Stephen Colbert's Election Special Isn't On CBS

After a heated election season that’s brought more drama than Regina George in Mean Girls, tonight’s road to the presidential results might feel like the final nail in your way-too-fed-up coffin. For those of you in need of some major comic relief, look no further than Stephen Colbert. Due to being preempted by ongoing election coverage on CBS — his home channel — the late-night host will switch over to Showtime for a one-night special. It’s already shaping up to be a landmark broadcast for reasons I’ll get into shortly, but trust me when I say it’s a show you won’t want to miss. If your television will be fixed on real-time news, you’ll definitely want to stream Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night special.

Not only will Colbert be dishing out his whip-smart sarcasm, but the program’s lineup has already been stacked with a number of high-profile guests. Among those stopping by are Katy Perry, Nick Offerman, Patton Oswalt, Jeff Goldblum, Larry Wilmore, Jena Friedman, and Charlamagne Tha God. Also on the bill is Elle King, who will sit in with house band Jon Batiste and Stay Human. Need more? The switch to Showtime lifts the ban on a number of broadcast taboos, giving Colbert and company free reign to swear, make obscene gestures, and strip down to their birthday suits, should they so please.


“There is one Showtime rule: If there’s male full-frontal nudity, it can’t be happy to see Stephen, if you know what I mean,” Chris Licht, who supervises production on The Late Show told Variety. “For comedy’s sake, there may be some things we do on the show simply because we can. The writers are very excited about the opportunity. I’ll just leave it at that.”

Amid the debauchery, Colbert will have some political pundits on board, too. Bloomberg Politics managing editors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will join Mark McKinnon of Showtime's campaign documentary series The Circus.

If you can’t tune in to the 11 p.m. ET live broadcast, there are a number of ways you can still catch the special bonanza.

The Showtime App

If you’ve got a Showtime subscription, you can, of course, watch live. But if you’ll have your TV set to a different program, or simply won’t be home, you can access the show on a number of different platforms. Showtime’s app is available for use with computers, tablets, phones, and game consoles — all you have to do is sign in with your cable provider (or your mom's, if she's feeling generous).

Facebook Live

In recent months, Colbert has frequently turned to social media for bonus election commentary. In October, he posted a video reaction to the release of Trump’s now-infamous Access Hollywood tape, and a few days later crafted a new cold open for an old Late Show episode and posted it online. Election night won’t be any different, as the late night host will air his full, uncensored monologue on Facebook Live.


If you’re too wrapped up in following the live results, you can always revisit the special at a later date. CBS will re-air the special on Friday, and it’s likely they’ll post it on their website as well. It just might include some bleeps and censors for the broadcast-friendly crowd.

Image: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS (1)