Late-Night Hosts Urge Vote Count Patience & Call Out Trump’s “Authoritarian” Behavior

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Late-night hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Conan O’Brien, Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee and James Corden on Wednesday all urged patience as the ballot-counting process continues.

While they were all recorded earlier in the day, ranging between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the message remains as voters wait for ballots to be counted in key states including Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon said today felt like “waking up with a hangover and finding out you’re still at the bar.”

“As we speak some states are still counting the votes. Somehow Chucky Cheese can count a million tickets on the spot, but we still can’t count the votes in three days,” Fallon said. “I’m not sure [patience] is one of America’s strengths, if a TikTok video isn’t fun in the first three seconds, we’re like ‘next’. We need to be patient in a country that invented a Dominos tracker so we know exactly when our pizza will arrive.”

The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert, fresh from hosting a live election special on Showtime, joked that he was going to keep the same set up for days as it’s “going to take a while to count the votes.”

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Calling the remaining states to declare, including Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and Pennsylvania, the “Xanax belt”, he advised viewers to “play it cool”.

He added that Trump’s fraudulent early declaration of victory was a “power grab by a terrified strongman in the dead of night.”

“If there’s anything that 2am is known for, it’s desperate moves by sad little men scared who are afraid to go home like a loser,” he said.

Jimmy Kimmel, Late Night’s Seth Meyers and The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah all called out President Trump’s behavior over the last 24 hours.

“It isn’t official yet – but all signs are pointing to a Joe Biden win. Everyone seems to know it – everyone except for Donald Trump,” said Kimmel. “If they hadn’t cancelled the Olympics this year, he would have won that too. Basically, his message last night in a nutshell was ‘we won a completely fraudulent election’.”

The host of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! added that the race was “closer than Donald and Ivanka at a father-daughter dance” and that while Biden was “able to pick up the sexist vote… he didn’t do as well among racists.”

“This is deeply dangerous authoritarian behavior and a major test for the national media. If he had his way, he’d get to personally sift through every ballot and cross out Biden’s name,” added Meyers in his 20-minute A Closer Look segment.

Noah noted, “It’s insane that an American President is demanding that they stop counting votes while he’s ahead. This is a textbook authoritarian move, which is impressive coming from a guy who has never read a textbook.”

The comedian joked that maybe Trump was preparing his own defense when it comes to his taxes by claiming that he doesn’t understand math. “I know Trump didn’t like science, but I didn’t know he’d disavowed numbers. Maybe this explains why he’s always in debt,” he added.

Full Frontal’s Samantha Bee joked, “Much like my college boyfriend, who had some very bizarre fetishes, this election can’t finish until all of the mail has been sorted.”

Many of the hosts made reference to the time of day that they were shooting. Conan O’Brien admitted that he was interviewing former Senator Al Franken at 11:30am, so it was still early in the day (“it looks like William Howard Taft has won”).

The ex-SNL writer and performer told a story about how he kept spirits high in his team during the 2008 recount in Minnesota, by launching a cheer. “What do we want? Patience,” he said. “When do we want it? Now.”


Bee, back from the woods into a studio, was filming early this morning. “Our long national nightmare is still going,” she said. “As of our taping, it’s Wednesday morning and we still don’t know the election results. You the audience probably know more than I do.”

“Why can’t we just dance and do lip syncs on this show,” she added.

Corden revealed that he was filming The Late Late Show at 3pm in the afternoon. “We’re talking like anyone’s watching this right now. We tape this at 3pm, by the time this airs, there could be a new President of the United States, we don’t know. Who is tuning in? Nobody is watching MSNBC and saying ‘what time is it?’ ’12:37am’, ‘we should pop over and see what JC has to say about this. I think less of CBS for having this show on the air right now,” he said, before joking about Trump’s reaction as well as the work of pollsters and the legalization of marijuana in a number of states.

Noah was also filming earlier in the day. “You might even know watching this right now the election is over. If you do, please don’t tell me, I like this feeling of stress… in this chaotic, nerve-wracking election night.”

Meyers was shooting at 5pm and took a moment to be glad he wasn’t doing a live show last night. “In those moments, I will say I was very happy we weren’t doing a live show, no one wants to have a panic attack but if you’re going to, you’d prefer to have it alone in your apartment instead of on the subway in rush hour,” he said.

He called Florida the “Loki of swing states” and joked about CNN and The New York Times coverage. “Watching the New York Times needle – I spent all night staring at that thing and every time it moved it was like hearing a twig snap in a horror movie. I feel like that needle is a murderous icepick that I’m trying to keep away from my eye,” he said. In terms of CNN, he joked about John King’s magic wall. “Stop calling [Florida] a rollercoaster; if you’re going to be on TV for 14 hours, learn a second word to describe up and down. Florida isn’t a rollercoaster at a legit theme park, it’s one of those weird traveling carnivals where none of the rides have safety bars and the petting zoo animals are just two donkeys and a dog.”

He also pointed out that Trump was unhappy with Fox News, particularly when it called Arizona early for Biden. “You know Trump is in bad shape when he’s fighting with Fox News, an entire network dedicated to repeating everything he says. That’s like the Kardashians fighting with E!, I’m told.”

Kimmel put together a long list of things that Trump had done to the country over the last four years including putting children in cages, cozying up to Kim Jong Un and Vladamir Putin, lying, misleading about COVID and calling neo-Nazis “very fine people.”

“If Joe Biden stopped by my house every morning to key my car and pee in my pool,  there would still be no question which one of them I’d vote for,” he said.

Meanwhile, Noah concluded, “Be careful America, if you let Trump do this, voting may become one of those things that people do to feel better but doesn’t actually do anything, like taking CBD oil or recycling plastic.”

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