Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Sexual Misconduct

Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel have some jokes about Matt Lauer's termination

Jimmy Fallon kicked off Wednesday's Tonight Show with a pointed jab at the elephant in the room, the firing that morning of his own network's morning news star, Matt Lauer, over sexual misconduct. Well, technically Fallon began with a setup about how NBC had just rung in the holiday season by lighting the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza. "Also getting lit tonight? The HR rep over at NBC," he deadpanned. "If you're wondering where in the world is Matt Lauer, he's probably at a bar with Charlie Rose." Rose, of course, was the top male at Lauer's CBS rival morning show before he was fired over sexual misconduct.

Fallon has a reputation for pulling punches, but the other late-night Jimmy, Jimmy Kimmel, was a little more expansive with the Lauer jokes. "This morning my wife looked at her phone and said, 'Oh my god, Matt Lauer' — which, of course, I assumed he was dead. I guess this is better, I don't know," he said. "What happens now? I mean, does he have to do an emotional interview with himself?" He also wondered if maybe fellow Today anchor Kathie Lee Gifford should stop slapping Hoda Kobt's butt on "spanky Tuesdays" — which, he proved, is a real thing.

"Of course, President Trump weighed in on this, as presidents do," Kimmel said dryly. "And I'll tell you, if anyone knows about inappropriate behavior in the workplace at NBC, it's Donald J. Trump. I mean, is he aware that he's him?" Of course, Lauer wasn't Wednesday's only big media termination. Kimmel's joke about Garrison Keillor fondling an NPR tote bag fell flat, but he persisted: "Can you imagine being fired from Minnesota Public Radio? It's like having your library card revoked." Peter Weber