The clown princes of political comedy had a huge task in front of them tonight. They had to take what was perceived as overwhelmingly bad news to their liberal audiences and try to elicit laughs in the face of a collective abject misery.
But the show must go on, so the three late night political comedians tried their best to put some funny spin on the Senate impeachment acquittal of President Donald Trump. Their effort can best be described as rueful.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert ran what it billed as the final installment of its “Don and the Giant Impeach” series, a vehicle that focused on the long-running political tennis match that was impeachment. “It’s official, right is wrong, up is down, Missouri is Kansas,” said Colbert.. “Now we know that asking a foreign power to interfere in our election is the new normal.” That was pretty much the only joke in his monologue, as he took time to bash Maine Sen. Susan Collins for her choice of words to describe President Trump’s future conduct.
Trevor Noah of The Daily Show had a bit of practical advice while breaking the acquittal news to his audience: “Don’t boo. Vote.” He noted that the impeachment trial “was a movie where you could guess what would happen,” likening it to Titanic, where you knew the boat would sink. The only drama, Noah said, was guessing whether there would be any crossover in the party lines. As it turned out, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney voted against his GOP colleagues. That impressed Noah. “Mitt was as radical as a glass of skim milk,” Noah said. But now, “You’re whole milk, man.”
Noah said that “Clearly, Trump hasn’t learned a lesson. He has learned he can do whatever he wants and Republicans will let him get away with it. He’s invincible. Like Super Mario with that invincibility star. Only Trump is more powerful since the turtles are on HIS side!”
Seth Meyers claimed on his Late Night show that the Senate had “completed its cover-up.” Meyers said that it was not a banner week for American democracy, given the chaos in Iowa’s caucus, the strange State of the Union shenanigans, and the President’s impeachment acquittal.
Meyers also took on Maine Sen. Susan Collins and her claims that the President may have learned his lesson from the impeachment brouhaha. “Donald Trump doesn’t learn lessons. It’s like an untrained dog. If he pees on the floor, you have to rub his nose in it.”