On Monday, the late night comedy show hosts from all three networks came out strongly against President Trump, for what they deemed was an inadequate and “shameful” reaction the violence in Charlottesville. While NBC’s Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon didn’t veer into crass and extreme rhetoric like NBC’s other, more colorful late-night host Seth Meyers did, Fallon still called out Trump for his “shameful” response to Charlottesville. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel also made several jokes claiming Trump was a member of the KKK.
NBC is apparently still trying to make amends to the Trump-haters for The Apprentice and Jimmy Fallon’s infamous “hair rub” months ago, because both of the network’s late-night hosts came out with scripted scolds of the President.
Meyers pulled a Stephen Colbert and spent his entire long monologue droning on about how Trump wasn’t “a president” because of his inadequate response to Saturday’s violence. He spewed that Trump wasn’t “a decent person” before going through a laundry list explaining how he was a racist xenophobe.
“And now white supremacists and American Nazis are visible and energetic and demonstrative in a way we have not seen in our lifetime. Donald Trump did not immediately denounce the white supremacist movement when given the chance. And now, whether he knows it or not, many of those people see him as leading that movement,” Meyers gushed.
MEYERS: On Saturday there was yet another terror attack on American soil. This one was allegedly perpetrated by a white supremacist named James Field against a group of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. He drove his car into a crowd and killed a woman named Heather Heyer. It was a horrifying incident that left most of the country stunned and terrified. But on Saturday, you didn't hear her name or the terrorist's name or even the word terrorist from our president. What you heard instead was this.
TRUMP:We're closely following the terrible events unfolding in charlottesville, Virginia. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides. On many sides.
MEYERS: On many sides? If that choice of words made you feel sick to your stomach, the good news is you're a normal and decent person. The jury is still out on the president, as he initially refused to condemn the white supremacist movement in this country.
Now, he did read a statement at the WhiteHouse today that finally struck the right tone, but I'm sorry, pencils down on this subject was Saturday evening. He only gets very partial credit. Some ignored it or played it down when Donald Trump claimed our first black president wasn't born in this country. It was racist and insane, but he was written off as a clown, a bitter little man who didn't know an American could have a name like Barack Obama. Then he called Mexicans rapists during the speech announcing his candidacy. He called Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas. Then he brought Steve Bannon into the WhiteHouse with him, worked to take away voting rights from black people and hammered away at the idea that Chicago was a wasteland because of the violent black people living there. And now white supremacists and American Nazis are visible and energetic and demonstrative in a way we have not seen in our lifetime. Donald Trump did not immediately denounce the white supremacist movement when given the chance. And now, whether he knows it or not, many of those people see him as leading that movement. The leader of our country is called the president because he's supposed to preside over our society. His job is to lead, to cajole, to scold, to correct our path, to lift up what is good about us and to absolutely and unequivocally and immediately condemn what is evil in us. And if he does not do that, if he does not preside over our society, then he's not a president. You can stand for a nation or you can stand for a hateful movement. You can't do both. And if you don't make the right choice, I am confident the American voter will. Thank you, guys.
After that rant, Meyers continued but had to add in some crass penis jokes while he was at it:
So, you got the former leader of the KKK saying explicitly that the Nazis and white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville were doing so in Donald Trump's name. Now, normally, you might think any president or any decent human being in that position would want to swiftly and unequivocally disavow them. And in this case, we also happen to have a president who has no problem quickly condemning things when he feels like it. Just in the last week, he slammed the senate majority leader of his own party and got into a war of words with north Korea. He tweeted insults about everyone from Jeb Bush to Meryl Streep to people who drink diet coke. [ Laughter ] Trump has a permanent hard on for condemnation. And yet when it came time to condemn white supremacists and Nazis, it was limp [ bleep ] city. [ Laughter and applause ]
That statement was so limp, he should have concluded by saying, [looking down] "This has never happened to me before. I don't --" [laughter] And the whole thing is such a bummer, because Nazis were like the last thing we all agreed on. Indiana Jones fought the Nazis and we love Indiana Jones. Of course, Trump probably didn't think the ark of the covenant should have been in a museum. He probably thought it should be in his apartment. [ Laughter ] "See that? It's full of ghosts. It's where we got Eric.
Earlier on the network’s Tonight Show, more civil host Jimmy Fallon opened his show somberly, with a monologue condemning the “disgusting” white supremacists actions on Saturday. Fallon also took shots at Trump though, saying “The fact that it took the president two days to come out and clearly denounce racist and white supremacists is shameful.”
JIMMY FALLON: Even though The Tonight Show isn't a political show, it's my responsibility to stand up against intolerance and extremism as a human being. What happened over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia was just disgusting. I was watching the news like everyone else and you're seeing like Nazi flags and torches and white supremacists and I was sick to my stomach. My daughters are in the next room playing and I'm thinking, how can I explain to them there's so much hatred in this world? They're 2 years old and 4 years old. They don't know what hate is. They go to the playground and they have friends of all races and backgrounds -- they just play and they laugh and they have fun. But as kids grow up, they need people to look up to, to show them what's right and good. They need parents and teachers. And they need leaders who appeal to the best in us. The fact that it took the president two days to come out and clearly denounce racist and white supremacists is shameful. And I think he finally spoke out because people everywhere stood up and said something. It's important for everyone, especially white people in this country, to speak out against this. Ignoring it is just as bad as supporting it. And remember, there are people who have given their lives to make sure this kind of hate doesn't spread. They fought and died on the right side of history. One brave woman in charlottesville, Heather Heyer, died standing up for what's right at the age of 32. I can't look at my beautiful, growing, curious daughters and say nothing when this kind of thing is happening. We all need to stand against what is wrong, acknowledge that racism exists, and stand up for what is right and civil and kind. And to show the next generation that we haven't forgotten how hard people have fought for human rights. We cannot do this. We can't go backwards. We can't go backwards. Thank you all for watching and listening.
Over on ABC, things were a little more light-hearted in tone but still just as hateful. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host claimed Trump was starting to look like a member of the KKK, and didn’t want to condemn “his base:”
KIMMEL: [I]t's another disturbing Monday in America. You know, we went into the weekend worrying about Kim Jong un starting a war. We came out of it wondering if our president is cutting eye holes out of his bed sheets.”
KIMMEL: So then after much prayer and reflection the president this morning decided to take the difficult step of condemning Nazis and the Klan, which was big for them because this is the sort of thing that could alienate his base. [ Laughter ] But even he knew he had to say something.”
On CBS’ Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the host resorted to lame jokes about Trump’s response, instead of his usually vile tirades:
COLBERT: "Many sides?" [Audience boos] Mr. President, this is terrorism, not your order at K.F.C. [in Trump impression]"I'd like the ten piece bucket with potato wedges, fries, mashed potatoes, you know what? Many sides. Many sides." "Coleslaw..." How can you possibly say you condemn this in the strongest possible terms when you don't even name the groups responsible or say what they did? "I strongly condemn you-know-who, about you-know-what, and aren't we all Nazis if you think about it?" I've seen angrier Yelp reviews!
Despite the hosts acting as if they were taking a moral stand against Trump, attacking him is nothing new or brave for the late night network hosts. They’ve been doing it since he took office, seemingly devoting just about every show to bashing Trump.