Late-Night Lately: Ariana Grande Takeover, Kanye 'Westworld,' Hosts Defend Michelle Wolf

8:00 AM 5/5/2018

by THR Staff

THR's Late-Night Lately rounds up the best sketches and guests with a look at what's to come next week.

Andrew Lipovsky/NBC; Terence Patrick/CBS ; Getty Images

The Hollywood Reporter's Late-Night Lately is a one-stop shop for all of the most memorable moments of late-night TV, coming to you each Saturday morning to ease you into your weekend.

So fill up your coffee, set your DVR for the week and sit back. Below are a few of the week's best, funniest and strangest late-night moments you can't afford to miss.

This week: Ariana Grande joined Jimmy Fallon in a takeover of The Tonight Show, with an interview, sketch and performance. Elsewhere, James Corden entered Kanye Westworld to disastrous results, and comedians and hosts took to their shows to defend Michelle Wolf after her White House Correspondents' Dinner gig was attacked and criticized. 

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • Ariana Grande Takes Over 'The Tonight Show'

    Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

    After several memorable appearances and one notable Christina Aguilera musical impression, Ariana Grande had an entire episode devoted to her Tuesday on The Tonight Show.

    Grande performed her new single, "No Tears Left to Cry," and in a pretaped segment, Grande surprised fans singing her song "One Last Time" for what they believed was a fan video. One dropped to his knees, and Grande complimented another's use of melody. 

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    Next, Fallon introduced a sketch in which he played a host of a show called NBD and Grande played a guest called Cassandra, both using exaggerated Valley Girl accents and vocal fry. They name-dropped Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Timothee Chalamet, whom Grande said she had seen at Au Bon Pain. When discussing the royal wedding, Fallon mentioned that he just got his 23andMe results and learned he was "280th in line for the throne" and also found out he was prone to anemia. Their final talking point was Kentucky Derby hats: Grande said hers was designed by Elon Musk and was a drone that hovered over her head.

    Later, Grande and Fallon played a round of "Musical Genre Challenge" in which they sang popular songs in different musical stylings, including Kendrick Lamar's "Humble" as a goth rock tune and Usher's "Yeah" in the vein of a country song.

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  • James Corden Visits Kanye Westworld, Instantly Regrets the Decision

    Terence Patrick/CBS

    James Corden on Monday visited Kanye Westworld in a sketch on The Late Late Show, and it didn't go over well. 

    In his play on HBO's Westworld, the host found himself in an old West tavern, but everyone inside only quoted from Kanye West's recently reactived Twitter account. The controversial rapper has been making headlines with erratic posts, a portion of which have praised Donald Trump and his presidency. 

    The longer Corden stayed in Kanye Westworld, the most disturbed he became as the "locals" in the tavern become increasingly more hostile. 

    Finally, Westworld star Jimmi Simpson entered to try and help Corden figure out what is going on around him. After the bit, the screen reads: "Hopefully it's just a phase." 

  • Hosts Defend Michelle Wolf's White House Correspondents' Dinner Speech

    Screengrab/Late Night with Seth Meyers

    After drawing criticism for her comments about Sarah Huckabee Sanders at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner, comedian Michelle Wolf was defended by late-night hosts Monday night.

    On Late Night With Seth Meyers, the NBC host — who has hosted the Correspondents' Dinner himself, with Donald Trump in attendance — noted the president's tweets saying Wolf "bombed," that she was "filthy" and calling out Meyers for his performance at the dinner years before. "It's always good when the eye of Sauron is on you," Meyers quipped.

    Speaking on Wolf, who worked for Meyers' show, the host said, "When you call her filthy, you are right. She is filthy and she is mean, which is what we love about her because those are wonderful qualities for a comedian and terrible qualities for free world leaders.”

    Among the jokes about Sanders that Wolf received criticism for were comments such as, "Every time Sarah steps up to the podium, I get excited because I’m not sure what we’re going to get: a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams," and "She burns facts then uses that ash to create the perfect smoky eye." Both were considered jabs at the White House press secretary's appearance. 

    Plugging Wolf’s upcoming Netflix show, Meyers promised the comedian wouldn’t “waste any time trying to decide when it is or isn’t proper to make fun of people in power who lie to us on a daily basis.”

    The Late Late Show's James Corden called Wolf "brilliant," and pointed out that during the dinner, she mocked journalists and politicians. "So you can see why Trump was upset," Corden said. "She's stealing his act." 

    Jimmy Fallon took a similar approach. "Some people got upset at the dinner when comedian Michelle Wolf made fun of members of the Trump administration. The president was furious. He was like, 'Nobody makes a mockery of my staff except me. That's where I draw the line,'" The Tonight Show host said in his best-Trump voice. 

