Brow Beat

Trump and the Republicans Had a Terrible Weekend, and Late Night Hosts Are Delighted

Fireworks explode over the Lincoln Memorial during the Fourth of July.
A national celebration. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Usually, when every late night host in the country wants to talk about the same thing, it means schoolkids are getting shot or Nazis are on the march, and neither scenario makes for great comedy. But this weekend, the Trump Administration treated the country to a free clown show, so Monday’s late night television was ground zero for a national jubilee of schadenfreude the likes of which we probably won’t see again until the circus leaves the White House. Here’s how one group of professional clowns clowned another group of professional clowns … those clowns in Washington!

Every host heavily featured footage of Trump’s supporters faceplanting on the weekend’s Sunday shows, but Seth Meyers gets pride of place here for taking the time to roast them individually instead of cutting together a montage over calliope music. The raw interview footage is funnier than the jokes, but there’s no shame losing to the best:

Stephen Colbert got huge laughs from simply reading the President’s deranged tweets out loud, which is not great news for the country, when you think about it. “We’ve officially entered the dumbest time in human history, beating the previous dumbest time, when we thought a spooky bird mask would protect you from the black plague,” he remarked, before cutting to a plague doctor dancing around to a soundalike version of 2 Unlimited’s 1991 hit “Get Ready For This (Orchestral Mix) .” As far as capturing the historical moment through memorable filmmaking, it’s First Reformed, then Colbert’s dancing plague doctor:

Jimmy Kimmel went long on his monologue, projecting an absolute wall of Trump’s unhinged weekend tweets behind him, then pausing to share and endorse this lengthy description of Donald Trump he read over the weekend:

The man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies at practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And he has a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook. His response is to accuse everybody else of lying. Whatever he does, he accuses everyone else of doing. The man cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist—a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country has ever seen. Everything in Donald’s world is about Donald. And he combines being a pathological liar—and I say pathological, because I actually think Donald, if you hooked him up to a lie detector test, he could say one thing in the morning, one thing at noon, one thing in the evening, all contradictory, and he’d pass the lie detector test each time. Whatever lie he’s telling, at that moment, he believes it, but the man is utterly a moron. 

That’s Kimmel’s basketball nemesis Ted Cruz back in 2016, before he decided to cast his lot with the man who insulted his wife’s appearance and accused his father of killing JFK. Kimmel also cut together a montage of Giuliani embarrassing himself to circus music, which, well, how else would you score it?

Trevor Noah was more succinct than the other hosts, cutting Trump’s allies into a couple of brief montages of stupidity, then segueing into a bit with Roy Wood Jr. about the whistleblower’s identity. But he might have been the most delighted by Trump’s implosion of the whole group—take in this absolute cavalcade of twinkling eyes:

James Corden was the only host to note the mildly alarming fact that the president threatened his own country with “a civil war-like fracture” over the weekend, before going deep on Trump’s baffling decision to retweet the account “Trump But About Sharks.” Unfortunately, the segment finishes with perhaps the worst bear-related pun ever written, but it can’t all be good news: