Late Night tackles Trump's final act
6:35 a.m.

"Well, guys, it is the last night of Donald Trump's presidency, and I don't know what tomorrow's gonna feel like," Jimmy Fallon said on Tuesday's Tonight Show. "Probably like that moment when they pull the nasal swab out of your nose." Seriously, "I think everyone's ready for Trump to move on," he said. "This afternoon, even the Lincoln Memorial stood up and helped Trump pack."

The Late Late Show's James Corden was so happy about the imminent end of Trump jokes, he sang about it, channeling Les Misérables with a Broadway cast.

But Corden did have "one more day" of Trump jokes. Trump declining to meet with Biden or attend his inauguration is "a real break with tradition, but it will ring in a new tradition of me not caring where Trump is or what he's doing," he said, following up with a joke about Biden's advanced age. "The last time a president skipped the inauguration was in 1869 — and Joe Biden said he didn't approve of it back then, either."

Late Night's Seth Meyers was on the same page: "President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be escorted into Wednesday's ceremony by drum lines from the alma maters. Harris, of course, attended Howard University, while Biden went to the University of Bedrock." That was a Flintstones joke. "We're gonna be fine in a Biden administration," he laughed. "In her farewell message yesterday, first lady Melania Trump said the last four years have been 'unforgettable.' 'Challenge accepted,' said Maker's Mark."

"It's the end of an error," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. "It feels like the night before my wedding and my divorce, all rolled into one." He graded Trump on his campaign promises, predicted dark futures for him and his coterie, and wondered if being president was worth all the humiliation and disgrace for Trump. "For him it probably was," he concluded. But "this is not how Donald Trump wanted to go out. He was planning a procession and a flyover; instead he got an insurrection and a comb-over."

"Tonight is the last show we'll do during the presidency of He Who Shall Remain Shameless," Stephen Colbert celebrated at The Late Show. "It has been interesting, in the same way that riding in a car going over a cliff is thought-provoking." Still, "throughout all the craziness and threats to everything we hold sacred, there was one hero who kept our country together, and that's you, the American people," he said. "In the end, democracy kicked his ass all the way back to Florida. And in this case, I, for one, will never be sick of winning." Peter Weber

January 19, 2021

"On Wednesday, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, crossing both fingers, "but after the sacking of the U.S. Capitol, authorities have called in 25,000 National Guard troops. So officially, this is not a peaceful transfer of power." In new footage of the violent Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, "we see the MAGA mob on the Senate floor rifling through documents," but the video mostly proves "these fellows aren't exactly the sharpest horns on the headdress," Colbert said. "These are the dumbest people to attempt an insurrection since the failed Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Doof."

"On his last full day in office, the president is prepared to issue around 100 pardons and commutations," Colbert said. "Why so many? Well, there's reportedly a lucrative market for pardons. Finally, POTUS is running a business that makes money. He's calling it the Olive Pardon."

"Of course, the last few days of any presidency is all about cementing your legacy and thanking those members of your administration who worked hardest to ensure your place in history — so on Friday he met with CEO of MyPillow Mike Lindell," Colbert deadpanned. "But it wasn't all pillow talk. A sharp-eyed cameraman caught a snapshot of Lindell's notes," featuring "topics like 'martial law' and 'Insurrection Act.' Hmm, he seems just a little fascist-adjacent. He might want to rebrand as the Mein-Pillow Guy."

The Late Show also had a mock warning for consumers about MyPillow and Lindell. Watch below. Peter Weber

January 19, 2021

"Well guys there's only 36 hours left in Trump's presidency," Jimmy Fallon said on Monday's Tonight Show. Still, "with Trump, 36 hours still seems like a long time, right? It's like if someone said, 'You're only going to be on fire for 36 more hours,'" he joked. "Normally after a president's term they show before-and-after photos to prove how much the job aged him. This time they're showing before-and-after photos of all of us."

