Speed Reads

last night on late night

Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and Trevor Noah collectively heal the 'yanny'-'laurel' divide

"Much of the English-speaking world has been torn in two over the past 48 hours," Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live, playing the word that some people hear as "laurel" and others, apparently, as "yanny." Kimmel's audience was divided, and he said he used to hear one but now hears the other. "But whether you hear 'laurel' or 'yanny,' there's one thing I think we can all agree on: Nothing has ever mattered less than this," Kimmel said. And yet, the internet has exploded with theories "about why we hear what we hear, and also comparing this to that blue dress/gold dress thing from a few years ago."

Kimmel had a more philosophical takeaway: "Ultimately, it illustrates that what is real isn't absolute. What we believe to be true depends on who we are, where we are, how we look at it, other individual factors like that — what's real to one person might not be real to another person. And if that is true, which I now think it is, I may now owe Donald Trump an apology." He doesn't, but he did note that it's "good to fight about something stupid again."

On The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon and Steve Higgins heard "yanny" while The Roots heard "laurel" — and Questlove did a remix, then punted. "I think it's both," Fallon finally decided. "I spent way too much time on that."

Everybody has, Trevor Noah said on The Daily Show. And "everyone had different theories, trying to figure out if maybe different types of people heard different things — like maybe old people heard 'laurel' and young people heard 'yanny,' or black people heard 'laurel' and the police heard 'He's got a gun!!!'" But he offered a solution that just might heal this divide: "We need President Trump to tell us what he heard, and then everyone will immediately know what they think." Watch below. Peter Weber