The January 6 riot at the Capitol became one of, if not the, defining moments of 2021. The scene made an already surreal time even more so. In the world of late-night television, Stephen Colbert was tasked with putting the day’s events into perspective.
Almost a year later, it remains difficult to accurately describe the chaos at the Capitol. But The Late Show with Stephen Colbert had a show to do that night. Thankfully for fans, Colbert and his team rose to the occasion.
Colbert scrapped the planned opening to his show. Instead, the Late Show went live as its host delivered a monologue that was both raw and poignant. The host had especially harsh words for the Republicans who supported former President Donald Trump and his efforts to “Make America Great Again.”
In the end, Colbert’s monologue became The Late Show‘s most-watched of 2021 based on YouTube views. It earned over 12 million views throughout the year.
Stephen Colbert’s monologue resonated with his audience
Throughout the Trump era, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert dominated late-night television thanks to Stephen Colbert’s monologues. After every breaking news story, controversial tweet, or head-scratching interview, fans turned to Colbert for his take on what happened.
The aftermath of Jan. 6 was no different as viewers tuned in to The Late Show. However, the events of that day were much harder to satirize, much harder to lampoon. The gravity of the situation became evident as Colbert spoke, laying much of the blame at the feet of the GOP.
With quotes like these, it’s easy to see why so many people watched Colbert’s Jan. 6 monologue again and again:
"Who could have seen this coming? Everyone. Even dummies like me. This is the most shocking, most tragic, least surprising thing I’ve ever seen."
And to Republicans who supported President Trump, Colbert leveled this warning:
"You can run all you want, for the rest of your lives but you can never escape the responsibility of what you brought upon American democracy today."
Did you expect Stephen Colbert’s monologue on January 6 to be The Late Show‘s most-watched opener of 2021? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.