DC Trawler

Stephen Colbert And John Oliver Huddle Together For Warmth

(YouTube/screen shot)

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If you think the past eight years have been tough on you and your family, let’s try to keep things in perspective: Have you ever broadcast a live Election Night special when you were absolutely sure you knew who would win, but then you had to keep going when it gradually dawned on you that you were completely wrong?

Well? Have you?

Hilary Lewis, Hollywood Reporter:

Stephen Colbert and John Oliver continued to tackle the potentially frightening prospect of Donald Trump becoming president at a benefit for the Montclair Film Festival on Saturday night…

“We had so many guests. We had so many pre-taped pieces, all based on a different eventuality. We had three shows: Hillary Clinton wins and we know; Hillary Clinton wins and we don’t know, because it’s not called before the show’s over; Donald Trump’s going to win and we don’t know, because everyone said he had such a narrow path to victory. That’s not wishful thinking, that’s what everyone was saying. And then there was the last show, which is the show we did, which is Donald Trump is going to win and we know he’s going to win. My execs and my writers were like, ‘You don’t want to write something for that? and I’m like, ‘No! There is nothing you can write. You don’t understand…'”

Colbert added that the special was “the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life…”

That explains the last 10 minutes of it, in which Colbert struggles to maintain his sanity:

No wonder it felt like panicky, babbled nonsense from a smug partisan who got blindsided and had no idea what to do or say. That’s exactly what it was. Colbert was completely out of touch with the mood of the country, and what we saw that night was his complete humiliation.

Which isn’t entirely his fault. Everywhere you looked, every single day leading up to November 8, people were telling you Trump had no shot. Speaking for no one but myself, as usual, that night I kept going back and forth between “Well, maybe Hillary will lose” and “Well, I’d better start thinking of some jokes about President Grandma.” I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of Trump winning, but I was fatalistically resigned to the idea of Hillary Clinton getting away with it one last time. I hoped everybody was wrong, but I figured they were probably right.


During that same event Saturday night, Colbert also said, “Everybody tried to stop Trump, do not delude yourself.” Well, that’s just a lie. Everybody did not try to stop Trump. During the primaries, when I was begging the GOP not to nominate Trump, guys like Colbert and John Oliver were taunting them like frat bros: “Do it, do it, do it!”

They desperately wanted Trump to run, because they assumed he was the only GOP candidate Hillary could beat. I assumed the same thing. We were all wrong. But at least now I get to watch their agony as they come to grips with it. They’re going through the five stages of grief, right before our eyes.

You do it to yourself. You do! That’s what really hurts.

No one really knows what the next four years will bring, least of all Donald Trump. But we do know that Stephen Colbert and people like him will be miserable. Right now, that’s enough to get me through.

P.S. If you refuse to understand your opponent, he will keep leading you into traps.