Late Night Lately: Conan in Japan, Jon Stewart Interviews Colbert, Hosts on Climate Change

7:00 AM 12/1/2018

by THR staff

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

Late Night Lately-Conan-Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert-Trevor Noah-Split-Publicity-H 2018
TBS; CBS; Comedy Central

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, while on hiatus until the New Year, aired his Japan travel special in which he rented a fake family and visited "Conan Town." Stephen Colbert was interviewed by colleagues and former guests, including Jon Stewart, who chatted about their Comedy Central days. Meanwhile, Macaulay Culkin stopped by The Tonight Show to talk about watching Home Alone during the holiday season, and Claire Foy surprised Fallon with a rap ahead of her SNL hosting gig. 

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • Conan O'Brien Visits "Conan Town" in Japan Special

    Conan O'Brien made good on his promise to visit Japan's "Conan Town" on Wednesday during his latest special abroad that also saw the TBS host rent a fake family, try on "Kawaii style" and take etiquette lessons.

    While choosing his fake family, he joked that a 48-year-old woman was too old for the 55-year-old comedian. "I'm from Los Angeles, and a man my age is required by law to marry a woman who's 25," he joked. He nixed a fake son who was 35 years old, saying that he was worried his fake 48-year-old wife would run off with him, and settled for a younger fake daughter.

    O'Brien then set up the rules of the family: He asked that the family laugh at all his jokes, unlike his real family, and that his father apologize to him about an incident with creamed corn that occurred in the 1970s. After O'Brien demanded the family laugh at a bad joke about ramen, they laughed every time he opened his mouth. 

    O'Brien later visited Harajuku, the Tokyo neighborhood known for its colorful, quirky Kawaii (or "cute") style. Paired with a stylist and two young people who wear Kawaii style every day, Conan selected an outfit. Later, with purple hair and wearing a vibrant rainbow getup, he walked down a city street and posed for photos. While taking a picture with a little girl, he joked he would pay for her therapy later in life.

    The special also featured a taped message from Karate Kid star Ralph Macchio for Conan producer Jordan Schlansky. 

    When O'Brien finally ended up in Conan Town, he made quite a stir as citizens were on the scene at the airport to greet him — but the late night host had traveled to the wrong airport. When he did eventually arrive, he met with the mayor and was appointed "Mayor for the Day." When he was presented with a sash to celebrate his new position, O'Brien returned the favor by bestowing a Miss Iowa sash on the actual mayor. The show concluded with O'Brien addressing a crowd of Conan citizens to declare he was the "real, original Conan," but he forgave them.

  • Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert Reminisce About Comedy Central Days

    Jon Stewart returned to The Late Show to swap places with Stephen Colbert. Sitting behind the desk, Stewart asked Colbert a number of questions. "Who the fuck do you think you are?" Stewart began, to which Colbert responded, "A little bit like Jon Stewart."

    Stewart then praised his former Daily Show protege, saying, "You come in here every night taking in the toxins and spewing back out rainbow-colored sprinkles, and you do it beautifully."

    The duo recalled the last time that Stewart had interviewed Colbert, way back in the early 2000s on the Daily Show when Colbert stepped in for absent guest Al Sharpton. "I just answered all the Sharpton questions," Colbert recalled.

    "Let me ask you a question about Trump: Great president or greatest president?" Stewart asked. "I got that joke from a show that was on years ago that came on after mine. It was hosted by this high-status conservative idiot," Stewart added, referencing Colbert's work on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.

    Stewart later asked Colbert if it was difficult when he took over the Late Show after years of playing a character. "That was one of the challenges, that it was really me saying it," he said. "You don't have the character or the mask."

    Of the moment when he gained confidence as himself on the Late Show, he said, "For the interviews, I got there a little bit quicker, though not entirely, when Joe Biden was on. … When he left I said, 'That nice old man just gave me my show.'"

    Colbert was also interviewed by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Kerry Washington, Jake Tapper and Charlamagne Tha God.

  • Hosts React to Trump Administration Climate Change Report

    Trevor Noah and Jimmy Fallon addressed the Trump administration's recent report on climate change during Monday's episodes of their late night shows.

    After the administration enlisted 13 federal agencies and 300 leading climate scientists to conduct a study about man-made climate change, it was concluded that climate change is real and already negatively impacts the world. Trump told reporters Monday that despite the study's results, he does not believe what the report states.

    Noah shared a clip of Trump stating that he "read some of" the report and saying he didn't think it was true. "How can one man possess all the stupidity of mankind? It's like they edited his genes to give him superhuman stupidity," said Noah in response to the clip.

    He then criticized news programs that bring on non-scientists to argue against climate change. "Think of it this way: When Maury Povich brings someone on, if the DNA test says you are the father, that's it. The science has spoken," he said. "American news, maybe you should respect science as much as Maury Povich does."

    Over on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon informed his audience that the federal government released a 1,600-page report about climate change. "Leave it to America to release a report about saving the planet on 1,600 pieces of paper," joked the host. "Single-sided."

  • Macaulay Culkin Recalls Watching 'Home Alone 2' With Girlfriends

    Macaulay Culkin reminisced about the Home Alone films when he visited The Tonight Show on Wednesday.

    Jimmy Fallon began the interview by asking if Culkin had ever seen the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting. "Are you familiar with my work?" joked the actor, referencing Home Alone 2. "I had to work at 4 a.m. as a 10-year-old. It was great." 

    Fallon then called the holiday season "the hottest time to be Macaulay Culkin."

    Culkin also noted that both Home Alone and its sequel are hard to avoid during the season. "It's like you got a new girlfriend and you're flipping through the channels and there's Home Alone. And she's like, 'Huh. You want to watch it?' And you're like, 'You want to watch Home Alone with Macaulay Culkin, don't you?'"

    He admitted that he has "indulged" in watching the films. "Most of the time I'm just muttering the lines under my breath. Like, 'Keep the change, you filthy animal,'" he said. "Listen, whatever gets her motor running, I guess."

    Later in the interview, Culkin revealed that he plans to legally change his middle name. Culkin shared that fans can vote for his new middle name on his lifestyle website The five options fans can weigh in on are "Macaulay Culkin," "Shark Week," "Kieran," "The McRib Is Back" and "Publicity Stunt."

  • Claire Foy Performs "Rapper's Delight"

    Claire Foy showed off her rapping skills when she visited The Tonight Show on Thursday. 

    "I heard that you know all the lyrics to 'Rapper's Delight,'" said Jimmy Fallon. He then pulled out a microphone and asked the actress to rap The Sugarhill Gang song. The very hesitant Foy grabbed the microphone before she began the song.

    Foy slowly got more into the performance as she started to dance in her chair and smile while Fallon danced in his seat next to her.

    Earlier in the show, Foy discussed her upcoming hosting gig on Saturday Night Live. "I feel like I should be more nervous than I am," she said about the live aspect of the show. "I feel like there's something wrong with me. I'm not having sleepless nights. I'm just going, 'This is fun.' But I think on Saturday I'll be like, 'This isn't fun anymore.'" 

  • Late Night Lineup: December 2-8

    Monday, December 3
    The Daily Show: Trevor Noah presents the special episode "Self-Deportation Edition: a Special Presentation From South Africa." 

    Wednesday, December 5
    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: CNN's New Year's Eve hosts Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen are joined by John Legend, who just aired his NBC Christmas special. 

    Thursday, December 6
    The Late Late Show With James Corden: Dumplin' star Jennifer Aniston joins Dolly Parton, who provided the songs for the Netflix movie's soundtrack. 

    Friday, December 7
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: The always outspoken Kathy Griffin stops by CBS.