It has been a presidential campaign season in which the jokes practically have written themselves.
So it should come as no surprise that the joke-making professionals want to weigh in Tuesday night, while election results are still fresh.
Trevor Noah of The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert of The Late Show and Chris Hardwick of @midnight will host live comedy coverage just hours after the polls close, while broadcast networks and cable news channels elsewhere on the TV landscape are busy playing it straight.
Meanwhile, the women of The View will get an opportunity to have their say about the election in prime time.
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This much is clear: TV viewers will have more choices this year than voters do.
Here’s a rundown of some of the not-so-traditional election night programs.
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Comedy Central’s fake news team has spent the entire year mocking every campaign misstep made by Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and other candidates during its “Democalypse 2016” coverage.
So there’s no way that Noah (who took over as Daily Show anchor in September 2015 after Jon Stewart stepped down) and his correspondents (Ronny Chieng, Desi Lydic, Jordan Klepper, Hasan Minhaj and Roy Wood Jr.) would be willing to sit on the sideline on the big night.
While the emphasis will be on the presidential race, there are plans to address some of the key House and Senate elections. Many of those races are ripe for comedic jabs.
The one-hour live broadcast begins at 10 p.m., while results are still coming in. The Daily Show team might have been willing to do the show in prime time — but as executive producer Jen Flanz told Entertainment Weekly, it’s not an option because, “we have to wait for Russia to hack in.”
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Colbert isn’t shy about filling his after-hours CBS talk show with political satire and social commentary, the same as when he hosted The Colbert Report during a 10-year run on Comedy Central.
The funny man wouldn’t dream of missing out on this. Alas, the real news team at CBS plans to hog the entire night with bona fide election coverage. So Colbert has found a temporary home on Showtime.
Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night — Democracy’s Series Finale begins at 10 p.m.
“It’ll be all the political comedy you love from my CBS show, with all the swearing and nudity you love from Showtime,” Colbert promises. “Get all the election news without all the ethics and standards of news.”
The one-hour program also will feature remote segments and surprise guests.
@midnight With Chris Hardwick
While the primary focus of Hardwick’s mock game show is the internet (and all the ridiculous things that can be found on social media), the Comedy Central series regularly weighs in on politics.
So you can bet that when @midnight goes live for the first time in its three-year history at 11:05 p.m., one of the segments will be “Panderdome,” a viewer favorite in which contestant comedians poke fun at presidential candidates for their many public and social media gaffes.
The night’s all-star panelists are Whitney Cummings, Ron Funches and Paul F. Tompkins, three of the show’s most frequent guests.
ABC’s long-running daytime talk show is moving to prime time — and to another network — so the female co-hosts can discuss election-themed “Hot Topics” as results are still pouring in.
The two-and-a-half-hour special begins at 8 p.m. on Lifetime, with live reports from the ground in Times Square, where thousands are expected to gather and celebrate the historic evening.
Liz Gateley, Lifetime’s executive vice president and head of programming, says the network is the perfect fit for The View, whose panel of co-hosts include Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Candace Cameron Bure, and for the show’s focus on women’s issues.
“Never before have we seen a presidential election cycle so driven by gender,” Gateley says. “We are thrilled to partner with our talented friends at The View on this historic night.”
Comedy Central also plans to air an election-themed episode of Tosh.0 — it’s called the Tosh.0lection Special — at 9 p.m. The show, which shines a spotlight on embarrassing internet and social media misfires, will keep it political for the entire half-hour.
Tosh has promised via Twitter, appropriately, “I guarantee we will be the first to call the election.” But there is no guarantee he’ll be right.
Following Tosh at 9:30 is a politics-themed episode of Drunk History, hosted by Derek Waters and Steve Berg. Segments include stories about Thomas Jefferson and John Adams; Woodrow Wilson and first lady Edith Wilson; and Abraham Lincoln.
The Velocity network counters with a five-hour Cars & Stripes: The 2016 Election Special, beginning at 6 p.m. Other unlikely networks to provide live election coverage are TV One (6 p.m. to midnight) and BET (10 p.m. to midnight).
May the best election show win.