Late Night Antics
July 24, 2018

This is a very special Shark Week, and Stephen Colbert celebrated on Monday night with a finorah and a blessing.

What makes this Shark Week different from all the ones before? This is the first to take place since Stormy Daniels said that during Shark Week 2007, she met President Trump at his Los Angeles hotel room, where they watched a documentary about shark attacks. "Or, as the kids call it, Netflix and krill," Colbert said. He then rolled out the finorah (yes, it's a menorah with a shark on it), and lit the first candle. "Oh blessed art thou, king of the sea, who maketh Donald Trump strangely randy," Colbert intoned.

Colbert then brought up the various Michael Cohen tapes in the news, including the 12 recordings seized by FBI agents in April now in the hands of federal prosecutors, plus the secret audio of Cohen's conversation with Trump about payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who said she had an affair with Trump that ended in 2007. "At this point, Nixon is going to rise from the dead and say, 'I'm suing you for copyright infringement,'" Colbert said. Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

June 27, 2018

How's this for some collusion — on Tuesday, late night hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Conan O'Brien joined forces to respond to President Trump's earlier tirade against them.

On Monday night, Trump was in South Carolina for a rally in support of Gov. Henry McMaster, but ended up going on a rant about Colbert ("the guy from CBS" who is a "low-life"), Fallon ("a lost soul"), and their comrade Jimmy Kimmel ("terrible" with "no talent"). "Honestly, are these people funny?" Trump asked. "And I can laugh at myself. Frankly, if I couldn't, I'd be in big trouble."

Fast forward to Tuesday night, when Colbert and Fallon opened their shows with the exact same opening, featuring their video chat with O'Brien — who was not a target of Trump's, and implored everyone to be civil because "if we're not careful, this thing could start to get ugly." Watch the clip, as shown on The Late Show with the Guy on CBS, below. Catherine Garcia

May 2, 2018

Ariana Grande co-hosted The Tonight Show on Tuesday, and during a game of "Musical Genre Challenge," she made singing a Kendrick Lamar song in the style of Evanescence look easy.

Grande threw herself into the goth rock rendition of "Humble," as well as one that hit pretty close to home for the pop singer — a '90s diva-take on "God's Plan" by Drake. Jimmy Fallon joined in on the fun, channeling his inner Johnny Cash for Usher's "Yeah," but really killing it with a ska version of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You," complete with some skanking. Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

June 23, 2017

The way Senate Republicans kept a tight lid on their health-care plan reminded The Daily Show's Trevor Noah of a very famous company that also likes to keep things under wraps — Apple.

It almost felt like the "launching of a new iPhone," Noah said Thursday night. "No one knew, there were leaks, we weren't quite sure. And just like Apple, today the Republicans sent out their own turtlenecked leader to reveal the bill." That would be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who led Republicans in closed door sessions to craft the bill. The way Noah sees it, Republicans decided the right thing to do was "cut Americans' health care so we can give people tax cuts," but that's "not the point. It's like a fireman running into a burning building and saving the fire, not the baby."

The bill largely mirrors the hugely unpopular House bill, although with "dramatically deeper" cuts to Medicare. Because it takes trillions of dollars away from health care to fund tax cuts for the rich, Republicans are "taking a big chance with this bill," Noah said. It will be felt by people in every single state, including millions who voted for President Trump, and it should be easy for the Democrats to fight this, "but unfortunately, they're the Democrats," Noah said, before rolling a clip of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) dorkily trying to convey a message. Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

May 5, 2017

President Trump has been the subject of about twice the number of late-night jokes at this point in his presidency than his three immediate predecessors, a study published by George Mason University on Thursday reveals. The study counted jokes from shows hosted by Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon.

Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton were the butt of 936, 546, and 440 late-night jokes in the first 100 days of their presidencies, respectively. That's an average of 641 jokes. In the same time period, Trump was the subject of a whopping 1,060 quips, nearly double the average. Trump is collecting late-night zings at such record speed that he is on pace to be the subject of more jokes this year than President Clinton was in 1998, the year of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Of course, these numbers may speak to late night's increasing irreverence as much as they reveal a dynamic specific to our current president. We'll have to see what happens with the next president to know for certain how much of the joke increase is uniquely about Trump and, as he infamously put it, his ability to generate the best ratings since "the World Trade Center came down." Bonnie Kristian

May 2, 2017

In recent days, President Trump has made some interesting remarks about, among other things, the Civil War, Andrew Jackson, and how surprisingly difficult it is to be president, and Seth Meyers can't help but poke fun at his "childlike naiveté colliding with reality."

On Monday's Late Night, Meyers showed a montage of pre-election Trump saying multiple times how "easy" it would be to change up health care and create new jobs, followed by Trump's recent revelation that it's actually pretty hard to be president. Speaking to Reuters, Trump said he "loved my previous life," and he "thought it would be easier" to be POTUS. "You thought the presidency would be easier than being a game show host?" Meyers asked. "There's a reason Abraham Lincoln is on the $5 and not Alex Trebek."

Meyers also mocked Trump for going on a "bizarre tangent" earlier Monday regarding Jackson and his "anger" over the Civil War, which didn't take place until 16 years after his death. In an interview on SiriusXM's POTUS channel, Trump declared that "people don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War?" Oh yes, Meyers said, "no one ever asked why was there a Civil War. And who could forget those searing letters from soldiers on the battlefield? 'Dearest Elizabeth, I write to you from the front lines, where the Civil War rages on for whatever reason. Today, I bayonetted my own brother. 'For what purpose?' he cried out, and I of course, could only respond, 'I do not know. Nobody knows.'" Find out how the "letter" ends in the video below. Catherine Garcia

April 26, 2017

Seth Meyers has questions that just aren't being asked by reporters during the daily White House press briefings — like "How long until President Trump causes the end of the world?" — so he brought Sean Spicer on his show to face a barrage of inquiries from the Late Night press corps.

Well, kind of. Thanks to the magic of editing, Meyers fired off such important questions as "Where did you guys find Steve Bannon?" with responses carefully culled from remarks Spicer has made at past briefings. (The answer, by the way, is "a system of tunnels and caves.") What really makes the video are the faces Spicer makes when Meyers "asks" certain questions and sets up dorky dad jokes for him ("How easy is it to buy lettuce in Washington?" "I think getting ahead of that could be an issue."). Watch the video — complete with Spicer's shout out to His Holiness Vladimir Putin — below. Catherine Garcia

April 4, 2017

On Monday's Late Night, Seth Meyers made it clear that as of right now, there's no "conclusive evidence connecting the dots that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to help them win the election." But there are so many dots — with one being former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — that we're all covered with spots. "The Trump presidency is basically a 6-year-old with chicken pox," Meyers said, "and the rest of us are so f—ing itchy."

A lot has happened since Flynn asked the FBI and House and Senate intelligence committees for immunity last week in exchange for an interview. He hasn't explained why he needs immunity, and the fact that there are mounting questions about any ties between Trump and Russia has the president "clearly bothered," Meyers said. That's why he's lashing out and tweeting about Hillary Clinton for roughly the 938,458th time and bringing back an old insult, calling Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd "Sleepy Eyes." An incredulous Meyers could not handle the hypocrisy. "You're calling Chuck Todd 'Sleepy Eyes?'" he asked. "If the bags under your eyes were any bigger you'd have to check them at the gate. They should inflate when you're in a car accident. You always look like you drank a bottle of NyQuil in the sauna."

Meyers had more empathy for White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who struggled to come up with a response recently when asked if Trump will release his 2016 tax returns. Spicer's answer wasn't a very good one — he said he had no information because it wasn't Tax Day yet and he was more concerned about getting his own taxes done — but it was enough for Meyers to feel "almost bad" for him. "You know that moment your girlfriend sees a text on your phone and says, 'Who's Lisa?'" Meyers asked. "That moment is his whole life." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

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