Late Night Lately: Hosts Respond to Super Bowl, State of the Union and Impeachment Vote

8:00 AM 2/8/2020

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.

Courtesy of Networks

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 pour 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 that you can't afford to miss.

This week: Many late night hosts responded enthusiastically to the Super Bowl halftime show, particularly Shakira and Jennifer Lopez's stage performances. "If I spent that much time learning how to pole dance, I would be pole dancing every chance I get," Trevor Noah said. Stephen Colbert took on President Trump's State of the Union speech on his live Tuesday show, calling the event "Don and the Giant Imspeech." Wednesday night's shows were devoted to dissecting the impeachment vote. Elsewhere, Jim Carrey visited The Late Show for a high-energy interview, and Billy Crystal told Jimmy Kimmel his thoughts on another year of a host-less Oscars.

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman  

  • Hosts Respond to Super Bowl Halftime Show

    Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

    Despite the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl on Sunday, the attention has seemingly been focused on Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's energetic halftime show during the big game Sunday night. And the buzz surrounding the performance carried over to Monday's late-night shows, where the hosts took on the duo's routine.

    "They killed it," Trevor Noah said of the singers. "Some people were really pissed that J.Lo pulled out a stripper pole to do some moves," Noah explained before offering a solution. "For all those parents, just tell your kids J.Lo is a fireman."

    Noah then acknowledged that Lopez "spent months learning how to be a professional dancer" for Hustlers, in which she played a stripper. "If I spent that much time learning how to pole dance I would be pole dancing every chance I get," he said. 

    Seth Meyers said that more than 80 commercials aired during the Super Bowl. "The best one had to be this ad for time machines," he said as he shared a photo of Lopez and Shakira during their performance. "I mean, it's pretty good."

    After noting that Donald Trump congratulated Kansas instead of Missouri for the Chiefs' victory, Meyers joked that he also made an error when tweeting about the halftime show. "Congratulations Shakira and Jello!" read the fake tweet.

    Stephen Colbert noted that the Chiefs made a thrilling comeback during the fourth quarter. "But the real winner last night was anyone watching the halftime show," he said. "First Shakira, whose hips — again — did not lie, while under oath," recapped Colbert. "Then J.Lo, who showed off an impressive pole dance. It's a tradition dating back to Super Bowl I when Bob Hope did the exact same choreography."

    Colbert continued, "It was good. Bob was very cut."

    Jimmy Fallon related the halftime show to the Iowa Caucuses during The Tonight Show. "The winner will gain momentum while the losers slide down the polls," Fallon said of the first contest in the 2020 presidential election. "You know who else slid down a pole? J.Lo in the Super Bowl halftime show."

    Jimmy Kimmel briefly discussed the halftime show, explaining that "most everyone seemed to like that" including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. After Bush took to Twitter to write of the performance, "Best Super bowl half time show ever," Kimmel poked fun at the tweet because it ended on a period. "No exclamation point. Low energy. That's just Jebby from the block," Kimmel quipped. 

  • Stephen Colbert Pokes Fun at Trump's State of the Union, aka "Don and the Giant Imspeech"

    Courtesy of Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

    Stephen Colbert took on President Trump's final State of the Union speech live on his show Tuesday.

    "We felt what you just felt. We drank what you drank," Colbert said at the top of his monologue. "Only now we're drunk at work," the host added, taking a sip before launching into hot takes on Trump's speech in a special edition titled "Don and the Giant Imspeech." 

    Colbert noted that among the speech's attendees was Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over Trump's Senate impeachment trial that ends Wednesday and thus "working two jobs in Trump's economy." As for Mike Pence, who as vice president stood behind Trump and alongside House Speaker Pelosi, he was given "special permission from mother to stand next to a woman."

    Pelosi was rebuffed by Trump, who refused to shake her hand before he began his speech. Colbert offered advice for if and when that situation arises again: "Don't offer him your hand. Offer him one finger."

    During the speech, Trump gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh, who announced on Monday that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. He also recognized retired Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee, noting that despite the black pilot's contributions, he returned from World War II to a country still struggling for civil rights. 

    "And thanks to me, we're on the cusp of defeating civil rights once and for all," Colbert said in his mock Trump voice. 

  • Hosts React to Trump's Impeachment Acquittal

    John Lamparski/Getty Images; John Lamparski/Getty Images

    Hosts reacted to the U.S. Senate's decision to acquit President Donald Trump during Wednesday's episodes. Following five months of hearings and investigations about Trump's dealings with Ukraine, a divided Senate acquitted the president on Wednesday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress to aid his own re-election.

    After Stephen Colbert shared the news on The Late Show, his audience showed their disapproval by booing. "Nothing means anything anymore. Right is wrong. Up is down. Missouri is Kansas," said Colbert, joking about Trump's mistaken Super Bowl tweet. "Now we know that asking a foreign power to interfere in our election is the new normal."

    "The only lesson that Trump ever learns is that he gets away with everything," continued Colbert, listing that he has gotten away with multiple bankruptcies and sexual assault accusations, and saying that "he's in perfect health despite eating like a rat behind the Bob's Big Boy."

