Late night talk show host Seth Meyers on Wednesday used a largely sober opening monologue to congratulate Donald Trump's supporters and to pay respect to their reasons for voting for him, despite his own "sadness" and "anger" at the outcome.
The "Late Night With Seth Meyers" host and former "Saturday Night Live" weekend update anchor frequently skewered Trump in the run up to the election.
"I felt a lot of emotions last night and into today — 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," Meyers said.
"We’re always better as a society when we have empathy for one another ... so I would like to say to those Trump supporters: Congratulations. I sincerely hope that he addresses your concerns. I sincerely hope that, if you felt forgotten, he won’t forget you now.”
Meyers also congratulated Trump on the election. "Democracy is a fantastic thing, even when it doesn’t go your way. It gives everyone in America a voice, and last night those voices spoke," he said.
"So I want to say to President-elect Trump: Congratulations. To Melania and the new first family, congratulations," Meyers said.
It wasn’t all somber. "To Vladimir Putin and everyone in Russia: [congratulations]," he joked, speaking the last word in Russian.
Meyers joked that he was hopeful because Trump has been on both sides of various issues over the years, and "pretty much his only consistent position has been anti-Rosie O’Donnell."
He also said that even though the nation did not elect the country’s first female president, he was confident it would do so someday, noting that "someone's daughter is out there right now who will one day have that title."
"The fact is we don’t know who you are, but I imagine this moment today will be a defining one for you, one that will make you work harder and strive farther," he said.
"Whoever you are, I hope I live to see your inauguration — and I hope my mom does, too. She was really excited yesterday," he said, becoming misty-eyed.