"During his last hours in office, Trump is planning to issue pardons but, it's reported, not going to give pardons to himself or his family members," Fallon said. "Trump is the only president in history who decides not to pardon himself and you immediately think, 'What's he up to?'"

More footage has come out showing what happened inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 siege, "and it's a lot worse than a lot of people guessed," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. "Fortunately, these geniuses taped it all for us, they documented their crimes for the FBI to see." He ran through some of the day's terrible ironies, adding, "Hopefully tomorrow we'll begin the process of turning these real-life events back into headlines from The Onion, where they belong."

"Trump has the lowest average approval rating of any president in the modern era," Kimmel said. "The only one to leave office with a lower rating than that was Kevin Spacey. But fortunately, Trump isn't the type who cares about silly things like approval and ratings." Seriously, "maybe Donald Trump's biggliest accomplishment over the past four years is he did so much crazy stuff, we forgot about how ridiculous his hair looks," he added. "Tomorrow, Trump is expected to issue about 100 pardons," and "pardons are a weird thing to put a criminal in charge of, but ever the showman, not only is Trump doing these up big, he's turned it into a made-for-TV event."

"By my watch, 48 hours left in Trump's presidency," and his last-ditch "100 pardons and commutations" are apparently "just for starters," Conan O'Brien said on Conan, teeing up his own video of Trump's "Pardonpallooza" spree.

Yes, "Trump is reportedly planning to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations," Seth Meyers said at Late Night. "He said he wanted to give so many so that it would be even more hilarious when [Rudy] Giuliani doesn't get one." Watch below. Peter Weber

January 15, 2021

"As if there wasn't enough drama in Washington, there are now reports that President Trump's relationship with Rudy Giuliani is in trouble," Jimmy Fallon said on Tuesday's Tonight Show. "Things are so bad that Trump is telling his staff not to pay Rudy's legal fees" or reimburse his travel expenses without Trump's approval. "Rudy seemed blindsided by the decision, although when hair dye is constantly leaking into your eyes, it's hard to see anything coming," he joked. "At least Rudy racked up a ton of frequent liar miles."

As his term ends in toxic shambles, "these are sad times for Trump, he wanted to listen to 'Everybody Hurts' but he just got banned from Spotify," Fallon joked. "Trump can't even go to his own bathroom without getting depressed. His hair dye reminds him of Rudy Giuliani, his Q-tips remind him of Mike Pence, and his toilet reminds him of Twitter."

"I imagine Trump is sitting in the Oval Office just writing angry notes on paper, crumpling them up, and just yelling 'Tweet!" James Corden said at The Late Late Show. "With Giuliani on the outs, Trump is looking for a new lawyer to defend him at his impeachment trial," and he's evidently landed on John Eastman, who makes Rudy look and sound sane, he said. "At least Eastman is going to do all the work pro bono — he doesn't know that yet, but he is."

"They say Trump isn't even taking Rudy's calls anymore," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. "But this is what Trump does: Even if you don't jump ship, sooner or later he'll throw you off it. Rudy Giuliani traveled around the world, he went from being America's Mayor to the parking lot of a dildo store trying to dig up dirt for Trump. The only dirt he could find was coming out of his hair."

Poor Giuliani, "now he's going to have to make money on the side bottling Uncle Rudy's Original Skull Syrup," Stephen Colbert joked at The Late Show. He made a Giuliani fart joke, and grimaced at taxpayers forking out $144,000 so Jared and Ivanka's Secret Service detail can go to the bathroom in a rented apartment. "That is some expensive cr-p — which, I've got to say, is really on-brand for Ivanka," he joked. "These are men and women who literally would take a bullet for you. The least you could do is let them take a leak." Peter Weber

January 14, 2021

"The big story today is that the House voted to impeach President Trump for a second time," Jimmy Fallon said on Wednesday's Tonight Show. "It's honestly impressive: Trump got impeached December 2019 and January 2021, and botched COVID in between. Dude basically made a pandemic sandwich with impeachment bread." And "what made today's impeachment different than the first one is that it had bipartisan support," he said. "Yeah, 10 Republicans finally broke away from the president. Trump was so mad he started typing angry tweets about them on a calculator."

