The news that a grand jury in Manhattan voted to indict the former president Donald Trump broke shortly before many of the late night shows taped their Thursday night episodes, but most hosts were still able to crack a few jokes on Trump‘s cost.
The indictment came after a grand jury investigation in six-figure payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to silence allegations of extramarital affairs, which both women say took place. Trump denies having sexual encounters with either woman and has denied any wrongdoing regarding the payments.
Stephen Colbert announced that he had just heard of the grand jury vote three minutes before taking the stage for his monologue, but that was still plenty of time for the Show up late team to crack a few jokes, and a sundae in a baseball hat, which the host feasted on, squirting some whipped cream into his mouth, as he talked about baseball’s opening day and the news of Trump’s impeachment fourth.
“[Trump] was right. We’re finally saying Merry Christmas again,” Colbert said. “And you know what? I didn’t know this was coming, I thought this might never come. I thought, ‘Who cares if it came?’ I didn’t know it would feel this good.”
Colbert later quipped, “He should see if that grand jury will give him a $130,000 check because he’s so screwed.”
That was the same punch line from Colbert’s NBC rival Jimmy Fallon ended up with if The tonight show mixed Trump’s speeches and video of him dancing to an “I’m So Indicted” version of The Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited.” The clips ended with Trump appearing to say, “I’m so screwed.”
At Comedy Central The Daily showhost John Leguizamothose earlier in the week said he hoped news of Trump’s arrest would get out while he was in the host’s chairgot his wish.
Leguizamo introduced the development, after a heavy news week, as “lightweight news that will really put a smile on your face”. After a news clip aired announcing Trump’s impeachment, Leguizamo and the audience cheered, with the host jumping out of his chair so quickly that he lost his seat.
“That’s right. Lady Justice grabbed Trump by the pussy,” he said.
He continued, “You know I take a firm stance against mass incarceration, but I am willing to make an exception for this. I just hope they take it easy on him and at least put him in a cell with his lawyer. … But let this be a lesson to all you children out there. If you commit fraud to cover up an affair with a porn star, the law will catch up with you, after about seven years and a full term as president.”
in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel had a little more preparation time, announced at the top on Thursday Jimmy KimmelLive! that they had to destroy their scheduled opening day baseball monologue two hours before taping to address the news of Trump’s impeachment.
Kimmel noted the historic nature of the news, with Trump becoming the first former US president to be indicted, saying the moment is “Historical and funny. It’s very, very funny.”
And like Leguizamo, the host referenced the famous Trump Access to Hollywood adhesive tape, saying, “The grand jury, they didn’t even ask permission. They went at Trump like a witch.
Kimmel also summarized some of the former president’s recent Truth Social posts, in which Trump first praised the grand jury ahead of his indictment and then criticized them. Trump also posted a statement writing “indicted” instead of “indicted.”
“Hopefully he can spend some time in the prison library learning how to spell. Now that he’s indicted, the former president had no choice but to turn himself in for processing at a New York courthouse in a spectacle that appears to have been made for reality TV,” Kimmel said before looking at a clip of the Celebrity Apprentice of Trump arriving at a courthouse.
Looking back at the former president’s TV past, Kimmel speculated that Trump could do a new show, perhaps called The celebrity apprehentice or Arrested developer.
Kimmel, who opened the show with a cold opening featuring Trump’s head on top of an inmate’s body, speculated about what might come next.
“His next thing, of course, will be to try and start another riot to get people to demonstrate on his behalf,” Kimmel said. “Only Donald Trump could have such crazy supporters that we should seriously consider whether it is right for him to be charged with a crime.”
He later quipped, bringing it back to baseball, “Best baseball opening day ever.” And this is just the charge of the warm-up. Lady Justice, she’s out in the bullpen now. We’ll bring her into the ninth to end it with rebellion and betrayal.’
But not all the big late night shows talked about Trump. News of his indictment was missing from CBS’ Late Late Show with James Corden and that of NBC Late night with Seth Meyerswith the latter show posting on Twitter that they finished recording before the news broke.