Seth Meyers has responded to Donald Trump’s presidential victory with a mix of humor, candid emotion, and even a glimmer of optimism.
In a compelling excerpt from Wednesday’s episode of Late Night, Meyers admits that he was disappointed when Hillary Clinton didn’t become the first female president of the United States, and that Trump’s success has surprised him at every turn. But he also expresses empathy and hope.
“I felt a lot of emotions last night and into today,” Meyers says. “Some sadness, some anger, some fear. But I’m also aware that those are the same emotions a lot of Trump supporters felt, emotions that led them to make their choice, and it would be wrong for me to think my emotions are somehow more authentic than their emotions.”
Adding a touch of levity, he continues, “I am hopeful for President Trump, because hope is always the best possible path to take. And one thing that makes me hopeful is we know from interviews he’s given over the years that he has, at any given point, held every position on every issue. He’s been pro-choice, pro-life, for the Iraq war, against the Iraq war — pretty much his only consistent position has been anti-Rosie O’Donnell.
“So I’m hopeful that he’s not actually a racist, and that he just used racist rhetoric to court voters,” Meyers says. “Because when you’re courting someone, you’re always willing to pretend you’re something you’re not. For example, when you first start dating someone, you’ll agree to go apple picking.”
Meyers concludes with a pledge, to the president-elect and to viewers: “Donald Trump made a lot of promises as to what he’s going to do in the next four years, and now we get to see if he can fulfill them. And so, I’d just like to make one promise to him: We here at Late Night will be watching you.”
Watch Meyers’ full remarks below.