"I feel like I just took down my decorations from the last impeachment," Stephen Colbert joked at The Late Show. During the impeachment debate, "Republicans, for the most part, talked about how the president's followers attacking to keep him in power is bad, but it's not that bad," he said, running through both their arguments and also what the 10 impeaching Republicans had to say, ending with the big one: "That's how awful this president is! He has made me grateful to Liz Cheney! Can we impeach him for that?"

"Whatever they've said and done to support him in the past, I do want to commend those Republicans in the House who voted to hold Trump accountable," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. "It's not just a political risk, these Trump nuts will come to their house. But the rest of them? Crazy town. "Pushing this idea that the attack on the Capitol last week bore any resemblance to the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, it's not just dumb, it's disgusting," Kimmel said. "Stop comparing protesters marching to protect their rights with anarchists storming an election to strip us of ours. Stop it, you sound stupid." And was not impressed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's late effort to wash Trump out of his hair.

"Of course McConnell is pleased" with Trump's impeachment, Late Night's Seth Meyer said. "He's like a guy who robbed a bank, jumped on a helicopter to Fiji, and pulled up the rope ladder, leaving his accomplice stranded on the roof as the cops close in." Whatever happens in the Senate, he added. Trump will forever be "the only president to be impeached twice — in fact it's worse than that, he's the only president to be impeached twice and lose the popular vote twice. He'll be emblazoned in history as an embarrassment and disgrace." Watch him turn that into a Trivial Pursuit question below. Peter Weber

January 13, 2021

"Today, President Trump visited a town in Texas to mark the completion of the more than 400 miles of border wall," Jimmy Fallon said on Tuesday's Tonight Show. "When they heard Trump was coming to the border, Mexico was like, 'Whew, thank God that wall is here.' Yeah, what a time to celebrate the effectiveness of a wall," six days after a pro-Trump mob broke into the U.S. Capitol, he added. "You know your presidency is off the rails when you have to distract from your attempted coup with your giant symbol of racism."

The wall covers only 20 percent of the border, Fallon noted, so "in the end, Trump didn't finish building the wall and Mexico never paid for it, but other than that, pretty good." Trump signed the wall, "so that's two crimes he's committed in the past week: incitement of a riot and graffiti," he added. "Right now, writing on his border wall is the only place where Trump's allowed to post."

The Late Show had an old-school solution for Trump and other conservatives kicked off Twitter and other social media.

"Big T flew to Alamo, Texas, today to brag about his wall, and to remind the American people that he's not just a dangerous megalomanic, he's also a racist," Jimmy Kimmel said at Kimmel Live. "Should Trump even be allowed near the border? Isn't he a flight risk at this point? The scattered crowd in Alamo was treated to a Davy Crock-of-you-know-what from our nearly departed leader," he added, running through Trump's "bananas speech." The wall is only part Trump's "last tour of all his greatest failures this week," Kimmel joked. "Tomorrow he's spending the day with Eric."

Trump's visit to the border wall was "a nice reminder of how much the president hates people storming barriers and entering places they aren't legally allowed," James Corden deadpanned at The Late Late Show. "Do you remember three years ago, when we thought the most insane thing we'd have to worry about with Trump was that wall?"

Yes Trump visited the border wall at Alamo, Texas, Late Night's Seth Meyers joked. "Meanwhile, a confused Rudy Giuliani waited patiently, 300 miles away, at Al's Ammo." And in "the latest Quinnipiac poll, President Trump's approval rating's fallen to 33 percent," he added. "Apparently most of his supporters didn't want to use their one phone call to answer the poll." Peter Weber

January 12, 2021

Many Republicans are urging "unity" and "healing" after a violent mob of President Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, and The Late Show illustrated its response Monday night.

