On Tuesday night, America elected Donald Trump as the 45h President of the United States.
Also on Tuesday night, Showtime aired Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night Democracy’s Series Finale: Who’s Going To Clean Up This Sh*t?
It was meant to be a comedy special. It was meant to be a coronation of Hillary Clinton.
However, just like approximately half the people in the country, Colbert grew more and more stunned as the results rolled in and a Trump Presidency became more and more likely.
Unlike approximately half the people in the country, however, Colbert was actually live on air while this development was taking place.
At one point, upon learning just how close Trump was to 270 electoral college votes, he seemed to be at a loss for words.
"I can't put a happy face on that," he replied. "And that's my job."
When it was time to sign off for the evening, the outcome had not yet been made official, but it was very clear where things were headed.
Colbert had to think of something to leave viewers with as an unthinkable nightmare inched ever closer to becoming a reality.
"I think we can agree that this has been an absolutely exhausting, bruising election for everyone," Colbert said to open his closing monologue, trying for a bit of levity.
"And it has come to an ending I did not imagine. We all now feel the way Rudy Giuliani looks."
From there, though, the comedian turned serious and thoughtful.
The Late Late Show speculated that the world is "going to be saying, 'Has America lost its mind?' And the answer is evidently, 'Back off, buddy. We've got 300 million guns and we're kind of stressed right now.' "
Colbert then showed a couple of graphics that depicted a divided nation.
They featured the results of polls about how neither side trusts the other.
"How did our politics get so poisonous? I think it's because we overdosed, especially this year. We drank too much of the poison. You take a little bit of it so you can hate the other side and it tastes kind of good and you like how it feels.
"And there's a gentle high to the condemnation."
Colbert nearly broke down upon talking about his mother, who was born two days before women got the right to vote and who wanted to vote for Clinton before she died.
He went on to deliver a few jokes about things we can all agree on (i.e. Kit Kat bars should be eaten in segments) before concluding as follows:
"Above all, we, as a nation, should never, ever have another election like this one. Do you agree? Now, please. Get out there. Kiss a Democrat. Go hug a Republican. Give a libertarian a [sex act]...
"The election is over. You survived. Good night and may God Bless America."
On a night with an unprecedented election result, Stephen Colbert gave us something close to an unprecedented television special.
Not that he wanted to.
Watch his moving closing speech below: