last night on late night
December 12, 2018

"I've shared a story or two this week about my ongoing struggle with the elf in our shelf at home," Jimmy Kimmel said on Tuesday's Kimmel Live. He described the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon as "a very sneaky way to get kids to behave: The elf watches everything your child does and then goes to Santa and rats them out when they do bad things. But now there's a new holiday character to counter that little narc, to help kids spin their bad deeds and hopefully make Christmas great again." And the tagline for Kimmel's new product is pretty hard to resist: "Protect yourself from prosecution this holiday season with 'Huckabee in a Tree' — 'Kellyanne in a Garbage Can' sold separately." Watch below. Peter Weber

November 28, 2018

Tuesday's Late Show was a series of guests sitting at Stephen Colbert's desk and grilling him about everything from religion to key moments in his life. It was a fruitful experiment in late-night TV, especially interesting for fans of Colbert. Continuing his conversation with Jon Stewart, Colbert talked about the months-long, multi-stage process of stepping out from behind the characters he had seamlessly inhabited for a decade, most notably his Colbert Report alter-ego, to be himself on The Late Show.

Stewart and Colbert also discussed their favorite Old Testament figures, what it was like to go on David Letterman's Late Show, and how Colbert spontaneously reciting an allegorical poem about God and Satan is what it's actually like to hang out with Stephen Colbert.

When Neil deGrasse Tyson had his shot hosting the show, he also noted how "geeky" Colbert is in real life. "We've geeked out together a couple of times," he told Colbert. "We have a little geek bromance, I think." Colbert concurred, then demonstrated it.

"We're definitely in the bad timeline right now," Colbert said when Tyson alluded to the age of President Trump. "This is the split universe," Tyson agreed. "There could be a universe where Trump is president and you are praising him. In the multiverse, that is a possible universe." "There is — in that one, I have an even worse drinking problem than I do in this one," Colbert joked. They ended with a discussion about faith versus science; Colbert looked more comfortable.

Colbert talked with guest host Kerry Washington about hope conquering despair, told host Jake Tapper the pivotal moment in his career, and looked slightly awkward when host Charlamagne tha God asked how he's "using your white privilege to combat prejudice and empower the black community." Watch below. Peter Weber

November 28, 2018

Stephen Colbert found yet another way Tuesday to present a new Late Show while remaining on Thanksgiving vacation. "I thought it would be fun to flip the script this time, have some of my celebrity friends over to interview me for a change," he said in a pre-taped introduction. "That's right, even in a show I pre-recorded so that I wouldn't have to host a show, I'm still not hosting that show." Those friends included Kerry Washington, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Jake Tapper, but the first segment featured Colbert's old boss and current under-desk denizen Jon Stewart. "I'm strangely nervous," Colbert said after Stewart teed up the first question.

After some witty banter and light nostalgia — Stewart had interviewed Colbert only once before, as a stand-in for Al Sharpton — Stewart brought up the elephant perpetually in the theater, President Trump. Colbert said he met Trump once before he ran for president, and he was "just some guy you'd see someplace" and not "blustery at all," but also "orange like you couldn't believe." Stewart explained why he doesn't miss hosting a topical comedy show in the age of Trump using an elaborate turd-mining analogy, and you can watch that below. Peter Weber

November 20, 2018

There are lots of words you could use to describe President Trump, but Seth Meyers thinks there's one that everyone can admit fits him best: weird.

"He is a weird man," Meyers said on Monday's Late Night. "Just a flag hugging, umbrella ditching, can't do a normal handshake kind of weirdo." One of the more bizarre things Trump does is make up an outlandish lie about another country, which can easily be fact checked and proven untrue. In February 2017, for example, Trump claimed there was an attack in Sweden, when there was not. The "deeply weird president" was at it again on Saturday in California, when he started talking about taking care of the "floors of the forest" like they do in Finland.

Trump declared that the president of Finland told him in his "forest nation" they "spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning" and in turn, they don't deal with things like devastating fires. The president of Finland later clarified he did not say that people in his country are going around raking 24/7, and Meyers is certain that "we're a week away from the president of Romania calling a press conference to say, 'I did not tell President Trump that vampires are real.'" Trump, Meyers concludes, has to "concoct fantastical lies" because they "reinforce his deluded worldview, and they're easier to swallow than reality." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

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

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