Late-Night Lately: David Letterman Returns, Royal Wedding Reflections, Hosts Take on "Spygate"

8:00 AM 5/26/2018

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.

Late Night Lately - David Letterman, James Corden and Seth Meyers - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of NBC (Letterman, Meyers); Pool/Getty Images (Corden)

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: David Letterman returned to his old Late Night stomping grounds, James Corden spoke about his experience attending the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Jordan Klepper speaks about his onscreen persona and the hosts revel in "Spygate."

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman  

  • David Letterman Returns to 'Late Night'

    Former Late Night host David Letterman returned to the NBC program to catch up with current host Seth Meyers on Wednesday, in a free-wheeling appearance that spanned topics from Letterman's beard to Lyme Disease to the fate of the surfing goat that Meyers often discussed when he was formerly a guest of Letterman's show.

    Letterman hosted the show from 1982-1993 before going on to helm CBS' The Late Show for 22 years until 2015. He now hosts the Netflix talk show series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. Upon his arrival on the NBC stage, Letterman asked about the birth of Seth Meyer's second son, who Meyers related was born in the lobby of his apartment building in a segment in April. Before telling a story about his own son, now 14, Letterman joked that someone once told him that no one wants to hear anyone talk about their kids on TV: "Well, I don't have a show, so just let me come out and ruin yours."

    Meyers then asked about Letterman's beard, which he grew after he left The Late Show in 2015. Letterman said that he gets different reactions to it, and told a story about being in the Catskills and a shop owner checking each of his $20 bills with a marker to make sure they were real. "I asked him, 'Do I look like the kind of guy who would start passing the counterfeit [bills]?' And then I realize, 'Oh, yeah, I do,'" Letterman said.

    When Meyers asked whether Letterman would be covering Trump if he still had a daily show, Letterman responded, "I tell you, after watching the opening of your show, there would be no point in doing it, because you have it covered." Letterman did, however, crack one joke about the vice president: "This is what troubles me about Mike Pence. He's from Indiana. He looks like the guy at a funeral home who would try to sell you the most expensive casket."

    Letterman got serious toward the end of his appearance, saying, "Your show is nothing like my show. My show was lumpy and viscous. And your show is crisp and smart and contemporary." He said that his one complaint was that he had hoped the show would be renamed The Tomorrow Show, and had told Meyers about this desire when passing the torch. 

    "I thought about it, but it meant a lot to me to be the host of Late Night," Meyers said.

  • James Corden Reflects on the Royal Wedding

    While many late-night hosts have been joking about the royal wedding, James Corden was able to give his firsthand account of the ceremony on Monday’s Late Late Show.

    “I’ve had quite the weekend,” said Corden before explaining that he flew to London with his wife to attend Prince Harry's and Meghan Markle’s wedding. “I’ve known Prince Harry about seven years now and it was wonderful. It was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever been to. It was gorgeous, the whole affair, it was happy, and it was joyous. It was uplifting.“

    “It was Britain at its finest. It was a picture-perfect day,” said Corden. “Windsor Castle, 600 guests, 30,000 flowers. Or as Elton John calls it, a Thursday.” Corden added that there was one negative aspect of the day. “The worst part of the ceremony for me was there was flowers everywhere. The most beautiful flowers you’ve ever seen and I get quite bad allergies,” he said. “For a lot of the ceremony I just needed to sneeze."

    In fact, his allergies particularly started acting up, he explained, at the "if anyone objects to this marriage" part of the ceremony: “Right at the point when the archbishop was saying, ‘If anyone knows of any reason,’ and I was like this, ‘Please don’t sneeze. Please don’t sneeze.’”

    “It was the most wonderful and inclusive service.” The host added, “I was proud to be British on that day. It was a modern, forward-thinking couple having the exact ceremony that they wanted. And they brought Britain and the world together for a happy occasion.”

  • Hosts Tee Off on Trump's "Spygate" Conspiracy Theory

    Hours after Donald Trump coined the term "Spygate" (or rather, refurbished it) to refer to a conspiracy theory that the FBI spied on his 2016 presidential campaign under the Obama administration, late-night hosts took to their respective stages to dismiss the unsubstantiated claims and poke fun at the name.

    On Late Night, Seth Meyers brought up "Spygate" during his monologue, joking that he wasn't even sure "Spygate" denoted a conspiracy theory. "Knowing Trump, that might just be how he spells 'Spaghetti,'" he said. He then addressed Trump, saying, "Stop trying to make 'Fetch' happen, you're not allowed to name things anymore," and name-checked the former Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City (now the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino) and his son Donald Trump Jr. as examples of why he shouldn't.

