Comedian Stephen Colbert recently reflected on 2016’s Election Day Showtime special by likening it to performing in a “slaughterhouse.”
The host of CBS’ “The Late Show” sat down with Sopan Deb of The New York Times for its “TimesTalks” event when President Trump’s victory came up. The culture writer asked Mr. Colbert about the “turning point” for his show, which coincided with live performances and Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid.
“I’m not saying it’s impossible,” Mr. Colbert told his writers of a win by the Republican. “What I’m saying is: If that happens it’s like I’m hosting a show in a slaughterhouse. Like emotionally, people are going to be so raw, that I don’t know what joke — its so disastrous, in my opinion, that I’m not sure I could dance on the edge of that volcano, anyway. Let’s just let the lava flow over us if that happens and we’ll improvise. We’ll see what happens.”
The liberal comedian said that his writers were well prepared for three other scenarios: “Mrs. Clinton wins and we know it; looks like she’s going to win but we’re not sure; Donald Trump could win but we won’t know until the next day.”
“We killed all the comedy,” he said Aug. 13 of his team’s reaction after Mr. Trump’s victory was imminent. “They found out the election results mid-show and started drinking alcohol.”
“How did our politics get so poisonous?” Mr. Colbert asked his audience on election night. “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?”