    Over on the Daily Show, on which Wolf appeared as a correspondent until last December, Trevor Noah noted, "Michelle roasted these people so hard that they wanted police protection."

    When it came to Wolf's comments on Sanders, Noah said, "It's not funny because Michelle should have had the decency to not comment on women's appearances in any way, shape or form. She's a comedian for God's sake, not the president."

    On The Opposition, Jordan Klepper noted that Wolf "violated traditions and norms" by telling jokes. "I don't even know what she was thinking," Klepper said. "You don't speak truth to power — that's bullying. You tell power how good it looks, and you move on."

    Earlier Monday, Wolf expressed no regrets over her act. "I wouldn't change a single word that I said," she told NPR. "I'm very happy with what I said, and I'm glad I stuck to my guns."

    On CBS, Late Show host Stephen Colbert started off his show Monday by addressing Wolf’s performance Saturday. “She did not pull any punches and some people were offended…presumably those people who have been in a coma for the last 18 months.”

    "Look, you didn’t like it, you have that right. Don’t invite her back again, but grow a pair. This was a roast…being mad at her for doing her job is like being mad at the valet for briefly stealing your car.”

    On Wednesday, Samantha Bee dedicated a segment to wolf and Sanders during Full Frontal. "Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a fuckin' liar!" Bee said before jokingly leaving the stage. Upon her return, she defended the remark. "Look, calling Sanders a liar isn't an insult, it's her job description. And Sarah Sanders is very good at her job. She is smart. She's savvy. And she has the eerie ability to make towering falsehoods unwatchably dull."

    Bee further condemned the media for defending Sanders, though she admitted that doing so is relatively easy "maybe because she's the only member of this administration that isn't a Dick Tracy villain," isn't a "loudmouth" like Scaramucci, an "attention vampire" like Kellyanne Conway, or an "actual vampire" like Steven Miller.

    "So I salute you, Sarah Huckabee Sanders," Bee said at the end of the segment. "You are a hell of a role model for little girls everywhere who are smart, and hard-working, and completely evil."  

  • 'Avengers: Infinity War' Stars Read Mean Tweets

    Courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel Live! / YouTube

    The cast of Avengers: Infinity War stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! and took part in the fan-favorite segment, "Mean Tweets," where one by one, the beloved hero actors read disparaging and some downright nasty tweets about themselves. All took it in stride. 

    Arguably the funniest is the one directed toward Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, although the one directed at Benedict Cumberbatch has some zing. 

    "Benedict Cumberbatch always looks like he's had an allergic reaction to bad shrimp," read Doctor Strange, unable to stop laughing.

    "Why do so many people have a crush on Sebastian Stan? He looks like a potato," was the Winter Soldier's insult, while one tweet took aim at Elizabeth Olsen's thumbs. 

    Even Spider-Man was the object of mockery. "I bet Tom Holland is one of those whities who claps when the plane lands."

  • Mike Myers Debuts Impression of Trump's Personal Doctor

    Screengrab/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

    Mike Myers donned a white wig and lab coat on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to impersonate President Donald Trump's personal doctor, Harold Bornstein.

    In a bit on Wednesday's show, Kimmel invited the doctor on to respond to reports that Trump himself had dictated what Bornstein should write about the then-candidate's "extraordinary" health in a 2015 letter.

    "May I say in the long history of talk-show hosts, you are the most virile and vigorous one of them all," Myers' Bornstein said to Kimmel, echoing similarly grandiloquent language used in Bornstein's letter. Myers then asked the host if he needed any pills, such as "uppers," "downers" or "boner stuff." 

    When asked about reports that Trump had sent employees to "ransack" his office, Myers' Bornstein responded, "Do I look like a liar? No, I look like a troll, which hurts less when I say it first." 

    Kimmel pressed the doc, asking if reports that individuals sent by Trump were looking for evidence that the president used Propecia for hair loss. Myers asked the ABC host if he really thought it was "just Propecia," and the two began a guessing game of what ailment the president might be trying to hide. Meanwhile, the doctor took short breaks to vape and huff "solvents."

  • Late-Night Lineup: May 6-12

    Tuesday, May 8
    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Fellow late-night host Trevor Noah stops by. 

    Wednesday, May 9
    Late Night With Seth Meyers: Comedian Michelle Wolf returns to the NBC show for the first time since her White House Correspondents' Dinner set. 

    Thursday, May 10
    Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Guest Donald Glover concludes a week full of stars from Solo: A Star Wars Story, including Woody Harrelson on Tuesday and Alden Ehrenreich on Wednesday's show.