In the 2020 presidential election, Donald J. Trump’s Joseph R. Despite losing to Biden, the late-night host still couldn’t shake the former president in 2021.
Trump’s final day in office was a cause for celebration at many shows, but the January 6 Capitol riot, the subsequent impeachment of Trump and his supporters, continued to promote the lie that the election was rigged meant that the former president had a smattering of monologues. The part remained and other late night bits.
Plus, apparently sending Biden off isn’t as easy. His hosts’ impressions of him lacked the cartoonist wording of Trump—Stephen Colbert in Aviator Shades is the only man who puts forth that much effort—and while Biden’s age and occasional gaffes were often targets, such jokes were rarely anything but. Used to occupy more than minutes of monologues of the night.
Another defining trend this year was the return of hosts to their studios after shooting their shows from home for most of 2020 and most of 2021. Colbert, Jimmy (Fallon and Kimmel) and others brought back audiences (with COVID-19 protocols in place), live bands and in-house guests, who taught audiences to avoid the coronavirus and its variants, or at least Offered normalcy to at least find a way through less comedy.
The events of January 6 were of particular interest to Colbert, who “unexpectedly went live” for that evening’s “Late Show”, chasing Trump supporters.
“Hey, the Republicans who supported this president – especially in the joint session of Congress today – have you had enough?” Colbert said. “Five years after this president’s fascist rhetoric, guess whose followers want to burn the Reichstag?”
The hosts were also on top of the results, including prosecuting rioters such as the so-called QAnon Shaman, Jake Angeli; And yet another Trump impeachment, for “inciting rebellion.”
As the upcoming trial in the Senate in February draws to an end, “Late Night” host Seth Meyers pointed to an outcome that was never really in doubt — an acquittal thanks to Trump’s Republican support — even more troubling. And from the attack despite the presentation of clear video.
“House Democrats ended their impeachment case against former President Trump today,” Meyers said, adding the dig: “Well, you’ve given me a lot to think about,” Rand Paul said.
On “The Late Late Show”, James Corden said: “We are very close to finding out who is responsible. What a mystery.”
Samantha Bee took a different angle on the forces that led to the Capitol riots. In a segment on “Full Frontal”, she focused on the women of the movement, highlighting who they were and their role in a dark moment in American history.
“White women are also playing a bigger role, especially when they tell themselves they are protecting families,” Bee said. “The message they use is insidious, pervasive and full of undertones of white supremacy. It may sound beautiful, but it is dangerous.”
In March, the hosts celebrated the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus shutdown as the virus raged. “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” However, the hosts celebrated the occasion with a laugh that had gone awry in the early days of the pandemic.
“The traditional gift for a one-year anniversary is paper, so I thought toilet paper mattered most,” Kimmel said as he rolled out to his audience.
COVID and its ongoing effects will unfold throughout 2021, of course, especially as vaccines become widely available and highly politicized. Even Big Bird couldn’t escape conservative attacks after “posting” on Twitter that he had gotten his shot. Around the same time, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was slammed for worrying about getting him. On “The Tonight Show,” Jimmy Fallon found a way to weave both stories into one monologue joke.
“It’s a big day, really, for Big Bird,” he said. “Because soon after the vaccination, he was signed by the Green Bay Packers.”
As the virus spread internationally, with variants such as Delta and the new Omicron, hosts often employed anti-vaxxers.
“I mean, how did this happen after all we did?” Trevor Noah asked on “The Daily Show.” “I mean, for two years now, people, we wore masks for a while, we socialized when it was convenient, then like half of us got vaccinated — what else would it take?”
Biden’s first year
Trying to enact comprehensive legislation, Biden struggled to get past (or passed) anything from Republican lawmakers in 2021, including massive stimulus and infrastructure packages. Late-night hosts sympathized with the president and praised efforts such as the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which passed in March without the support of Republican lawmakers.
“It will give Americans greater access to health care and boost vaccination rates,” Kimmel said. “So naturally, Republicans are against it.”
As the infrastructure package was stymied by Democratic intraparty disagreements and negotiations—it included Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia—Meyers quipped that the bill’s health care proposals were trimmed to a “30-day trial for WebMD Plus” And they’re going to paint some tunnels on a rock like Ville E. Coyote.”
The American public has not given much support to President Biden, at least not in opinion polls; His approval rating has dropped significantly. Still, the hosts try to find the funny, like when Kimmel used a joke from another age to be patient.