    Meyers later joked, "Also, you're the only one calling it Spygate. Trump's like a guy who tries to give himself a new nickname and tries to pretend it's catching on. 'I'm Donald Trump, and everyone calls me D-Trizzy.'"

    Stephen Colbert also addressed Trump's claims that a spy was planted into his campaign for political purposes. "Yes, follow Trump down the rabbit hole here. They embedded a spy early on and paid him massive sums of money to sabatoge the Trump campaign with false claims of Russian collusion in the press to help Hillary Clinton and then — and here's the insidious part — tell the press. And Hillary Clinton lost. So when Trump revealed this plot he would seem like a desperate criminal spinning conspiracy theories to stop the walls from closing in. Nice try, Deep State. Nice try."

    Over on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel wove the "Spygate" theory into his monologue, noting that Trump followed up the "Spygate" tweet with the "Witch Hunt!" line he's used multiple times before on Twitter.

    "Donald Trump tweets like the Hulk speaks," Kimmel said. He later added another simile to the monologue: "He’s like a largemouth bass — he doesn’t think, he just strikes when he’s annoyed!"

    Meanwhile, on NBC's Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon kicked off his monologue talking about Trump's speculative tweets. "Trump was like 'This one goes all the way to the top' and people were like, 'You are the top,'" Fallon joked.

    Fallon continued, "He called it one of the biggest scandals in history. Then Vice President Pence fed him a warm, mellow Diet Coke, burped him and put him back to bed."

  • Jordan Klepper Calls Reactions to Real and 'Opposition' Personas a "Yanny/Laurel Situation”

    When Jordan Klepper visited Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, the host wanted to make sure he knew which Klepper he was talking to. "You do a show on Comedy Central on which you play a character whose name is Jordan Klepper," said Kimmel. "Which Jordan is here tonight?"

    The Opposition With Jordan Klepper star responded, "Jordan Klepper's here. Jordan Klepper is here tonight." He explained that the satirical show makes fun of the far-right perspective, such as "anti-mainstream, anti-facts, anti-reality, pro-Kanye West recently."

    After Klepper named Alex Jones and Sean Hannity as the people his character would listen to and respect, Kimmel elaborated, "The people who will believe the things that we can't believe, they believe."

    Klepper added that there are people who think he is his far-right character. "And even people who understand that it's a joke but still think we're speaking to their perspective. Carter Page came on our show and was a big fan. Thought that we were helping expose the deep state and wanted to be a citizen journalist on our show." He concluded that most of the people that are confused by the show are "pro-Jordan."

  • James Corden, Audra McDonald, Dan Stevens Present 'A Quiet Place' Musical

    James Corden was joined by Dan Stevens and Audra McDonald on Monday’s edition of The Late Late Show’s “Inappropriate Musicals," Corden's very own pitched screen-to-stage adaptations. 

    The first film converted into a stage production was Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. Stevens took on the role of Travis Bickle. The 1976 film’s famous “You talkin’ to me?” scene was presented as a musical number when Corden appeared onstage as Bickle’s reflection. The musical number ends with Corden and Stevens singing in unison, “We’re both talkin’ to me!”

    The next Broadway production was inspired by Guillermo del Toro’s film The Shape of Water. Corden starred in the musical as “Amphibian Man” and McDonald takes on the role of Elisa Esposito. “It started small. Two lovers passing eggs. Just a girl and a fish with legs,” sang McDonald as she passed Corden eggs while he was hidden behind a curtain in a bathtub. 

    The final film-turned-musical featured in the sketch is A Quiet Place. After Corden stepped into a cornfield and unintentionally makes noise, McDonald and Stevens appeared as Corden’s parents and sing in hushed tones, “It’s a quiet place. It’s a really quiet place. It’s a quiet place. Don’t make a sound.” Corden didn't listen. 

  • Late-Night Lineup: May 7-June 2

    Many late-night shows are on hiatus this week, but come back next week to see who is slated for your favorite shows! In the meantime, check out past editions of Late-Night Lately below:

    May 19Late-Night Lately: Deadpool Crashes 'The Late Show,' Royal Wedding Fever, Laurel or Yanny?

    May 12Late-Night Lately: 'Solo' Stars, Hosts at the Met Gala, Reading Moms' Texts for Mother's Day