Election night was not a good evening for "The Colbert Report's" Stephen Colbert, who showed up Wednesday night face-down on his desk, wearing his red (natch) bathrobe, tossing around popcorn and cracking open a beer. It was a far cry from the crowd dancing he did following the first presidential debate.
“What are you people doing here? Shouldn’t you be out celebrating?” he asked his audience. “Because evidently you don’t listen to anything I say!”
But things went as well as could be expected for "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart, who saw President Obama re-elected and the Democrats pick up a couple of seats in the Senate.
But if there was one downside, it was that his live show that evening prevented him from watching how the folks at Fox News handled themselves watching their nightmare come true. Still, Stewart did riff on how the network he calls “Bulls--- Mountain” spent the night and its aftermath, and it was worth waiting for.
Unsurprisingly, he showed clips of Karl Rove’s desperate attempts to un-call Ohio for Obama, and Fox anchor Megyn Kelly’s challenge to Rove, “Is this just math that you view as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is this real?”
“Did you see this? Did you record this? Did you TiVo it? Because you can play it back and forth like I did today,” Stewart said. “Here’s what happened. I just want to get it straight Karl, very quickly. Are you lying to yourself? Or to the millions of viewers? Because you’re lying.”
And Stewart found Kelly’s comment notable in another way, suggesting to the network’s executives that "'Math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better' is a much better slogan for Fox than what they have now.”
Stewart also examined what happened in the hours after the election, when the Fox News team looked at the shattered remains of their election map and attempted to make some sense of what happened.
First came the predictable excuse that many voters, clearly more than the 47 percent Mitt Romney dismissed in that infamous campaign-event-turned-viral-video, took advantage of the chance to line their pockets at the expense of the selfless, wealthy job-creating class.
“What an incredible story to tell yourselves. ‘We would have won, if not for the moral failings of the non-real Americans,’” Stewart said. “Last night minorities, who feel entitled to things, came away and took the country away from the self-sufficient white Medicare retirees and upper class tax avoidance experts, or as they’re also known, ‘your audience.’”
Fox also blamed negative campaigning from Obama, and the smearing of Romney’s record. Of course, much of the attacks were originally made by Romney’s rivals in the primary, causing Stewart to note, “This election wasn’t murder. It was auto un-erotic asphyxiation.”
Finally, the network tried to treat the results as something less than a mandate, a confusing approach given the lopsided nature of the electoral college results, particularly if Florida is called for Obama once the results are finally tabulated.
“Yes, let this resounding victory by Barack Obama be a lesson to the president. If you don’t moderate your positions, you may not win that third term!” Stewart said.
Nate Silver, the man of the hour in the data-driven community, was Stewart’s guest on Wednesday’s “Daily Show.” Silver came under fire from the right when his "FiveThirtyEight" blog predicted an overwhelming likelihood of an Obama victory at a time when the conventional narrative was that this election would be “razor tight,” whatever that means.
Considering the results went almost exactly as his analysis predicted, however, a lot of those critics owe Silver an apology.
“Don’t you want to stand up and go ‘I am Nate Silver! Bow down to me! I am Nate Silver, Lord and God of the Algorithm?” Stewart asked.
Silver demurred, perhaps because his blog wasn’t perfect. It did call that North Dakota senate race wrong.
Meanwhile, over on the broadcast networks, David Letterman noted during his "Late Show" monologue, "Well, it's over. And as usual, the guy from Kenya won." Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" congratulated President Obama on his re-election, and noted there was hope for the GOP since depression "is covered by Obamacare."
And "Late Night's" Jimmy Fallon (whose dog is not apparently to be trusted with predicting presidential race winners) trotted out his Romney character one more time, chatting on the phone with "President Obama," who noted that he had done well with the Latino vote. "Which is odd, because 80 percent of Latinos work for me," said Fallon/Romney.
"I'm just going to focus on the good times," said Romney/Fallon. "Remember that first debate?"
"Obama" replied: "Yep. You remember ... right now? Ha! Burn notice!"