Stephen Colbert said Wednesday’s long-awaited inauguration of President Joe Biden left him feeling unexpectedly “emotional” in ways he hadn’t necessarily expected.
“Because I have to tell you, I have zero gloat in me,” Colbert said on a live episode of “The Late Show” on Wednesday night. “There is no end zone dance here. What I feel is enormous relief.”
The host added that watching the inauguration made him realize how worried Colbert had been for the country during President Donald Trump’s one-term. “It’s like we’ve been on a ship that’s been in a storm for four years and we just stepped on to dry land. I want to kiss the ground, but, you know, COVID, so I’m just gonna fist-bump it,” Colbert joked.
After four years of President Trump, in fact, Colbert said that Inauguration Day “felt like a return to normalcy.”
“The weirdest feeling is when something is clearly abnormal and someone tries to tell you it’s not. And what we saw today was the opposite of gaslighting,” Colbert said, referencing a term that was frequently used during Trump’s reign. “Today, we were reality-boarded, and I am here for it.”
Wednesday’s inauguration ceremonies were quite different than previous patriotic celebrations. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the podium was wiped down between speakers. Quipped Colbert about the person responsible for the cleaning, “his whole gig was just wiping away a disease, much like the voters did.” Colbert also lightly mocked the enormous Bible Biden was sworn in with as “the Bible Director’s Cut Extended Edition.”
Colbert also acknowledged Vice President Kamala Harris’ historic appointment as the “first female vice president, first Black vice president, first South Asian American vice president, and first vice president in four years who doesn’t think yogurt is too spicy.”
He wrapped up with a reminder that we’re all in this country together, and we all play a part in its future. “However we fix this country, it’s not the new administration’s work alone,” he said. “It’s up to all of us, as it always is, in whatever way we can. And President Biden, Vice President Harris, you have our prayers, our best wishes, and our every confidence.”
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