House Democrats have introduced a resolution to impeach Trump — again — for inciting insurrection, and "some people say impeaching Trump will divide the country," Jimmy Fallon said at The Tonight Show. "Really? How much more divided can the country get? We're currently in a state of Monopoly game after Thanksgiving." Nearly all social media companies kicked Trump off their platforms, he added. "Trump started this year thinking he should be on Mount Rushmore, now he can't even get on Instagram. Seriously, in one weekend, Trump's phone became a $2,000 flashlight."

Now that he's permanently banned from his "precious" Twitter, Trump's "just getting Kayleigh McEnany to write his tweets on poster board and hold them out by the underpass," Stephen Colbert joked at The Late Show. What Trump's GOP "unity" chorus needs to understand "is that if you flirt with fascism long enough, before you know it you're married with two kids, Adolf and Benito," he added. "What I learned in Sunday school is that in order for there to be reconciliation, there must first be repentance. That's why you don't begin confession with, 'Bless me, Father, I've done nothing wrong — antifa coveted my neighbor's wife.'"

The Daily Show highlighted the "real victims" of the attempted putsch: conservatives who lost Twitter followers.

Yes, "Twitter announced on Friday that it has permanently banned President Trump — sorry, there's just some news stories you don't want to ruin with a punchline," Late Night's Seth Meyers joked. But "I'm not as happy about it as I thought I'd be. It kind of feels like that moment in a shark movie where the fin slowly goes back under the water — like, he's still gonna ram the boat, but now I don't know from which side."

"I have to say, the only thing scarier than Donald Trump tweeting is Donald Trump not tweeting," Jimmy Kimmel agreed on Kimmel Live. "It's like when they put a bell on a cow." Meanwhile, "in Congress, Republicans are doing everything they can to stave off another impeachment vote," he added. "Several of them are saying nine days isn't enough time to hold impeachment hearings, and they've got a point. You know, usually when the Senate tries to ram through something that quickly it's a conservative Supreme Court justice." Peter Weber

December 8, 2020

Despite "Typhoid Rudy" Giuliani's "serious illness, the president has vowed to continue the fight against democracy," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. In "yet another huge blow to the president's coup attempt," he added, Georgia just "re-certified its presidential election results, once again finding Joe Biden as the winner following three counts of ballots. Well, like the saying goes, third time's the same as the first and the second time, only much more humiliating. But don't feel left out, Mr. President. Biden may have won the Peach State, but you got impeached, and that will never go away."

But Trump is still calling GOP state legislators and governors, begging them to reverse his loss. "Let's be clear here: If you throw out the votes, that's the end of democracy," Colbert said. "It's a short walk from 'Do us a favor, though,' to 'Make me Mussolini, bro.'"

"We are in the worst stage of the pandemic so far, and the outgoing president is laser-focused on two things: overturning the election results and counter-programming Joe Biden's inauguration," Seth Meyers said at Late Night. Even Trump says he's working uncharacteristically hard at his losing fight to not lose. "If the hardest you work is the three weeks after you were fired, that might be why you were fired," he noted. "I'm sure an exhausted nurse working a double shift in a COVID ward was psyched to hear the president bragging that he's working double shifts scream-tweeting at Fox News and sending his maskless gargoyle lawyer to spray COVID spittle on local elected officials."

"Trump actually called up the governor of Georgia and asked him to overturn the election results — also known as coup calling, because if you're not calling this an attempted coup, then what are you calling it?" Meyers asked. "Just because it's a dumb, lazy coup that won't work doesn't mean it isn't still an attempted coup." That's also true for Trump's many legal losses, he added. "I mean, how many times does Biden have to win these states to prove to people that it's real?"

Another way of asking that, The Late Show notes, is how many times must Trump lose?

The Daily Show suggested one possible solution: "Just For MAGA" hair dye and hallucinogen. Watch below. Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads