Late-Night Lately: Kimmel's Gonzaga Feud, Corden's 'Us' Spoof, Responding to Mueller Report

8:00 AM 3/30/2019

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 ABC; 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: Jimmy Kimmel continued to float his theory that Gonzaga, the college basketball team in the NCAA tournament, does not actually exist, while Gonzaga students and players responded, Fred Willard played his part, the school's mascot stopped by and Guillermo did some investigating. James Corden performed a spoof of Jordan Peele's horror film Us as well as HBO's documentary The Inventor. And the hosts responded to the news of Robert Mueller's report on President Trump and the charges being dropped for Empire actor Jussie Smollett. 

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman 

  • Jimmy Kimmel Reignites Gonzaga Feud

    Jimmy Kimmel Live / YouTube

    Jimmy Kimmel continued to take potshots at Gonzaga this week, holding the line that he (jokingly) believes the university doesn't actually exist, while the basketball team kept advancing in the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.  

    Previously, Kimmel quipped that footage of the college on local news looked like "extras in front of a green screen," which led to Spokane reporters and students responding. The dean of the Gonzaga law school and Washington attorney general even got involved, sending Kimmel a video of law students swearing the university is real. 

    Kimmel responded to that with a bit featuring iconic comic actor Fred Willard, who pretended to be the chancellor of Gonzaga, named Dr. Gonzo Aga. His story fell apart quick and Kimmel used that as proof that Gonzaga is a myth. 

    Also this week, Kimmel's monologue was interrupted by the Gonzaga mascot, Spike, who said he was sent to kill Kimmel, but couldn't do it, because Kimmel was "the only one speaking the truth." Spike told Kimmel his story about when he once questioned Gonzaga's existence and was punished by being turned into the school's mascot. Later, Guillermo went to a game to interrogate the players about their school's supposed existence. 

  • James Corden and Reggie Watts Spoof 'Us'

    Courtesy of Terence Patrick/CBS

    Monday's Late Late Show saw James Corden and bandleader Reggie Watts in their own twist on Jordan Peele's horror film Us in a parody called We.

    In the parody, a bodiless hand stirs a cup of tea, while Corden realized that Watts was not on set, but the host quickly found his bandleader on the roof as he approached a figure that shared similar physical characteristics to him.

    "I just went to talk to that creepy guy over there," Watts explained about why he was on the roof. (The guy in question wore a shirt that read "Horror-Parody.")

    Intense music played as Corden and Watts later approached two figures on the set of the show. "If you want to get crazy, we can get crazy," Corden said as he hit a baseball bat against the palm of his hand.

    The two figures were soon revealed to be Corden and Watts' doppelgangers. "It's us," said Watts. Corden responded, "You mean we." Watts responded that the use of "we" was grammatically incorrect, though Corden explained that they had to use the term because of a "copyright issue."

  • Late-Night Hosts Tackle "Anticlimactic" Mueller Report Findings

    Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

    Late-night hosts had a lot to say about Sunday's announcement that Robert Mueller's long-awaited report did not find evidence that President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. 

    Attorney General William Barr gave the news with a four-page letter to Congress on Sunday summarizing the key findings of the report. In it, he also said Mueller's report "does not exonerate" the president on obstruction and instead "sets out evidence on both sides of the question."

    Stephen Colbert made light of the "troubling" news that "our president is not a Russian asset." "I say 'troubling' because if Trump is not working with the Russians, then what the hell is wrong with him?" the host joked. 

    Colbert said Barr's letter was "anticlimactic." Colbert likened the report to the finale of Lost, saying it was worse than the conclusion of the hit ABC show. "What about the smoke monster? Was it real or not? And if not, why have so many members of Trump's campaign pled guilty to lying about meeting with the smoke monster?" He added that he wished the ending could be more like Seinfeld: "Still disappointing, but at least they’re all in jail." 

    Of the news, Jimmy Kimmel joked that now "the process of tearing our country even further apart can finally begin."

    He also compared the news to Lost. "All I know is, I haven’t been this confused about an ending since the series finale of Lost. It is kind of funny though, half of America is upset that our President didn’t collude with Russia," he said, adding, "Seems like we should probably be happy about that shouldn’t we? And didn’t we really, deep down, didn’t we know Trump probably didn’t collude with Russia because he could never pull that off? And even if he did collude, it probably would have been by accident?"

