Comedian Stephen Colbert ended the 2016 presidential election season with a confession to his fans — he willingly drank political poison because it gave him a “gentle high.”
An election night Showtime special by Mr. Colbert continued months of mockery and rhetorical attacks on Republican Donald Trump’s quest for the White House. That all changed, however, as it began to sink in for the CBS “Late Show” host that Hillary Clinton would not be the 45th U.S. commander in chief.
Mr. Colbert turned somber during a nearly ten-minute monologue to end his show as he addressed his audience on everything from his family’s Catholicism to growing up with Richard Nixon as president. Then, in the middle of it all, he condemned prideful arrogance displayed in his own political coverage.
“How did our politics get so poisonous?” Mr. Colbert asked. “I think it’s because we overdosed, especially this year. We drank too much of the poison. You take a little bit so you can hate the other side, and it tastes kind of good. And you like how it feels, and there’s a gentle high to the condemnation. Right?”
Showtime’s camera panned at times to a studio audience, which looked shell-shocked that Mrs. Clinton trailed her opponent. Mr. Colbert responded by ending on a positive note with jokes all Americans could agree on: Work emails “suck,” Kit-Kats should be eaten “in segments,” and no one should buy “veggie” pizzas when they’re throwing a party.
Mr. Trump would go on to crack the 270 electoral college votes soon after the show came to a close.
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” the billionaire vowed during a nationally televised speech from New York City.