CNN Analyst Bill Carter: I Think Colbert Had a ‘Psychological Change’ On Election Night


On Monday night, CNN aired its special Late Night in the Age of Trump which focused how late night comedians have changed under President Trump.

The program, which was hosted by CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, opened on November 8, 2016 when Stephen Colbert had a live election special that aired on Showtime. As Stelter narrated, Colbert thought he would be “documenting history” with Hillary Clinton being elected president, noting that the show began upbeat but turned sour as the night progressed.

CNN analyst Bill Carter told Stelter that Colbert had a “certain set of jokes” he was going to tell, but the show went in a different direction once Trump took the lead in the electoral college.

Carter, who wrote the book The War for Late Night, said that The Late Show host’s energy level “dropped” and the thought about electing the first woman president had to be “rejected” for something else “on the fly.” Disgraced journalist Mark Halperin even made a cameo when Colbert pulled out glasses of whiskey to share.

“All of his emotions were on display and it made for incredibly arresting television, but in some ways disturbing,” Carter said. “You’re watching a guy have his hopes drain out of him right on the air. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

A distraught Colbert asked his audience that night, “How did politics become so poisonous?” He answered by saying that we “overdosed” and “drank too much of the poison.”

“I think there was some sort of psychological change that came over Colbert,” Carter elaborated. “He became a different host after that.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: