through a bunch of lighter news, including Netflix's toying with continuing to stream Friends — "Will they or won't they? This is the Ross and Rachel of me finding out what happens to Ross and Rachel!" — Tumblr banning porn, and the man who shot himself in the genitalia inside an Arizona Walmart, before he briefly returned to election fraud. "Meanwhile, an American institution is under attack, voting — but also french fries, because a Harvard professor is suggesting a healthy portion or fries contains only six," he said. "Six? Are you kidding? In most restaurants, the average serving size is haystack." He had a solution. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 15, 2018

"That blue wave keeps crashing on the beach — in the last 24 hours, two tight House races have been called for Democrats, one in California, one in New Jersey," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. His audience appeared to appreciate those wins. "You know who's not enjoying last Tuesday's election? The guy who lost, Donald Trump," Colbert said. President Trump has reportedly "retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment," he added. "Yes, Trump is ending his larval stage, and in just a few weeks he will emerge as a hideous, race-baiting butterfly."

The White House is so mired in Trump's anger, his staff has apparently been avoiding him. "They're all holed up in the one place he will never go: a salad bar," Colbert joked.

"You can tell the midterm results were way worse for Republicans than they initially let on from the way they're behaving," Seth Meyers said on Late Night. "And the more results we get from last week's midterm elections, the clearer it is that this was in fact a massive blue wave." He showed Trump declaring victory right after the elections, rubbing it in by highlighting some big races Trump bet big on and lost.

"As the results get worse for Republicans, they're getting more desperate, and they seem to be focusing their desperation on Florida," Meyers said. "Republicans have been spreading lies about nonexistent voter fraud without any evidence, and you'll never guess who they're blaming for that nonexistent voter fraud." (It's Hillary Clinton. Meyers laughed.) "So why, why is Trump freaking out?" he asked. Special Counsel Robert Mueller. "For two years, Trump has acted like a guy who's afraid the walls are closing in, and that was when Republicans were in charge of everything. Now Democrats control the House and Mueller can make news again." Watch below. Peter Weber

November 14, 2018

"The midterms — just like a trip to Ikea, they're lasting much longer than expected," Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show. Arizona just decided its Senate race on Monday and Georgia is still trying to figure out its next governor, "but the real post–Election Day drama is happening, as always, in Florida, the Florida of states. Both the Senate and the governor's races are too close to call, and the Republicans there aren't handling the stress well."

If President Trump is shouting fraud in "an election that he's not a part of, imagine if he loses in 2020 — like, he's gonna be holed up in the Oval Office like Scarface," Noah said. "The truth is that Trump and [Republican Gov. Rick] Scott are lying — nobody's stealing the election. But that doesn't mean that Florida doesn't have big issues with its voting. All over Florida, the elections have been a cluster--k, and everyone is contributing to it," starting with Broward County's Brenda Snipes, a Democrat, but also Republican officials.

"Okay, now look, I sympathize with people who were displace by the hurricane, but that doesn't mean one guy can just make up new ways to vote," Noah said. "Basically in Florida right now, there are no rules — everything is just chaos. And it's not just the election commissioners, because much like the people of Florida, it turns out the recount machines are old and falling apart." He had an easy Florida-specific fix America might want to consider implementing.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel checked in with Opa Locka County voting supervisor Gene Moran (Fred Willard), and he was really behind in the count.

And back at The Daily Show, Michael Kosta had a succinct, probably NSFW explanation for what's going on in Florida. Or something. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 13, 2018

Florida is recounting the votes in three statewide races, including Senate and governor, after Republicans Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis saw their Election Night leads shrink to under half a percentage point. "Right now we don't know who won," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "Of course, this is Florida, so once they factor in the write-in votes, we might be looking at Sen. Gator Wearing Sunglasses."

"Republicans have been skeptical of this recount from the beginning," Colbert said, and President Trump has tweeted out baseless and bizarre theories about voter fraud, including a suggestion about when to stop the vote count. "Go with Election Night?" Colbert asked. "You can't just pick the time that was best for you." He imagined trying that with a baseball game where your losing team was ahead in the 7th inning. Trump also "freaked out" about Arizona's now-resolved Senate race and asked if we should call a new election, Colbert noted. He was game: "Sure, how about 2016?"

In Florida, "election officials were still counting mail ballots and provisional ballots, which is totally normal and happens in every election, but Trump and Scott have been lying and spreading baseless conspiracy theories about nonexistent voter fraud," Seth Meyers said on Late Night, after bringing up various fraud schemes tied to Trump, Scott, and Trump's acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker. He was also unimpressed with Trump's suggestion about stopping the vote on election night: "Hey man, you don't get to just stop counting the votes because you're ahead. Trump's like a guy who starts a game of H-O-R-S-E, scores one basket, and says, 'Actually, we were playing H, so I win.'"

"The guys lying about nonresistant voter fraud are the ones who committed actual fraud," Meyers concluded. "A grifter president put a grifter in charge of the Justice Department and is trying to get another grifter elected to the Senate." Watch below. Peter Weber

November 8, 2018

"There were so many historic firsts last night," Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's post-midterms Kimmel Live. "The first Native American lesbian was elected to Congress, the first Muslim women elected to Congress, and guess what? Mike Pence is gonna have to swear them all in. ... Actually there were two Native American women elected to Congress, one of them is Sharice Davids, and if you're Donald Trump, Sharice Davids is your worse nightmare: A lesbian, Native American former MMA fighter who's been watching you call Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas' for two years now and could beat your a-- if she wanted to."

