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TV Critic’s Corner

Late-night hosts going live on election night

Seth Meyers will be one of the talk show hosts chiming in on election results.
Seth Meyers will be one of the talk show hosts chiming in on election results.Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBC

We’re not having a presidential election Tuesday, but it sure feels like it. Everything in the news and on social media about the midterms has been building toward what some are seeing as a referendum on President Trump.

The serious midterm coverage will be TV wallpaper on Tuesday night, on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and FBN. I know you’ll have spent time during the day going to vote, and so you’ll probably be primed to watch the results pour in.

But there will be laughs, too — angry and ironic laughs, perhaps, but laughs. Those late-night comedians accustomed to cracking timely political jokes are making an effort to stay relevant on Tuesday night, as some of them did during the 2016 election and the 2018 State of the Union address. They’re going live.

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“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” at 11:35 p.m. on CBS, and “Late Night With Seth Meyers” at 12:35 a.m. on NBC will all be ditching tape, so that the hosts can chime in on the fresh election results.

Not surprisingly, given Jimmy Fallon’s tendency to avoid bold political humor, his “Tonight Show” will be preempted on Tuesday.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.