James Corden called Donald Trump a “lunatic” who had “hijacked” the US, as he and his fellow late night TV hosts reacted to an unprecedented day in America.
There were wild scenes in Washington DC on Wednesday as supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in a chaotic attempt to protest against the results of the election.
Order was later restored and politicians returned to the chamber to resume debating Joe Biden’s victory.
James Corden reflects on today's terrible events at the U.S. Capitol. pic.twitter.com/ysSMxV7QGV— The Late Late Show with James Corden (@latelateshow) January 7, 2021
Hosts of the popular late night programmes all addressed the mayhem, opening their shows with sombre monologues.
Corden, filming his The Late Late Show from his garage due to the spiralling Covid-19 case numbers in Los Angeles, described the events as a “crazy, sad day, a day that will go down as a dark one in the long history of America”.
London-born Corden said he grew up an “outsider” who admired the US, and those like him watching around the world would have been shocked by the events in DC.
Corden said the US had been “hijacked” by a “lunatic and his crazy army” for the last four years. However, that will soon end, Corden said.
He added: “Because in two weeks on those same steps, where that mob fought and pushed past police, Joe Biden will be sworn in as president of the United States.”
Jimmy Kimmel opened his show with a monologue welcoming viewers to “the treason finale” of Mr Trump’s presidency, before slamming the president for refusing to accept the result of the election.
Mocking the costumes some of the protesters wore, the TV host said “it was like a psychotic Price Is Right audience forcibly taking control of the Plinko wheel”.
He moved on to the rift between Mr Trump and his vice president Mike Pence, who defied calls to reject the electoral votes that make Mr Biden president.
Kimmel compared it to another high-profile split reportedly happening, saying: “First Kim and Kanye, and now Trump and Pence. Very sad.”
Kimmel criticised the Republicans who had sided with Mr Trump, including Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.
He said: “It was a terrible day in the history of this country. Our president and the scumbags who have kept this stolen election charade going, and that’s you Josh Hawley, that’s you Ted Cruz, either intentionally or just wildly irresponsibly, lit these fires to start a war, just to distract us from the fact Donald Trump lost the election.”
Kimmel added: “These people are not Americans.”
Jimmy Fallon opened his The Tonight Show by telling viewers it was a “difficult time” to do an entertainment programme.
He said: “This is what happens when there is no peaceful transition of power and what happens when there is bad leadership. This is not how you lose.
“Today was not patriotism, today was terrorism. I thought that President-elect Biden, President Biden, said it best when he said ‘we have to step up, we’re at our best when we step up.'”
Fallon added: “Today was a disgrace. Today was disappointing. But sadly, today was not a surprise.”
Stephen Colbert filmed his show live. He told viewers to remember the behaviour of Trump loyalists next time they are up for re-election.
Colbert said: “And in 2022, when all of those Republicans who are responsible for what happened today are running for re-election, let’s remember them for who they showed themselves to be today: cynical cowards who believe the voters should not choose who governs this country.”