NEW YORK – Late-night TV show hosts expressed anger and frustration at the violence at the U.S. Capitol, offering somber monologues that pleaded for unity even as some aimed pointed barbs at those they held responsible for the mobs' actions.
“It was a terrible day in the history of this country,” said Jimmy Kimmel on his ABC show Wednesday. Over on CBS, Stephen Colbert called it "a horrifying day that will go down in U.S. history, however much longer that is.”
They were reacting to footage several hours earlier of a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump storming the Senate and forcing lawmakers into hiding. Tear gas was used in the Rotunda.
“If my grandfather were alive today and saw what was happening in the country that he fought for, he’d be disgusted," said Jimmy Fallon on NBC. "People walking around with the flag upside down thinking they’re patriotic. Today was not patriotism. Today was terrorism.”
James Corden, who grew up in England, used the perspective of an outsider to view the events, saying he always looked to the United States as a beacon of light and possibility.
“Today, people across the world would have looked at these pictures from Washington and they would have wondered what on earth has happened to this great country,” Corden said on CBS. But he added ”the America that they admire still exists."
Kimmel ridiculed some members of the mob, including one dressed as a Viking. "It was like a psychotic “Price is Right” audience forcibly taking control of the Plinko wheel," Kimmel said. He condemned those who “lit these fires.”
Colbert's 14-minute monologue was the most scathing, calling out Trump’s most outspoken GOP supporters in Congress and the Senate for what he alleged were years of sowing the seeds for violence.