“We haven’t even had a year under his presidency,” Kimmel said in November. “Don’t worry, he’s like a grandpa at the wheel. He’ll get us there, it’ll be very slowly, in the blink of an eye the whole ride.”
stop the madness
As the rare black late-night host — and the only one with the nightly show — Noah continues to speak up for people of color, putting the spotlight on racially motivated attacks. He used a gloomy tone, but left no stone unturned to criticize America’s gun policies and systemic racism.
“Why are people so invested in solving the symptoms rather than the cause?” He asked after a gunman shot and killed eight people in Atlanta in March, including six women of Asian descent. “America does this over and over again. A country that wants to fight symptoms, not the underlying conditions that make those symptoms dominant – racism, maltreatment, gun violence, mental illness. And, honestly, this phenomenon is one of those All things can be combined, because it is not a thing in itself. America is a rich tapestry of mass-shooting inspirations.”
During an April show, Noah addressed police brutality following the deaths of Don’t Wright and Karen Nazario, suggesting that black people start singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” when they are pulled over. “
Then maybe, just maybe,” he said, “the police will be like, ‘Well, I don’t want to pepper spray Anthem – what do I do?'”
Kimmel has maintained ties with some of Trump’s biggest supporters, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz and MyPillow’s enthusiastic chief executive Mike Lindell. Cruz, in particular, was a regular target of Kimmel’s anger, especially as he flew coop to Cancun during a debilitating winter storm in Texas in February.
“While his fellow Texans are falling out of power, Ted Cruz did what any great leader would do when his state needed leadership the most — he booked a flight to Mexico and said, ‘Adios, Amigos. !” Kimmel said. He called the senator “a snake on the plane, ironically the spot he tried to wallow around.”
While Cruise attacked Kimmel on Twitter in response to the host’s jibe, Lindell saw Kimmel as a worthy adversary, confusing the host’s joke for true praise.
“I don’t know what he’s doing, but I love it,” Kimmel said in May, after Lindell brought him up several times on his newly introduced livestream “Yelathon.” Kimmel then invited Lindell to his show, which he happily accepted.
“Have you been vaccinated?” Kimmel asked that Lindell sit next to him.
“No, I didn’t,” replied Lindell.
Kimmel clarified: “I meant for rabies.”
Kimmel also explained why he invited Lindell in the first place. “A lot of people didn’t want you to be on the show,” he said. “Liberals and conservatives, everyone said, told me, you’re not on the show, and they told you, don’t go on the show. But I think it’s important that we talk to each other.”
However, Kimmel refused to invite Lindell to his web show, leaving things a bit uneven.
conan sign off
In May, after 28 years of hosting his own late-night show and 11 years on TBS, Conan O’Brien announced he was leaving Late Night and plans to move on to a variety series on HBO Max. Is. During that address, O’Brien clarified what he’s wanted for his last few months on air.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved here,” O’Brien said. “I want these past few weeks to take a look at all the absurd madness that my team and I have concocted. Best of all, I just want to point out that references to Donald Trump will be shocking, if any. .
During his final monologue in June, O’Brien elaborated on his career and his feelings about comedy, but also said, “I think when smart and stupid come together – it’s very difficult. But if you can do that, I think it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.”
Kimmel gave O’Brien a shout out on his show that night, jokingly saying, “Congratulations to Jay Leno on his new time slot at TBS.”
the best of the rest
With a move from Monday to Sunday and another weekly episode on Thursday, Showtime’s “Desus & Mero” continued to flourish, and the Bodega Boys — known as Desus Nice and The Kid Mero — produced some of the most hilarious Case in point, the Late Night Interviewer: His conversation with Jeff Goldblum, in which the actor had as many questions for the hosts as he did for her.
“I’ll bet you guys are dancers,” Goldblum said.
“I dance a little bit,” said Mero.
“Do you guys sing or do music?” Goldblum asked.
“If you need us, we can,” Dessus said.
“The Amber Ruffin Show” debuted in September 2020, with Ruffin bringing on the same charming energy she first displayed as a writer and performer on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” He and his talk show — new episodes premiering Friday on Peacock — were even more entertaining in 2021, as seen in musical segments like “White Celebrities, It’s Time to Wash Your Kids.”
In a Jackson 5-esque chorus, Ruffin & Co sings, “White celebrities / Wash your kids’ booties / White celebrities / It’s your only duty / Your baby smells like blue cheese / And it’s your fault.”
In 2022, late-night hosts can look forward to Trump and Covid, but hopefully they can find some new material, too. Failing that, here’s hoping they at least work on their Biden impersonation.