Late-night hosts just can't quit Trump as impeachment trial begins: 'The circus came back to town'
With the same energy as a distraught Jake Gyllenhaal shouting at Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain, late-night hosts wish they knew how to quit Donald Trump as the former president's second impeachment trial began Tuesday.
Jimmy Kimmel began his opening monologue on his eponymous ABC show Tuesday night by saying, "the circus came back to town." So, the gang had something to say about their favorite president in the history of presidents. (#Sarcasm.)
The big development on Tuesday was the Senate voting that, even though Trump is no longer in office, an impeachment trial against him is still constitutional. Six Republicans voted along with all of the Democrats for a 56-44 approval.
Kimmel referred to Trump as "our crazy ex-president" with "lawyers defending the indefensible."
"We already know the Republicans won't have the nuts to convict him," Kimmel continued. "But this tells you all you need to know about how seriously most of these Republicans senators are taking this: Rand Paul was sitting there with no mask on, doodling swiggly lines on a white pad of paper. Maybe he was drawing up new hairstyles? I don't know."
The "unemployed Twitter bot" that is Trump "became the only president ever to face a second impeachment trial, which is pretty impressive when you consider he only showed up to work about half of the time," Trevor Noah remarked on Comedy Central's The Daily Show. "I mean, if Trump really applied himself as president, we could be on impeachment number, like, 35 by now."
We definitely know "this impeachment is the sequel," Noah said, "because the sequel always has to turn things up to 11. The original impeachment was like: 'Listen to this diplomat describe a phone call as you ponder the meaning of quid pro quo.'"
For this trial, Democrats screened video footage of Trump's rhetoric at the rally leading into the Capitol riot, interspersed with footage of his volatile supporters at the insurrection.
Stephen Colbert called it a "real feeling of déjà coup" over on CBS' The Late Show. "Here we go again... again, because it's day one of the second impeachment of the 45th president," he said during his monologue.
"It's one year and four days since we finished up the last impeachment trial of the same president, February of 2020. Oh, we were so young then," Colbert joked. "I long for a simpler time, when people hiding from Nazis and not leaving their house for months were just the plots of Jojo Rabbit and Parasite."
Seth Meyers began his "A Closer Look" segment on NBC's Late Night by tearing into Fox News, noting how while other major news networks are covering the current state of the country in the midst of a pandemic, as well as the impeachment trial, Fox was covering a story about how a Quillette editor was mocked online by the left for accidentally using dog shampoo.
"All I know is the smaller the story Fox News is focusing on, the bigger the story they're ignoring is," Meyers said. "If you ever tune into Fox & Friends and they're talking about, I don't know, whether vanilla ice cream is gonna be canceled for being too white, just know the story on CNN is probably 'Don Jr. Eats Eric.'"
Even he couldn't believe he was talking about Trump again. "Even herpes knows when to take a break every once in a while," he joked. "But tonight, everyone's talking about one of Trump's lawyers Bruce Castor, who kicked off Trump's defense and never got to the point."
That line was followed with snippets of footage of Castor talking about his younger self, old vintage records, and former politician Everett Dirksen. Fallon joked, "Even Joe Biden was like, 'Come on, man! Wrap it up!'"
Now that the Senate has determined the trial to be constitutional, James Corden joked that Trump's team will now move on to his next strategy, the "It Wasn't Me" defense, "pioneered in the landmark case Shaggy vs. Getting Caught Redhanded."
CBS' The Late Late Show host continued by mocking Castor for his... let's say odd? ... remarks, specifically how he took the time to explain to everyone in the room that he meant to say "release the whirlwind" instead of "the floodgates will open" at one point after he heard someone else use that phrase.
"I had high hopes when he showed up wearing glasses," Corden said. "You just know he's gonna get home tonight and be like, 'I should'a just stuck with floodgates. Shouldn't have mentioned the winds at all. What was I thinking?!'"