Stephen Colbert said he initially refused to write material dealing with an outright Donald Trump presidential win for CBS' "The Late Show" Election Night special, noting he told his writers that Trump victory jokes would fall flat: "There will be no laughter!"
Sitting down for a Q&A with fellow liberal TV host John Oliver on Saturday night, Colbert also recalled telling his staff that jesting over a Trump win would be like "doing stand-up comedy for one of those Chilean soccer stadiums where the villagers watch you execute one of the natives," the Daily Wire reported.
Here's more of what Colbert said during the chat titled, “Wow, That Was Weird,” according to the Daily Wire:
There was not a bear big enough in the world that we weren't loaded for. We were so loaded for every possible eventuality. 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. I have 400 people in my theater. If we know Donald Trump is going to win, it's going to be like doing stand-up comedy for one of those Chilean soccer stadiums where the villagers watch you execute one of the natives. There will be no laughter!” We only did about 20 minutes of material before we went, “F*** it, it's going to be him, let's just talk for another hour.” So I think we have two and a half whole shows that you will never see of material that we had to kill that night.
Colbert called the Trump victory program "the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," the Daily Wire reported, adding that "our audience was sobbing openly. And those are people who work for me, like my cameramen."
"I’m all for giving him a chance, but don’t give him an inch," Colbert told the crowd as Oliver sat next to him at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. "Because I believed everything he said, and I remember everything he said. And it’s horrifying. ... The job changes a man. That's the cliche of the presidency."
More of what Colbert noted:
Here's why we're most screwed: ... Every president tries to achieve what they promised, and you can say, “Well, there are levers of powers in Washington that can possibly slow him down.” But two things: One is, they're cowards. Second is that the levers in Washington are apparently merely attached to blinking red lights that make the people happy when they pull. Because they tried to stop Trump. Everybody tried to stop Trump, do not delude yourself.
Everyone except the people he's going to appoint tried to stop him, and they didn't. He owes them nothing. He goes out on the balcony, and he says to the crowd, “Shall I do it?” And they say, "Yes.” And “it shall be so.” And the balcony is Twitter. ... He goes onto Twitter and goes, “What do you think? Do you think I'm right?” And that's what scares me, is that he owes the checks and balances of Washington nothing because they tried to stop him, and they couldn't. And he's a vindictive person. So it's all gonna be fine. Merry Christmas.
"The next person who says to me, 'You must be happy on a certain level,’ is going to have their eye carved out," Colbert added, according to the Daily Wire.
Here's a clip of Colbert chatting with Oliver and the audience. (Content warning: Some strong language):
— Oliverist (@ilovejohnoliver) November 22, 2016