How do you start a late-night comedy show after a day like Wednesday? The late-night hosts all had a similar tone in their monologues: anger.

“I really want to do the show we’re about to do, and I also don’t want to do the show we’re about to do – because Lord have mercy,” Stephen Colbert said at the top of “The Late Show,” which aired live. “There are some dark subjects that we talk about on the show occasionally, but I’ve rarely been as upset as I am tonight. And I’m sure you are, too.”

Colbert, along with Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and James Corden, kicked off their shows as they recounted their horror at seeing a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters storming the U.S. Capitol – and saved special vitriol for Republicans who have encouraged Trump and his supporters or stayed silent. Here are some of their most scathing excerpts:

– Stephen Colbert

“Hey, Republicans who supported this president, especially the ones in the joint session of Congress today, have you had enough? After five years of coddling this president’s fascist rhetoric, guess whose followers want to burn down the Reichstag? Because today, the U.S. Capitol was overrun for the first time since 1814, and a woman died. Who could have seen this coming? Everyone?”

“This is the most shocking, most tragic, least-surprising thing I’ve ever seen. … I really do hope you’re enjoying those tax cuts. And those judges, because those judges are working hard. They’re going to be busy throwing these idiots in jail. And by ‘idiots,’ I include the Republicans who let this happen, like you, Senator Josh Hawley, raising your stupid fist to the mob outside the Capitol. … Obviously, he has to keep his fist closed, because if he opened it, you would see all the blood on his hands.”

“But all of this Republican-generated chaos led to an evacuation of the chambers. And legislators were hustled to secure locations to shelter in place. A question for the Republican senators who helped foment this insurrection: Why’d you run away? I mean, these are your peeps! They love you. Why didn’t you hang out with your buddies, Marsha Blackburn? Kelly Loeffler? Ron Johnson? John ‘not that Kennedy’ Kennedy? 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.”


– Jimmy Kimmel

“This is not the sort of thing I ever imagined would happen in this country in my lifetime. The president of the United States, because he is too angry, too insecure and too incompetent to deal with the fact that he lost an election, a fair election, an election that was no different than any other election, an election he lost by 7 million votes and 70 electors, turns an angry mob against members of Congress and his own vice president. Not to mention endangering the Capitol Police, those blue lives he claims matter so much to him.”

“After almost two hours of rioting on the Capitol, the National Guard was called in. Slowly. The police were very laid-back compared to the Black Lives Matter protests. Some were seen taking selfies with the criminals. Others seemed to welcome them through the gates.”

“It was a terrible day in the history of this country. Our president and the scumbags who have kept this ‘stolen election’ charade going – and that’s you, Josh Hawley, that’s you, Ted Cruz – either intentionally or just wildly irresponsibly, lit these fires to start a war just to distract us from the fact that Donald Trump lost the election. Ted Cruz, this guy doesn’t even believe the election was stolen. He knows better than that. He’s so hungry for political power, he’s so desperate to be liked and supported by these nuts who think Joe Biden is a Chinese agent and Satan is trying to force them to wear masks to the mall, so that one day he can be president, he’s willing to roll the dice on a civil war.”

“Same with Josh Hawley, who had a very friendly wave with the invaders today. Same with Kevin McCarthy and Rudy Giuliani, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, and especially Donald Trump. These people are not Americans. There’s no ‘we the people,’ there’s ‘me the people.’ And that’s it.”

– Jimmy Fallon

“This is what happens when there is no peaceful transition of power and what happens when there is bad leadership. This is not how you lose. If my grandfather were alive today and saw what was happening in the country that he fought for, he’d be disgusted. People walking around with the flag upside down thinking they’re patriotic. Today was not patriotism. Today was terrorism.”

“President(-elect) Biden also said something after his speech that hit me even harder: He said, ‘Enough is enough is enough.’ And I believe that is what a majority of this country has been saying, has been screaming, for a long time now. Enough is enough. Today was a disgrace. Today was disappointing. But, sadly, today was not a surprise.”


– Seth Meyers

“Today was a day filled with surreal and horrifying scenes of armed insurrection, an attempt to destroy through violent means American democracy. It was a sequence of events unseen in the modern history of this nation and the images should be seared into our collective consciousness for the rest of our lives.”

“I think it’s important, as the first draft of history is being written and as we’re all processing what we witnessed today, to be as plain-spoken and clear-eyed as possible. What we saw today was a violent insurgency and an attempt to overthrow the legitimately elected government of the United States. And it was incited, directed and encouraged by the president, Donald Trump, and more than a few members of the Republican Party and right-wing media.”

“Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and the rest of the ‘Sedition Caucus’ in the House and Senate goaded this on. They’re responsible for this, they should wear this shame and disgrace for the rest of their lives. No one who aided and abetted today’s actions should ever be allowed to serve in a democracy they so clearly detest. There must be consequences for stoking violence and sedition. Otherwise, we’re going to see it again.”

“As for Trump: The only way, the only way, our democracy will survive this harrowing moment is if he is immediately removed from office by either the Cabinet or the Congress and prosecuted. Anything less is tacit permission to continue to use his office and his influence after he leaves office to foment sedition and dismantle democracy. And if our government fails to act, they’ll be assenting to the violent destruction of the democracy they claim to care so much about.”

– James Corden

“What a crazy, sad day. A day that will go down as a dark one in the long history of America. We’ve all sat today glued to the pictures of Trump’s supporters breaching the Capitol, fighting with police, shouting in the chambers of Congress or flagrantly popping off a selfie as they sit with their feet up in the government’s offices.”

“Then, under the pretense of trying to calm the situation, their hero, the president, released a message this afternoon to tell those supporters, ‘You’re special, we love you.’ I wouldn’t want to even imagine his treatment or response to those people, if they had they been wearing Black Lives Matter hats instead of red MAGA ones.”

“In two weeks, on those same steps where that mob fought and pushed past the police, the people who encouraged and instigated that violence – Donald Trump, his children, Rudy Giuliani – they’re all going to need a tourist pass to get in. Because they’ve lost the presidency, they’ve lost the House, and now they’ve lost the Senate. … Today was their last dance at the worst party any of us have ever been to. So if you can, have hope.”