    Over on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the ABC host said that the impeachment process "just got even longer and more nightmare-ish." Kimmel touched on Romney's speech, which said that corrupting the election was "the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine." The host responded, "Give him time. Whatever you're imagining, I'm sure he'll come up with something much, much worse."

    Kimmel added that Republicans are worried how they will be remembered in history. "If Trump gets another four years, there won't be any more history books," he said. "Fifty years from now, textbooks in Florida will show Donald Trump, Jesus and the Space Force winning a war against Mexican dinosaurs."

    Seth Meyers also took a deep dive into Trump's acquittal during Late Night's "A Closer Look" segment. The NBC host said the "shameless, corrupt liar was on full display today" when Trump was acquitted after a "sham impeachment trial in which they ignored the evidence and refused to hear from witnesses."

    In response to Romney's surprise vote, Meyers said that he loved that the politician's speech was on Fox News "just to enrage Trump even more." He added, "Trump's aides probably had to put duct tape over the TV to make the headline say 'Trump Is a Good Boy and I Love Him.'"

    Trevor Noah told his audience that Trump had been acquitted, the crowd booed. The host responded, "Don't boo. Vote."

    He added that the impeachment process was like "a movie where you can guess what was gonna happen without even watching it."

    Noah later criticized Trump after he responded to Collins' comments that he learned his lesson by emphasizing that he did nothing wrong. "Donald Trump would be the hardest person to defend in court," the host said. "He'd be like, 'Your honor, my client has learned his lesson.' 'No, I haven't!'"

    "Trump hasn't learned a lesson. If anything, he's learned that he can do whatever he wants and Republicans will let him get away with it," said Noah. "But first, they're gonna shake their heads."

  • Billy Crystal Comments on Another Hostless Oscars

    Courtesy of Steve Schofield

    Billy Crystal doesn't agree with the decision to go without a host for the 2020 Oscars, set for this Sunday. When visiting Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday, Crystal said that not having a host is like "having a trial without witnesses."

    Crystal has hosted the Oscars nine times, while Kimmel has served as the host twice.

    "It moves faster, but it's not quite the result that you want," Crystal said of the show not having a host.

    Kimmel asked if he felt that having a host was important, and Crystal answered that it is. "To me, it's the tradition of it. When we did it, I always felt I was in a line of Johnny [Carson] and Bob Hope and the people I grew up with," he said. 

    "I think that when you have a show that's as long as it is, things are gonna happen," he continued. "I think the problem with the no host thing, perhaps, is that there's not somebody out there to capitalize on that moment." Crystal then referenced the Moonlight and La La Land best picture mix-up during Kimmel's time as host in 2017.

    "Some of my best moments were when something went wrong," the actor explained. "I had to introduce a 100-year-old giant in the movie industry named Hal Roach." During an Oscars ceremony, Crystal was supposed to introduce Roach on his 100th birthday. "He was sitting right in the second row and he was just supposed to wave on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Just stand up if he could, which he did, and just wave," he recalled. Instead, Roach stood and began talking, though he had no mic and no one could hear him. 

    In an attempt to control the situation, Crystal said "lines were flying through my head." He continued, "One hit like a slot machine in Vegas and I just looked at the audience and said, 'It's very fitting because he got his start in silent films.'"

  • Jim Carrey Shares New Artwork, Passes Out Mangoes on 'Late Show'

    Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

    Jim Carrey paraded into The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, band in tow and purple umbrella in hand, making an energetic entrance. Carrey, who recently had a similarly eventful interview on Good Morning America, flipped back to politics as Colbert brought up the actor's passion for political cartoons. As the host held up one of Carrey's works, a depiction of Rudy Giuliani as a radioactive villain called "Gooliani," Carrey noted "this administration has a way of Jekyll and Hyde-ing, bringing out the worst."

    When he isn't illustrating villainous depictions of politicians, Carrey shared his other artistic inspiration. "I just decided to concentrate on mangoes," Carrey said. For Carrey, the fruit is "one symbol, one thing that can be sweet, lovely, abundant ... I decided every month in 2020 would be May and the trees filled with mangoes."

    The comedian then, in Oprah-like fashion, jumped up and told Colbert's audience that everyone would be receiving that positive, relief-inducing fruit after the show. (Colbert confirmed that in fact there were "boxes of mangoes for everybody.")

    In his final act, or acts, of the night, Carrey performed dramatic takes on iconic comedic lines from several films, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask. When asked by Colbert whether he prepared for dramatic roles differently than his comedic ones, Carrey noted for Dumb and Dumber, "I spent 32 years as a total idiot."

  • Late Night Lineup: Feb. 9-15

    Monday, February 10
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
    : John Oliver visits his former Daily Show alum ahead of his Last Week Tonight season debut on Feb. 16.

    Tuesday, February 11
    Watch What Happens Live: Backstreet Boys stop by the clubhouse before hitting the road on their tour.