Stephen Colbert’s five best monologues of 2020

A Late Show with Stephen Colbert (Photo: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS)
A Late Show with Stephen Colbert (Photo: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS) /
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The Late Show, Stephen Colbert
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS Broadcasting Inc.) /

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert had some of late night television’s best monologues in 2020

The monologue is the foundation of any good late night television show. It sets the table each night and can make or break any given episode. And with so many late night shows covering the same stories, it can be even harder for a monologue to consistently stand out. In 2020, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert did just that and made the case for having late night TV’s best monologues.

2020 made monologues even more important as the COVID-19 pandemic forced significant changes to the late night TV format. Sketches, bits with a studio audience, and guest interviews were either impossible or severely restricted. It was up to the hosts to deliver entertaining monologues crafted alongside the writing staff for each show.

The pandemic was the primary topic in most late night monologues during 2020. The presidential election was also a popular subject, providing a perfect storm of material for a show like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

So with that in mind, it’s no surprise that Colbert’s best monologues of 2020 focused on those topics. Here are Last Night On’s picks for the top five monologues from The Late Show over the past year. Be sure to tell us what you think in the comment section.

5. Stephen Colbert pops champagne after Joe Biden’s victory

It was the day Stephen Colbert had been looking forward to for almost four years: the day he knew President Donald Trump’s days were numbered. The election may not have been called on election night, but the delay only made things sweeter for Colbert.

It was a rollercoaster four years for Colbert and that was reflected in his election week coverage. The Late Show host was at times calm and other times enraged. But in the end, it concluded with a celebration as Colbert poured himself a drink during his monologue.

The monologue stood out not only for Colbert’s celebration but for how he was able to put things in perspective. He acknowledged that the election didn’t fix all of America’s problems. As he put it “our long national nightmare is different.”

The monologue may not have had as many jokes as fans would have liked. But instead, it featured Colbert’s thoughts on the election and the past four years. Going forward, fans can expect The Late Show to talk a lot less about the president as Colbert admitted to the stranglehold President Trump has had on his and the country’s attention. But this monologue still demonstrated that Colbert sees a brighter future ahead.