Late-Night Lately: The Hosts Tear Apart This Year's State of Union

8:00 AM 2/9/2019

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 Comedy Central, CBS and NBC

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: Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert hosted live shows on the night of the rescheduled State of the Union, poking fun at the theme of "Choosing Greatness" while Noah argued Trump's theme was "we're all going to die." Meanwhile, Seth Meyers went day drinking, James Corden and Alicia Keys performed a "Shallow" parody and the hosts addressed the recent blackface scandals hitting Washington, D.C. 

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman  

  • Colbert, Meyers, Noah Host Live Post-State of the Union Shows

    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Following President Trump's State of the Union address this week, Late Night With Seth Meyers, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show With Trevor Noah ran special live episodes in response to the speech.

    Meyers' featured a "Closer Look" segment that discussed the debate. During the segment, Meyers noted that the theme of the night's speech was "unity" and so, "to honor that theme, President Trump attacked Democrats." Meyers also noted that in the days leading up to the speech, Trump repeatedly kept noting that the "wall" he wants, between the U.S. and Mexico, should have been built earlier than his presidency.

    "If anyone should be happy that no one built a wall, it should be you. What would people shout at your rallies, 'Maintain the previously erected wall?'"

    Meyers also broached the subject of Trump's crooked tie, a topic of much sniggering on social media as Trump took the stage Tuesday night. "Trump is so unpopular, even his tie has moved to the left," Meyers joked.

    Meyers also homed in on Trump's line about how his administration has produced an "economic miracle" and that one of the only things that could impede the "miracle" produced was "war and investigation." "I'm sorry, you think the investigations are hurting the economy? If anything, you've created thousands of jobs for lawyers," Meyers said.

    The host also focused on a moment when Trump celebrated that in 2019, Congress contained more women serving than at any previous time in U.S. history. "I love that Trump was taking credit for that: 'The only reason you got elected was because everyone hates me,'" Meyers joked.

    Stephen Colbert responded to Trump's 2019 address with CBS This Morning hosts Norah O’Donnell, John Dickerson, Gayle King and Bianna Golodryga, as well as BlacKkKlansman director Spike Lee. 

    He poked fun at the theme for this year's address, "Choosing Greatness." “When it comes to the State of the Union, just like prom, there’s a special theme,” Colbert joked. “This year’s theme is Choosing Greatness. Yes, we get a choice. The other choices are Selecting Mediocrity, Settling for Racist, or Fish. I will take the fish please.”

    Of the president's assertion that the U.S. had the "hottest" economy in the world, Colbert joked, impersonating Trump, "It is so hot, if it wasn't my economy, perhaps I'd be dating it."  When he tackled Trump's line "If there is to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation," Colbert pantomimed him, saying, "'You can't have legislation and investigation.' Who ever heard of law and order?"

    Trevor Noah took on the State of the Union address in his live show, where he argued that the underlying theme of the speech was "we're all going to die." 

    "The real theme was that we're all going to die, Mexican style," quipped Noah, cutting to a clip of Trump talking about the various threats that America faces: "criminals, child smugglers, illegal aliens," to name a few.

    "This part of his speech was so scary he should have just done it with a flashlight under his chin," said the host. 

    After poking fun at the way Trump begins every sentence with how "great" America has become and how "hot" the economy is, Noah summed up the speech as a whole and suggested that it was one of Trump's "tamer" speeches. "We can all agree that he read really well," Noah concluded. "I don't know if he's ready for a second term, but he's definitely ready for the second grade," Noah laughed. 

    Also included in the live episode, The Daily Show's Roy Wood Jr. delivered a "State of Black Shit" address from the capitol of Black America — the Waffle House in Birmingham, Alabama. 

     
  • Meyers, Noah, Colbert Tackle Gov. Ralph Northam's Blackface Controversy

    Hal Sata

    The controversy over a racist image in Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook was tailor-made for late-night commentary this week. Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert had a field day with the story on Monday amid amplifying calls for the governor to resign. 

    Northam, the Democratic governor of Virginia, encountered a wave of backlash when his medical school yearbook page, which features a picture of one person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, resurfaced on social media. Northam defended himself in a press conference by clarifying that he had not dressed in blackface on that particular occasion after, one day earlier, issuing an apology suggesting he was in the photo. He said, however, that he had made "mistakes" like darkening his face with shoe polish to attend a dance competition as Michael Jackson.

    On The Daily Show, Noah was quick to address how coy Northam has been in revealing who he was in the picture, with Noah noting that "neither option is good."

    “It’s like taking a trip and your only choices are Titanic and Spirit Airlines. You know?” he joked. “I mean at least on the Titanic, you might get to fuck Leo.”

