Well, as he explained on Wednesday’s episode of The Late Show, he still hasn’t been able to shake off his disbelief.
“I’m Stephen Colbert … I think,” said Colbert, 52, kicking off his opening monologue. “I’m not sure what to believe about anything anymore.”
Noting that we certainly have “four very interesting years in front of us,” the comedian struggled to put his thoughts into words.
“There’s no way around it,” he said. “This is what it feels like when America is made great again. I was really hoping it would feel better.”
The comedian then took a moment to address the protests that swept the country on Wednesday, quipping that “the unity thing might take a scooch longer than Trump was hoping for.”
“I just want to say freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, first amendment — [those are] the most important things we can do together,” he continued. “Don’t stop speaking up, don’t stop speaking your mind.”
“But do keep in mind that for eight years, a lot of people wouldn’t accept that Barack Obama was President of the United States,” he continued. “Like it or not, for the record, we have to accept that Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States.”
The audience groaned, and Colbert nodded in agreement.
“No, I get that feeling completely — I just had to say it one more time,” he said. “I just want to keep saying it until I can say it without throwing up in my mouth a little bit. It feels like a little bit of a dream state. All day I’ve had to remind myself this isn’t a dream. … This is real.”
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“And no matter what the GOP is saying publicly, I think they might be feeling the same way,” he added. “Because remember, the Republican Party spent the entirety of this election in panic, trying to stop Donald Trump from being the nominee. And when they couldn’t — surprise! They won the presidency, both houses of Congress, and a seat on the Supreme Court. It’s like the GOP got caught in a plunging elevator, and they all fell 10 stories screaming, only for the doors to open on a candy store where everything’s free.”
In the rest of his monologue, Colbert addressed other elements that come into play with a Trump victory — notably, how to tell your kids.
“Tell them what you should always tell kids: ‘Work hard, be kind, care about other people, don’t be selfish, don’t grab them where they don’t want to be grabbed,’ ” he said. “And they’ll make the world a better place than Donald Trump can.”
Then Colbert took a moment to discuss the now-common refrain of moving to Canada to escape Trump. (After all, the Canadian immigration website did crash Tuesday evening.)
“A lot of folks are very casually throwing around the idea of moving to Canada. Canada: the language of France with the culture of Minnesota!” joked Colbert.
“I can understand why Canada is so attractive — you’ve got the free health care, and a prime minister who looks like the prince from Tangled,” he went on. “But listen up there, everybody out there who’s saying: ‘I’m going to move to Canada’ — you don’t get to flee when things get rough here! Being an American citizen is like family. You’re in it whether you like it or not.”
Being “a man of some faith,” Colbert even staged a mock conversation with God, who was shocked to learn that Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote didn’t mean much, and who doesn’t understand the Electoral College any better than you do.
“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised white men came out on top again, considering how everyone assumes I look,” God said.
But Colbert’s impassioned monologue wasn’t his only weigh-in on the election: He also brought on Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the puppet voiced by Robert Smigel, to deliver a few zingers.
“People are blaming the election on voters being stupid, which I think is very unfair to the racists,” Triumph said. “You elitists, you need to go out and see the real America. I hear the meth is amazing. I mean, it has to be: look who they voted for.”
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights (11:35 p.m. ET) on CBS.