Gleeful late night hosts wave goodbye to Donald Trump

The former president provided plenty of material during his time in office.

Stephen Colbert said he feels “enormous relief” as he was joined by his fellow late night hosts in saying a gleeful goodbye to Donald Trump.

The now-former president provided plenty of material for the late night shows during his tumultuous four years in office, which officially came to an end with the inauguration of Joe Biden.

Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon all addressed the end of an era during their opening monologues.

Colbert, broadcasting live, told viewers: “You did it. You survived the last four years and your reward – a shiny new, old president. Good old Joe.”

The host revealed he was reduced to tears while watching the inauguration and admitted some surprise at having “zero gloat in me”.

He said: “There is no end zone dance here. What I feel is enormous relief. Watching the inauguration today I recognised just how worried I’ve been for my country.

“But we’ve all been too deep in it for the last four years to truly realise what we were deeply in. It’s like we’ve been on a ship that’s been in a storm for four years and we just stepped on to dry land.”

Colbert said the US has been governed by “denial and self-delusion” during the pandemic because “everything was a sales job”.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump waved goodbye after four tumultuous years in office (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Praising the safety precautions at the inauguration, he added: “What we saw today was the opposite of gas-lighting. Today we were reality boarded, and I am here for it.”

Jimmy Kimmel Live! opened with footage of New Year’s Eve celebrations from around the world made to look like a response to Mr Trump’s departure from the White House.

“I don’t know about America yet, but I feel great again,” Kimmel said, riffing on Mr Trump’s slogan.

He compared getting rid of Mr Trump to receiving good news from a doctor and said: “I have to imagine this is what it feels like when the oncologist calls and tells you the tumour is benign.”

Kimmel joked about prominent Trump supporter Michael J Lindell, the CEO of a pillow manufacturing company who backed unfounded claims the election was marred by voter fraud.

He said: “Today this country showed the world there is no MyPillow large enough to smother our democracy.”

And he compared the scenes during Wednesday’s inauguration – which featured performances from Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez – to the chaos two weeks ago when supporters of Mr Trump raided the Capitol.

Kimmel said: “Two weeks ago a bunch of dangerous imbeciles with Donald Trump flags tried to overthrow our government. Today, on that very same spot, we had the national anthem sung by Lady Gaga.”

Kimmel said seeing former presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama join Mr Biden was like “when all the Avengers came back together to beat Thanos”.

Kimmel said: “The bar for Joe Biden is low and it’s going to be an adjustment to have a president who is presidential.

“There is a feeling in the air of celebration and joy so we say goodbye to Donald Trump not with venom, not with scorn, but with optimism, jubilance and celebration.”

Kimmel then played a CGI video showing famous US monuments – including the Statue Of Liberty – dancing to Paul Leka’s 1969 hit Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.

Fallon introduced his The Tonight Show, which is more focussed on entertainment than its rivals, by saying: “Joe Biden, our nation turns its bleary eyes to you.”

He said the US is more divided than ever, quipping “we don’t even have peace among the cast of Sex And The City”.

Fallon turned his attention to “the elephant that wasn’t in the room” Mr Trump, joking his farewell claim that “we will be back in some form” sounded like it was written by Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort.

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