    Noah also argued that though the photograph is offensive, should Northam have admitted he was dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, then he would simply become “part of a community.” “You know what the real shame is? It’s that if these weren’t costumes, and it was a black guy and a Klansman having a drink together, this would be a huge step forward. Racial harmony, we did it folks.”

    Colbert pointed to Northam's initial apology, where he said, "I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo" and did not specify which person he was. "Which brings up an interesting question: Which is worse?" Colbert said. "'Uh, I was definitely in the hood, which is why you can't see how mad I was at that other guy for wearing blackface.'"

    Meyers devoted his Late Night segment "A Closer Look" to the PR debacle. Also addressing news reports that Northam had not specified which person he was in the photo in his initial apology, Meyers joked, "Wow, that's a real lose-lose. That's like being asked whether you're Erik or Lyle Menendez.... Even the curtain in the back of that photo had to hold a press conference to apologize."

    Of Northam's change in memory about the photo, Meyers expressed some skepticism. "Normal people if you ask them, 'Did you ever wear blackface or a KKK robe would go, 'Absolutely not, that's insane.' But your reaction was, 'Well, what was the prom theme?'" he said.

  • Seth Meyers and Ina Garten Go Day Drinking

    Courtesy of Lloyd Bishop/NBC

    Seth Meyers continued his day-drinking tradition this week with Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. 

    Meyers has gone on day-drinking adventures with Kelly Clarkson, Retta, even his mom, but this time he went head-to-head in a cocktail making contest with the Food Network star with recipes from her own cookbook. Meyers "eyeballed" most of the measurements and declared most of the face-offs a tie. 

    When Garten tried to compliment his drinks, he pointed out: "You know you have a face you make that's a liar's face?"

    They also played games where Meyers had to guess between a fast-food chain's dip and Garten's, Garten had to guess Hollywood stars' feet, Garten had to guess which celebrity chef said which quote and Meyers even made her a hot pink cake and tried very hard to decorate it. 

  • James Corden and Alicia Keys Duet in "Shallow" Parody

    Courtesy of Terence Patrick/CBS

    Just ahead of the Grammys, Alicia Keys and James Corden performed a parody of "Shallow" — the duet from Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's film, A Star Is Born — called "A Grammy Host Is Born." During their Late Late Show rendition, former Grammys host Corden offered advice to Keys about her upcoming gig as host this year. 

    "Tell me something, Keys, I hear you're set to host this year's Grammys," Corden sang to Keys as she played the piano. Replied the singer, "Didn't you host it twice? Maybe you could give me some advice."

    That's when Corden — still singing — responded, "Comfy shoes." He added, "After four hours, you'll find yourself drinking cheap booze / Stealing from gift bags, a candle for free."

    He also told Keys, "Try not to be scared / Act like you've been there," to which she responded, in an impressive belt, "You know I've won 15 times?"

  • Meghan McCain Tells Colbert She Didn't Want Trumps at Her Father's Funeral

    Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

    Meghan McCain revealed she wasn't happy that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attended her father John McCain's funeral when she visited The Late Show on Thursday.

    Stephen Colbert read a quote from her eulogy. "We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly," he quoted.

    "I did say that," she said. "And I mean it."

    Colbert asked if McCain knew that Trump and Kushner would be in attendance before she wrote the eulogy, which was "pointed" at the president. "The nature of my father's cancer, I had the luxury and curse that I was writing it in real time and I obviously knew with his diagnosis that he would more than likely die within a year, so it's weird to write a eulogy for someone who's still alive," she said. "When we were working on it, I didn't actually think about who would be attending the funeral." 

    "The answer is no, I did not know that they would be attending his funeral and it's weird to talk about it." McCain added that she was unpleasantly surprised when Trump and Kushner showed up to the service.

    "A funeral is obviously a sacred time and I thought that my family had made it clear, or at least I had, that the Trumps are unwelcome around me and that my father had been sort of very clear about the line between the McCains and the Trumps, so I was surprised when they were there," she said. "It made me uncomfortable and I hope I made them uncomfortable, honestly, with everything."

  • Late-Night Lineup: February 10-16

    Monday, February 11
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: Fellow late-night host and Daily Show alum John Oliver stops by ahead of Last Week Tonight's return. Colbert also welcomes late-night host Trevor Noah on Wednesday. 

    Tuesday, February 12
    The Late Late Show With James Corden: The cast of the anti-rom-com Isn't It Romantic?, Liam Hemsworth, Rebel Wilson and Priyanka Chopra Jonas stop by the CBS show. 

    Wednesday, February 13
    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short visit Fallon as their tour, An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, continues to sell out. 

    Thursday, February 14
    Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Kimmel has set an interesting Valentine's Day guest lineup with Ben Affleck and comedian Dane Cook.