last night on late night
November 16, 2018

Former first lady Michelle Obama got a very warm welcome on Thursday's Jimmy Kimmel Live. "You see how much we miss you?" Kimmel said. "We're here, we're in another house," Obama said. "How's unemployment going?" Kimmel asked. "You embracing it?" She said yes, but "truthfully, we're boring. You know, we have a teenager at home, and she makes us feel inadequate every day." The former president, Obama said, is spending his days holed up in his messy office, writing his own book.

Obama talked about raising kids in the White House, her mother's unsuccessful attempts to escape living there after a few years, whether she'd live in the White House if one of her daughters becomes president — "Oh god, that will never happen," she said — the dogs, and how first families have to pay for their own food while living in the White House. "That's crazy to me," Kimmel said. Obama explained that it generally isn't crazy, except that the staff "are very responsive, at your expense."

"If you wanted to get someone in your husband's administration fired, how would you do that?" Kimmel asked after a break. Obama laughed. "Why do you ask?" she said diplomatically. She explained that nobody on the White House staff rubbed her the wrong way, Kimmel said he didn't believe her, and he brought up a game he and his wife play, informally called "What if Obama had done this?" "Oh god, we play that at home, too," she said. "Quite often." Kimmel asked Obama if anybody has seriously approached her about running for office, she said "all the time," but she's "never had any serious conversations with anyone about it because it's not something that I'm interested in or would ever do, ever." You can watch that, her un-first-lady-like comments, and how she tried to get copies of her book, Becoming, to old boyfriends and bullies, below. Peter Weber

November 16, 2018

"You have to be very careful when you're a first lady," Jimmy Kimmel said to former first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday's Kimmel Live. "But you're not first lady anymore. And as far as I'm concerned, you can really cut loose and say anything now, right?" Obama said yes, tentatively. "I've written some things down," Kimmel said, and "if you're game for this, maybe here's some things you could say now you are..." "So you want me to just look at those cards and just read what you said?" a skeptical Obama asked. "Don't even look at them, just read what I wrote," Kimmel said. And she did, gamely.

After the first one — "I've never eaten a vegetable" — Obama laughed and commented her way through the rest of Kimmel's cards. The last one's a little spicy. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 9, 2018

As soon as the news broke Thursday that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had been hospitalized with three broken ribs, there was a sudden upswell in prospective rib donors. Stephen Colbert was among them. "Does she need ribs?" he asked on Thursday's Late Show. "I've got ribs. She can take mine! Somebody give me a pair of pliers and a bite stick. And if mine are no good, I've started a crowdfunding page on Ribstarter."

All we know is that Ginsburg fell in her office and broke three ribs, Colbert said. "What was she doing walking around an office? She's far too precious. Forget a black robe, she should be dressed in bubble wrap and carried down the hallway like a Fabergé egg!" He noted that she has rebounded from worse injuries, including two broken ribs in 2012.

Well, "no one is praying harder for her recovery than the host of the 700 Club, Pat Robertson," Jimmy Kimmel joked on Kimmel Live, playing a clip of Robertson wishing the 85-year-old justice a speedy recovery — and speedier retirement, suggesting she's over the hill. Kimmel laughed. "Have you seen yourself on television, Pat? If she's over the hill, you're under it."

"For obvious reasons, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is someone we need to protect at any cost," he said. "And I don't just talk, I take action — that's my way — and I've come up with something that I think could help." He demonstrated the "Ruth Bader Ginsbubble," but realized too late the device had a pretty big flaw. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 8, 2018

Democrats won control of the House in Tuesday's midterms in a "mild wave," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show, but in a press conference on Wednesday, Trump "said this was great for Republicans, and so was Trump." He played a clip of Trump naming the GOP losers who refused to "embrace" him. "I gotta say, I'm really surprised that stopped him, because he is not known for asking permission before he embraces," Colbert said. "I mean, just look what he did to that poor flag."

"Trump seemed a bit subdued throughout this morning's press conference until he saw one of his favorite chew toys, CNN's Jim Acosta," Colbert said, and he "became even more hostile when asked about his racial rhetoric." He was especially tickled when a reporter live-fact-checked Trump on his support among black voters.

CBS chief White House correspondent Major Garrett asked the second question at Trump's press conference, and he told Colbert he had a feeling Trump had already fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he broached the subject with the president. Garrett said of course Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be concerned by Sessions' temporary replacement, but explained that if Trump fired everyone, it would be a presidential crisis, not a constitutional crisis. "We have a Constitution to solve crises," he said.

Garrett explained why Trump's "bombastic" press conference was bizarre for most presidents but fit well with Trump's personality, then explained that Sessions first tried to resign on the day Mueller was appointed. Interestingly, he said the legitimacy of his interim replacement, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, is an open question. "This is a Vacancy Act legal question — the Senate hasn't confirmed him, how can he run a Cabinet agency?" Garrett asked. "So this is not just 'Well, what is he going to do?' but 'Can he actually do this?'" Watch below. Peter Weber

November 2, 2018

Stephen Colbert welcomed Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Thursday's Late Show, and they began their good-natured sparring on the upcoming midterms. Wallace said there have been big midterm elections before, like the 2010 and 1994 GOP waves, where health care was a huge topic. "And this time, strangely," Colbert said, lots of Republicans are "running on the fact that they'll save your health care, that they'll save your being covered by pre-existing conditions — when just seconds ago, they were doing everything they could to strip all of that out of the law. Are people believing that?"

"No," Wallace said, laughing, and "it is a problem for Republicans, because they ran on 'repeal and replace'" and "particularly weaken the pre-existing condition factor, and so Republicans are getting their tails whipped on that subject. And as a result, they're trying to change the subject, and that's why you see the president talking so much about immigration and the caravan about to invade America." "About to?" Colbert laughed. "They're careening toward us at foot speed."

They got into a spirited argument on the merits of President Trump's immigration policies. Wallace said he wouldn't attack Trump, but when Colbert asked about Trump's "enemy of the people" slander, Wallace said he believes vilifying the press is a massive threat to American democracy and Trump is "undermining the Constitution."

Wallace has a little media criticism. "I do think that the press has made a mistake, in some cases, in taking the president's bait and overreacting to it, and sometimes playing his game," he said. "We are not in his game. We shouldn't fight fire with fire. His job is to be a disrupter — and you call him whatever you want to call him — our job is to be reporters." They argued over the appropriateness of a Washington Post headline, and Wallace had to eat a bit of crow. You can watch that below. Peter Weber

November 1, 2018

Jon Stewart, the former Daily Show host and sharp media critic, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that in his view, President Trump has exploited the media's "own narcissism" to deflect from coverage of his policies and make it "all about the fight." "Do you think he's right?" Stephen Colbert asked Amanpour on Wednesday's Late Show. "Do you think that you guys are being played?"

"I do accept a lot of the criticism," Amanpour said, but she wanted to make two points. "One, it is our role, and we must defend our profession. This is a noble profession, this is a profession that in the United States of America, is guaranteed and protected by the First Amendment. ... We cannot bend over and surrender, we're not going to do that." On the other hand, she said, "we cannot be dragged down every single rabbit hole. We must stand for issues and actually keep our eye on the prize," and "some journalists are getting way too emotional about this," understandably but regrettably.

The interview then took an unexpected turn. "Can I just make a point here," Amanpour said. "You know how you were making fun of my fellow Englishwoman and her ghost orgasms?" "Yes, I was," Colbert said. "Well, you know there is something called an incubus, right?" she asked. He did know not only incubi, but about a male version of a nocturnal sex demon, the succubus. "Have you ever met an incubus?" Colbert asked. "I haven't, but a friend of mine has had an incubus encounter," Amanpour said, laughing. "Wow," Colbert said. "Wolf Blitzer, wow."

This is the segment that Amanpour was referring to, about Amethyst Realm and her several ghost lovers, and it is mildly unsafe for work.

You can watch the rest of the Amanpour interview, in which she tries to swap Trump's "enemy of the people" slur for "the BFF of the people," below. Peter Weber

October 31, 2018

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was in a good mood on Tuesday's Late Show. "Up until today, I would have said, if the election were held today, we would win," she told Stephen Colbert. "What now I'm saying is: We will win." "Please don't say that," Colbert pleaded. "Do you want to say that on Hillary's fireworks barge that she canceled?" Pelosi noted that Democrats are on offense six days out. "And how long are the curtains that you're measuring now?" Colbert asked. Pelosi doubled down, predicting that Democrats will also win the Senate and governorships if everyone votes. Colbert crossed himself. "I feel like I should sacrifice a goat or something to take the hex off of what you just said."

Colbert asked if President Trump's feint to end birthright citizenship was a sort of "October surprise," and she said it was hardly a surprise, coming from Trump. "What he was saying today has no relationship to what his authority is," she added. "But that's of course not unusual. ... This is what this election is about: checks and balances, a check and balance on this president. Usually we mean that about policy. In this case we mean this about the Constitution of the United States."

Colbert asked if Pelosi knows she's a polarizing figure on the right — "I've noticed that," she deadpanned — the focus of 130,000 ads run this election alone. She said the attacks on her mean Republicans can't run on their record or policy goals. "You cannot let your opponents choose the leaders of your party," Pelosi said. "They come after me because I'm a very effective legislator." Also, she added, "there's a big difference between the president and me. He has very thin skin and I have very thick skin." Good, Colbert said, then showed a cartoon of her and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) at a West Virginia rally. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 30, 2018

"Dodger fans are especially blue today," Jimmy Kimmel said on Monday's Kimmel Live. "According to the fake news media, the Red Sox beat the Dodgers last night to win the World Series — but we know the real story is that the Dodgers swept the World Series in four games, and the lamestream media won't report that." A lot of Red Sox fans were at Dodger Stadium for the final game, "including a couple whose names you may know," he added, showing some celebrities in the crowd — notably including Kimmel and his two friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Well, the Damon friendship is ... complicated.

"There's nothing worse than paying a lot of money for tickets and having to sit next to an obnoxious jerk the whole game," Kimmel said, "and that is the last time I use Groupon again." He cast more aspersions on Damon. Still, "the Dodgers won one for the record books on Friday night," he added, beating Boston in 18 innings that stretched out more than seven hours. That wasn't the reason the Dodgers lost the championship, though, nor was the mysterious absence of the wave, Kimmel said. It was the condiments, and you can learn more about that — and watch Kimmel palling around with frenemies — below. Peter Weber

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