    Trevor Noah took a deep dive into the Mueller news, looking particularly at the language Trump uses to get his point across. “The Mueller investigation report is in and it says there was no collusion,” Noah began. “I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit disappointing — a lot of us were expecting something different. It’s a little bit like coming down the stairs on Christmas morning — you were hoping for a brand-new BMX, but instead, you find Santa’s dead body, burnt, because your parents forgot to turn off the fire."

    He turned to a Fox News clip, which showed a reporter noting that Trump was "cracking jokes at a fundraising dinner" and playing golf with Kid Rock soon after hearing the news. "It's amazing how different human beings are, because for me, playing golf with Kid Rock seems more like the punishment," Noah joked. 

    James Corden shared that the investigation was over. "This completely wrecks my bracket," he joked, alluding to the NCAA March Madness tournament. "I had Donald Trump going all the way to impeachment."

    Corden added that the news caught many people by surprise. "It's never a good sign when after two years as president, the whole world is shocked because you didn't do something illegal," he said.

  • Hosts React to Jussie Smollett's Dropped Charges

    Brad Barket/Comedy Central

    On Tuesday, late-night hosts tackled the dropped charges against Jussie Smollett.

    Daily Show host Trevor Noah summarized the cast for comedic effect: "Two months ago, the Empire actor was attacked by two Trump supporters who turned out to be Nigerian weight lifters who turned out to be American brothers. But now the story is getting weird," he joked.

    Seizing on the Cook County State's Attorney's Office statement that it did not "exonerate" Smollett, Noah joked, "OK, wait. So Jussie was set free, so he's not innocent, so he's not guilty. What?" Pausing for laughs, Noah added, "We need someone to figure this out. Mueller! We've got a new case for you! And this time just tell us what happened!" he shouted, referring to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    Over on The Late Show, Stephen Colbert also seized on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's statement: He ran clips of the Chicago officials involved in the case alleging that the city is still owed an apology, along with Emanuel declaring the result a “whitewash of justice.”

    Colbert later joked, “Isn’t it a hopeful sign in America that all rich, famous people get off easily?” He also quoted an alternate version of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech: “I have a dream that one day, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will hire the very best publicists to leverage their social media profile, escape charges and then make a big comeback on The Masked Singer.”

    Later on CBS, James Corden also drew connections between Trump and Smollett. "Smollett isn't being charged with a crime, but he hasn't officially been exonerated, so if nothing else, he is qualified to be the president of the United States." 

    Corden additionally made a crack about the circumstances of the alleged hate crime that targeted Smollett, saying, "Seeing that the charges have been dropped, we can get back to the real issue here, which is, who eats at Subway at 2 a.m.?" (Smollett claimed he had been attacked outside one of the franchise's outposts at the early-morning hour.) 

    On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the host referred to his recurring bit about Washington state's Gonzaga University, which he claims does not exist, while discussing Smollett. "Smollett was facing 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a hate crime against himself," he said. "The police apparently became suspicious when the alleged attackers claimed they went to Gonzaga University."

  • James Corden Parodies HBO's Elizabeth Holmes Doc

    Terence Patrick/CBS

    James Corden donned a black turtleneck to parody HBO's The Inventor documentary Tuesday in a satirical trailer for his film called The Entrepooneur. In it, Corden plays a young Silicon Valley hopeful who has created a sham invention that he promises will change the world (but is really just a box full of poo). Using techniques straight out of the documentary about former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, the trailer showcases Corden's character using a fake voice, holding up his invention as mirror images of him recede into the back of the screen and giving TED Talks and laboratory tours between interviews with incredulous talking heads.

    "It just kept piling up. Boxes and boxes of poo," a disgruntled source tells the filmmaker in one such instance.

    Not long thereafter, Corden is shown saying in his TED Talk, "One poo, one box, one dream."

    "What does that even mean?" another talking head asks.

    "He was mad with power and poo," a third says.

  • Late-Night Lineup: March 31-April 6

    Monday, April 1
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: Queer Eye's Fab Five head to CBS amid its season three press tour. 

    Jimmy Kimmel Live!: The Nevada native heads to Las Vegas for a week of on-location shows, with guests Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Seth Rogen, Celine Dion and more. 

    Tuesday, April 2
    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Kathie Lee Gifford chats with Fallon days before her last-ever episode of Today.