"In Nevada, they elected the first dead brothel owner to the state legislature — what a time to be alive, right? Or dead, I guess," Kimmel said. "This district is so Republican that rather than a Democrat, they voted for a horny ghost. And it must be a weird feeling to lose an election to a dead pimp, so we tracked down Dennis Hof's opponent, Lesia Romanov." She told Kimmel that when Hof died, she knew her chance at winning did, too.

At The Late Show, a fake Leisa Romanov gave her concession speech, saying there was one thing that would have been worse than losing "to a dead pimp."

Hof was probably "the most remarkable trailblazer to win last night," Trevor Noah joked at The Daily Show. Sure, "a dead pimp won the election with 70 percent of the vote," he added, but that "means there were at least 30 percent of voters who were like, 'That's a step too far.'" Look, "I don't know if a dead pimp assemblyman should be in office, but I definitely think it should be a TV show in primetime," Noah said. So he and Roy Wood Jr. put together a preview. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 8, 2018

Jimmy Kimmel mocked President Trump's election night "victory lap" pronouncement that the midterms were "very close to a complete victory for Republicans." Right, he said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live, "in the same way the World Series was very close to a complete victory for the Dodgers. I mean other than Games 1, 2, 4, and 5, they crushed it!"

Reality might explain why "the president was in a foul and spiteful way this morning," Kimmel said, "calling out all the Republican losers who didn't embrace him." He played the clip. "He is an absolute child, he is," Kimmel laughed. And Trump's "nasty back-and-forth with Jim Acosta of CNN" felt like "it might turn into a wrestling match." That video, too, produced mirthful laughter from Kimmel. "Despite claiming victory, the president was in quite a mood today, and he wasn't just mad at Jim Acosta — he lashed out at just about everybody," he said, playing another highlight reel. "I hope someone had the sense to hide the nuclear button today, put it under a cup or something." Watch Kimmel embrace the lighter side of Trump's meltdown below. Peter Weber

November 8, 2018

Tuesday was the midterms, and "the Democrats ended the night riding high," Trevor Noah said on Wednesday's Daily Show. "That's right, after eight years of being weaker than Ben Carson's coffee, the House Democrats finally have a semblance of power. And when the day started, I honestly thought this was going to be the day's big story," he added. "But then President Trump stood up and said: 'No, no, no, you guys might have taken control of the House, but the news cycle will always be mine.'"

So Trump held a press conference, and "it was an hour and a half of Crazy Trump at his finest," Noah said, with Trump attacking reporters, misunderstanding foreigners, and telling House Democrats he is now going to blame them for everything. "As shameless as that is, I somehow appreciate that Trump just told us his entire evil plot," like "a clichéd movie bad guy," he said. "So now, at this point in the day, we're like, 'alright, forget the Democrats and the House, clearly the big news of the day is now going to be Trump and his fiery press conference.'" Nope again.

Trump firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions — or saying "'Rumpelstiltskin' and the curse was broken" — is "huge news," Noah said. With Sessions gone, "Trump can appoint a guy he knows for sure will protect his a--" from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, "a guy who could kill the Mueller investigation if he wanted to. And from the looks of it, the guy Trump picked for the job would be more than happy."

So "let's face it, the Mueller investigation is in danger," Noah said, but there's a bigger concern: "You realize that all of this happened in one day, and one day after the midterms. And this is what freaks me out: For the last two years, that's been Trump when he's winning. Now we're gonna see Trump when he's losing." Watch below. Peter Weber

November 7, 2018

The big takeaway from Tuesday's midterm elections is that "Democrats control the House," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's live Late Show. "They can now open investigations into the president, and we'll finally find out if Donald Trump has ever done anything unethical. That's the banner headline of the evening: Democrats take House. Everything after this is just gravy, okay? This is it: Democrats have taken control of half of one of the three branches of government. All the GOP has is the other half of Congress, the Supreme Court, and a president who does whatever he wants."

"All day it felt like today like America was in the doctor's office waiting for our STD results to come back," Jimmy Kimmel said on his live Kimmel Live. "And no matter what the outcome, whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, I think we can all agree that the big loser this year is all of our Thanksgiving dinners."

"The Democrats flipped the House — President Trump is reportedly already blaming Paul Ryan," Kimmel said. "He's so disappointed in the speaker of the House, he might start calling him Don. Jr. ... Republicans, as expected, keep control of the Senate, which is good news for the president and bad news for polar bears." He had some thoughts on Ted Cruz's victory, then showed people on the street reacting to the fake, newly elected Sen. Kid Rock (R-Mich.).

Maybe the "blue wave" turned out to be a "blue ripple," Seth Meyers said on Late Night, "but hey, if you've been in the desert for two years, a little splash of water feels like a damn tsunami." Seriously, Democrats winning control of the House is a big deal, he said. "Democrats now have subpoena power, and if you don't believe me, Trump was just photographed trying to sneak 20 years of tax returns out of the White House." Watch below. Peter Weber

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