Late-night hosts react to Biden's inauguration with relief and jubilation
Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and more shared some thoughts on the incoming president.
Samantha Bee couldn't contain her excitement on the latest episode of Full Frontal. "He's gone!" she exclaimed. "The Trump administration is over, and we finally have a brand-new, very old president."
She wasn't the only one who felt pretty stoked by Donald Trump's exit from the White House and Joe Biden's entrance. Late-night hosts, many of whom found themselves singled out by Trump during the past four years, gave themselves a day to celebrate Wednesday's inauguration.
"Unsurprisingly, Republicans are furious that Joe Biden chose to divide America by becoming president, and if that weren't divisive enough, he's openly plotting to do stuff," Bee joked. "Nice try! But Republicans say a real unifier would've handed the office back to Trump, given him a McRib, and happily walked off to prison. After four years of struggling just to slow down Trump's malicious agenda, Democrats are in an unimaginable position. We can finally do things that help people!"
Watching footage of Biden getting sworn in as president, Noah added, "I don't know about you, but this moment will stay in my memory forever. Joe Biden's middle name is Robinette? What?!"
Stephen Colbert found the inauguration "extremely emotional," and not in the way he expected. "I have zero gloat in me," he said on A Late Show. "There is no end zone dance here. What I feel is enormous relief. Watching the inauguration today, I recognized just how worried I've been for my country. But we've all been too deep in it for the last four years to truly realize what we were deeply in — it's like we've been on a ship at storm for four years, and we just stepped onto dry land."
"It was a huge relief," he said. "It was nice to be able to enjoy an inauguration without a pit of dread in your stomach. So, it was nice to get to enjoy the weird bits. You got to enjoy hearing J.Lo segue into 'Let's Get Loud' or Garth Brooks' formal jeans. You got to enjoy those without thinking you're about to get threatened by the incoming president. So, that alone was really nice, to be honest. It's a low bar. It was a low bar for an inauguration, and it was a crazy low bar for the incoming president. I'm not sure the bar could be lower. He doesn't need to be competent. Anything north of malicious incompetence feels like we're playing with the house's money at that point."
Oliver knows there are still "monumental problems" the American people have to face, but "that has to wait for at least till tomorrow," he said. "Just give us a day."
Lilly Singh acknowledged she doesn't tend to get political on her A Little Late show. "That's not my thing," Singh said. But she considers events like the inauguration to be more "human things."
"I feel like now that Trump is gone it's a bright day for all of us. You feel me? Especially you, Oval Office chair. You made it, little guy!" she joked. "With all the negatives the president did, I do want to highlight the one positive thing Donald Trump did. It was one step forward for equality and that is that white people are now finally referred to as terrorists. It took four long, painful years, but he did it."
Singh also felt it was important to acknowledge that "just because Trump is gone, it doesn't mean all of our old problems are also gone. We still have a lot of healing to do, we have a lot of work to do, and I do think that's important to talk about."
It felt good for Seth Meyers to finally be able to refer to Trump as "former President Trump," as he began his opening on Late Night. "You wait so long to say those words, and then when you finally can, you don't know how to react," he said. "Former President Trump. It's like the new cellar door."
"That's right," he continued. "Donald Trump is no longer the President of the United States. And look, this isn't going to solve all of our problems, but it will remove a big one. If you're addicted to heroin, gambling, and prostitutes and you only quit heroin, that's still a huge step."
"It was a bright, sunny day in Washington, and now we finally have a president who knows not to stare directly at the sun," Jimmy Fallon joked in his opening monologue for The Tonight Show. "Seriously, anyone else feel like they just lost 280 pounds? Anyone? Somehow we made it to the inauguration. Canada wrapped us in a foil blanket, while Mexico offered us soup. It feels like the country is back. Sure, the GPS took us on some crazy backroads for the last four years, but now we're back on Main Street and we can tell people we were lost."
"Democracy prevailed," James Corden said in repeating a moment from Biden's speech, "but the game definitely went into overtime, didn't it?"
Corden also got to the true message of Biden's speech. The president said during Inauguration Day "unity is the path forward" and "we have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we've acted together."
"And that's why we cannot have a Sex and the City reunion without Samantha," Corden replied. "We just can't."