Don’t lose hope. That was the message as Chelsea Handler and other US late-night TV hosts, including Seth Meyers and James Corden, broke from their usual comedy banter yesterday to encourage people who felt dispirited by the election result.
Handler fought back tears during her Netflix show, Chelsea, as she responded to Donald Trump’s election with senator Barbara Boxer, who encouraged Hillary Clinton to run for president long before her campaign was announced. “I guess the message that I want to spread out to other women is exactly what you’re saying, is not to give up,” Handler said. “Sorry, I hate fucking crying on camera,” she added as she started to cry. “It’s not to give up because this is so important.”
Meyers, like Handler, was emotional during his show but kept the tone lighter and more optimistic. He found a silver lining in his disappointment that the US won’t yet have its first woman president.
“Someone’s daughter is out there right now who will one day have that title. We don’t know who you are but I imagine this moment today will be a defining one for you, one that will make you work harder and strive farther,” Meyers said. “Wherever you are I hope I live to see your inauguration. And I hope my mom does, too.”
Meyers also paused to address the serious national divide that has became ever more apparent since election night, when the country was evenly split between Clinton and Trump.
He said he felt sadness, anger, and fear at the prospect of a Trump presidency. But that “it would be wrong of me to think that my emotions are somehow more authentic than their emotions,” said Meyers of Trump supporters. “I sincerely hope that if you felt forgotten that he won’t forget you now.”
CBS’ Stephen Colbert and TBS’ Conan O’Brien also spoke of unity in the wake of this bruising election cycle during their late-night shows. Colbert, during his live election night special on Showtime, said: “Please, get out there. Kiss a Democrat, hug a Republican, give a Libertarian a reach around. The election is over. You survived. And may God bless America.”
However, it was James Corden, who’s English, who best summed up it up best. “This country isn’t about one election result,” Corden said. “This country is about the people who live here. It’s you, it’s how you treat one another, it’s the tone that you set that will define who we are.”