Late-Night Lately: Conan at Comic-Con, 'Batgirl' Auditions, Jon Stewart Cosplay

8:00 AM 7/21/2018

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.

From left: Conan O'Brien, Wanda Sykes, Jon Stewart
From left: Conan O'Brien, Wanda Sykes, Jon Stewart
TBS/YouTube; Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

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: Conan O'Brien headed to San Diego for his fourth year of Comic-Con shows. This year featured the casts of Breaking Bad and The Predator, with more shows this weekend with the casts of Glass and Aquaman. Going with tradition, the host presented this year's "audition" bit with big stars trying their hand at the role of Batgirl, including Hilary Swank, Jodie Foster, Wanda Sykes and Nick Offerman. Also getting into the Comic-Con spirit was Jon Stewart, who visited Jimmy Kimmel Live! as he showed off his Hulk cosplay for tourists in Hollywood. 

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman 

  • Conan at Comic-Con

    Screengrab/Team Coco

    Conan O'Brien kicked off his Comic-Con coverage this week with a sketch in which he played a Batman yearning to gain entry to the exclusive Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    The host was joined by Keegan-Michael Key, who played Black Panther; Blake Anderson as Aquaman; Chris Geere as Superman; David Koechner as Thor; Riki Lindhome as Black Widow; Rob Huebel as Iron Man; and Conan announcer Andy Richter as Robin. 

    The bit takes place at a high school where Superman heats Aquaman's tater tots at lunch by scanning them with his X-ray vision. In the cafeteria, Batman ditches the DC table to try his luck at the Marvel table, but he is rebuffed by characters who note the table is for Marvel heroes only. "Yeah, DC ya later," Thor tells the Caped Crusader. 

    On Wednesday's show, the cast of Breaking Bad reunited for the show's 10-year anniversary as O'Brien brought his show down to San Diego for the fourth year. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, R.J. Mitte, Giancarlo Esposito, Bob Odenkirk and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan all dropped by to relive the epic saga.

    While the finale of Breaking Bad was widely praised, there was one viewer who wasn’t a fan: Gilligan’s mother. “I’m not sure she would ever watch Breaking Bad in the first place if I wasn’t involved. 'The end of Breaking Bad,' she said, 'I really wanted Walt to get away with it,'" the showrunner explained.

    When it comes to fan reactions, Paul (whose character Jesse’s catchphrase “bitch” became iconic) says fans have slightly tempered yelling out the word to him in public. “It used to be so many times a day, now it’s just three to five times,” Paul said.

    The actor also shared how the catchphrase might affect his young daughter in the future:"“I’m afraid that it will be her first word. She’s going to hear it so much."

    Mitte also revealed that he "was hoping someone good" would kill off his character, Walt Jr.

    Esposito, who starred as the series' main antagonist, Gus Fring, pitched a very different ending for his character than what appeared onscreen: a musical exit. "I love life! I want to live!" Esposito sang loudly.

    The cast of the upcoming film The Predator joined O'Brien on Thursday at Comic-Con, where they compared their impressions of the original 1987 Predator star Arnold Schwarzenegger. The dueling impersonations began after the cast discussed doing impressions of YouTube videos on set, at which point host Conan O'Brien remarked that he was surprised they weren't all trying their hand at Schwarzenegger's classic line, "Get to the chopper!"

    "That line is in there," multiple members of the cast said at once, referring to the upcoming film. "The line is in the movie and we're mercilessly doing impressions all the time," star Keegan-Michael Key added. The cast then goaded co-star Sterling K. Brown to show off his version. 

    Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Key, Trevante Rhodes, Jake Busey, Thomas Jane and Augusto Aguilera star in the film, which was directed by Shane Black. The cast also addressed how the film is going to be grittier and bloodier than its predecessors. "First off, we got an R rating. So this thing can strike, he can retreat," said Jane, who arrived on the stage barefoot. 

    Added Black: "What we strove for was a predator that's been bred as an assassin, so he incorporates traits from other species. So this one opens his mouth really big and bites off your head."

  • Hilary Swank, Jodie Foster Audition for 'Batgirl' Film

    Screengrab/Team Coco

    Conan O'Brien continued his streak of star-studded segments in honor of Comic-Con on Thursday, when he opened his show with a sketch featuring a slew of celebrities trying out for the upcoming Batgirl movie.

    Hilary Swank, Jodie Foster, Nick Offerman, Thomas Middleditch, Wanda Sykes, Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, Kristen Schaal and Nicole Byer all vie for the role, with varying degrees of effort, in the clip.

    "Hi, I'm Hilary Swank, and this is my audition right here," the actress says in her audition, brandishing just one of her two Oscars. Foster later attempts to one-up Swank by bringing in a knight prop.

    Notaro delivered her lines (which were supposed to be "filled with rage," a person onscreen prompted her) in a consistent deadpan.

    At one point, Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) shows up, reading for "Kyle, the waiter in the diner." When Offerman attempts to audition for Batgirl and is informed that the production is looking for a woman, he says it was the "same bullshit I got on Ocean's 8."

