Speed Reads

Last Night on Late Night

Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel blanch at how close Trump and his lawyers got to stealing the election

Stephen Colbert began Tuesday's Late Show by noting that he won an Emmy on Sunday night, but the celebration was short-lived. "Winning this Emmy was a great way to take my mind off the fact that our democracy is in deep trouble," he said, pointing to revelations in the new Bob Woodward-Robert Costa book. "Peril is full of things you wish you didn't need to know, like that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was worried the ex-president might launch a nuclear strike to distract from the election, that our democracy was saved by Dan Quayle, and that the former president's legal team laid out a six-step plan for Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election."

"This blueprint for a fascist coup" was written by John Eastman, a "disgraced former law professor," Colbert said, describing "how Eastman's evil plan was supposed to work." Yeah, "that's not winning an election, that's grabbing power by a pussy — but when you're a Republican, they let you do it," he said. "Luckily, the former president's legal team did not count on one thing: some Republicans caring if the United States continues."

The Late Show's cold open focused on one particular comment Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made when rejecting Trump's election-overturning efforts.

Jimmy Kimmel also recapped some of the "bombshell allegations" in Peril on Kimmel Live, reading a mock version of Eastman's "six-step plan explaining how Mike Pence should overturn the results of the election."

"The real memo suggested that Pence use the element of surprise," Kimmel said. "They wanted him to just show up and, without warning, overturn the results of the election, which, I don't know — without asking permission? That seems impossible for Mike Pence. I mean look, Mike Pence is a guy who asks if it is okay to go to the bathroom when he's alone." Eastman argued that the vice president is "the ultimate arbiter" of the Electoral College tally, he added, so "he's basically arguing that the third base umpire can declare himself the winner of World Series." 

The fight isn't over, Seth Meyers sighed on Late Night. "Trump sent a letter last week to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking him to consider decertifying the 2020 election. Dude, just give up. You know you don't have to be president to play golf, right?"