  • Jon Stewart Cosplays as The Hulk

    YouTube/Jimmy Kimmel Live!

    Jon Stewart got in on the Comic-Con spirit on Thursday night, when he appeared in a Jimmy Kimmel Live! bit along the Hollywood Walk of Fame dressed up as The Hulk. A Spider-Man and Superman joined him.

    The former Daily Show host joked that he had been working as a street performer in Hollywood since leaving the Comedy Central program. 

    When asked if he was making good money in tips, Stewart said not so much, but he didn't care because he did it for the kids. He also said someone told him to "go fuck myself," which he joked counted as a tip. 

    The appearance is one of many Stewart has made on late-night TV over the past few months. The former late-night host recently joined Stephen Colbert on The Late Show to appeal to President Donald Trump.

  • Trevor Noah Fires Back at French Ambassador Who Criticized World Cup Joke

    Screengrab/The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    Trevor Noah fired back at French ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud after the latter sent him a letter criticizing his controversial joke that "Africa won the World Cup" earlier this week. 

    The Daily Show host revealed on Wednesday that the ambassador had penned a letter to him that argued "nothing could be less true" than Noah's joke. Only two of the 23 members of France's World Cup-winning team came directly from Africa, Araud wrote; others' parents had immigrated from there. "This, even in jest, legitimizes the ideology that claims whiteness as the only definition of being French," Araud added. 

    Noah responded by questioning the premise of Araud's argument. "My opinion is ... black people all over the world were celebrating the African-ness of the French players. Not in a negative way but in a positive way, as in, 'Look at these Africans, who can become French," Noah said. He added that he found it "weird" that some suggest people can't be both African and French, and that to be French, immigrants or children of immigrants had to erase the cultures that came before.

    He added, "America's not a perfect place, but what I love about this country is that people can still celebrate their identity in their American-ness."

    (Araud's letter had included a jab about America, saying that "Unlike the United States of America, France does not refer to their citizens based on their race, religion or origin.") 

    "When I'm saying 'African' I'm not saying it to exclude them from their French-ness, I'm saying it to include them in my African-ness. I'm saying, 'I see you, my French brother of African descent," Noah said.

  • Hosts Rip Trump's Response to Putin Presser Criticism: "Get the F— Out of Here"


    After late-night hosts slammed President Trump for his comments that cast doubt on U.S. intelligence in Helsinki on Monday, they followed up on his clarification of those comments in a press conference the next day.

    Several of Trump's comments sparked controversy across the aisle, including an assertion on reports that Russians meddled in the 2016 U.S. election. "I have President Putin, he just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be Russia," Trump said. The remark countered Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 12 Russian citizens last week for hacking into DNC emails and computer networks.

    On Tuesday, Trump walked those comments back, saying he misspoke. "The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be Russia' instead of 'why it would,'" he said. "Sort of a double negative."

    On Late Night With Seth Meyers, the host made his own double negative in response: "Well, I don't think he's not an idiot," Meyers joked. "Oh, my God, dude, you would look more innocent if you had said, 'Homina, homina, homina.'"

    The Late Show host Stephen Colbert parodied Trump's Tuesday remarks: "Yes, the sentence should have been that. It was not that." He added, "But then again, who among us hasn't said the exact opposite of what he just said in front of cameras on multiple occasions? I'm sorry, let me clarify, that sentence should be, 'Who among us has not not done that?'"

    "Of all the terrible words you said in that press conference, you're only taking back one of them?" Colbert asked.

    On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah noted a moment earlier Tuesday when Trump stated he had full faith in U.S. intelligence agencies and the lights went off. "It's like even electricity is over Trump's bullshit," he said.

    "All Trump had to say is that he believed Russia interfered in the election, full-stop," Noah said of Trump's conference with Putin on Monday. Noah then showed footage from the summit in Helsinki the day before and Trump recanting on his comments from the day before. "Get the fuck out of here, man," he said. "The president and his team had 24 hours to come up with a reason why Trump took Russia's side over America, and the best they could come up with was, 'Nah-uh!'"

    Jlimmy Kimmel compared Trump's Helsinki comments to another recent rhetorical controversy:  "Boy I tell you, Papa John must be at home right now going, 'Wait, you can do that?'" he joked.

    Kimmel also made a comparison with a famous statement from a past president, Bill Clinton. "This is like if Bill Clinton had come out and said, “Wait, no, I meant to say I did have sexual relations with that woman!” Kimmel said.

  • Late-Night Lineup: July 22-28

    Monday, July 23
    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Mission: Impossible – Fallout star and all-around worldwide movie star Tom Cruise stops by NBC. 

    Wednesday, July 25
    Late Night With Seth Meyers: Saturday Night Live alums and "Weekend Update" pals Meyers and Amy Poehler reunite. 

    Thursday, July 26
    Watch What Happens Live: Rosanna Arquette and Laverne Cox will likely have a lot to talk about in the clubhouse with Andy Cohen.