The Hollywood Reporter's Late Night Lately rounds up the best sketches and guests with a look at what's to come next week.
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: Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and more hosts gave tearful tributes to the late Kobe Bryant on Monday, one day after the late Laker's death. Meanwhile, James Corden opened up about recently revealed "secrets" surrounding his "Carpool Karaoke" segment and BTS reflected on the "Old Town Road All-Stars" performance at the Grammys.
— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman
At the top of the first episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! following Bryant's death on Sunday, the host noted that he and his producers eschewed a studio audience and guests: "Going forward with a comedy show didn't feel right given what happened yesterday, so I'd like to just speak to you directly," he said.
Kimmel launched into a remembrance of the basketball star from the perspective of an Angeleno who interacted with him on several occasions. "That was a punch in the gut for many of us," he said of Bryant's death. "Kobe was — and I know this might not make sense — but he was just the last person you could have ever imagined something like this happening to. He was so strong and handsome and smart and energetic. He was a hero."
Without going into specifics, Kimmel implicitly acknowledged rape allegations that dogged Bryant: "I know he wasn’t a perfect person. I understand that. My intention is not to canonize him. Or to make judgments about things I don’t know anything about. But I will say [that] he loved his family, he worked very hard and he brought a lot of joy to a lot of people in this city."
Kimmel ended by tearing up and saying there was no "silver lining" to Sunday's news. Adding that he wanted to remember Bryant as the "bright light" that he was, Kimmel dedicated the rest of Monday's Live! to showing clips from some of his 15 interviews with the former Laker.
On NBC, The Tonight Show's Jimmy Fallon was also teary-eyed when he dedicated a portion of his monologue to the late athlete. "Kobe was such a life force, so strong, creative and inspired that in my head I thought that he was going to live forever." Fallon said that he met Bryant at a party when he was 21 years old and the latter was 17; Bryant volunteered to go on a beer run for the party and Fallon agreed to go with him. Fallon said the store they chose only did delivery service, but that when Bryant showed the proprietor his ID and said he was a Laker, they were able to buy five cases of beer and "saved the party."
Fallon, breaking down, said that when he ran into Bryant later, they would laugh about how they met and talk about "how to be good dads." He added, "Let's honor Kobe, Gianna and the other lives that were lost by following his example: Love your family, love your teammates and outwork everyone in the gym."
James Corden came clean about how he films "Carpool Karaoke" during Wednesday's Late Late Show. He shared a clip of a "Carpool Karaoke" segment with Justin Bieber that showed the SUV being towed behind a production truck.
"I know this looks bad. But I just want to say right now that I always drive the car unless we're doing something where we think it might not be safe like a dance routine or a costume change, you know. Or if I'm drunk," he said. "But in the case of Justin Bieber, it was a safety issue where we thought it was best to tow the car. Frankly, I just kept getting lost in his eyes."
He added that the clip caused a "media frenzy" and shared headlines that called him a liar. "I'm just shocked that I did something that upset people more than Cats," he said.
"This is a TV show. Not everything is real. Our show doesn't tape after midnight. We tape at 5 p.m. and pretend that it's late. Reggie Watts isn't actually here. He's 100 percent CGI." Corden said that he "didn't want to be the bearer of bad news," but admitted that he doesn't actually need the segment's guests to help him get to work, either. "We've also never once in the history of doing that bit ever used the carpool lane," he shared. "There's not even a carpool lane on my way to work."
"I just thought that we all knew this and I'm sorry that you are so deep into the reality of 'Carpool Karaoke,' but it's TV and sometimes we do stuff just for the sake of entertainment," Corden continued.
BTS made a Tuesday appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, where the band reflected on their historic performance at the 2020 Grammys.
Taking the stage at Los Angeles' Staples Center with Lil Nas X and other "Old Town Road All-Stars" for an epic rendition of the rapper's record-breaking hit, it marked the first time a K-pop group had ever performed at music's most prestigious awards ceremony. Alongside Lil Nas X, BTS — whose leader RM previously lent his vocals to a remix called "Seoul Town Road" — joined other "Old Town Road" collaborators onstage, including Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo and Mason Ramsey.
"Everything about the night was so special," BTS member J-Hope told Corden. "BTS and K-pop on stage — we couldn’t believe it."
RM noted host Alicia Keys' shout-out in her musical tribute to the night's performers. He said, "It felt like K-pop was finally recognized worldwide by Alicia."
Jessica Simpson stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday to talk about her memoir, Open Book. "I can't believe this title wasn't taken," exclaimed Kimmel at the top of the show. "Not only is it a good title, [it gives you] directions also. I pick it up, [and it says]: open book."
The singer and fashion designer's memoir is promoted as an intimate account of her life in and out of the spotlight. Among the issues explored, Simpson writes about self-medicating during the height of her public marriage to 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey, the turmoil surrounding her brief relationship with John Mayer, sexual abuse she encountered as a child and struggles with addiction.
The host also brought up the Mickey Mouse Club, which Simpson auditioned for as a child. "I did go to the finals, but they said I needed acting lessons," she said.
Living in Dallas, Texas, at the time, she went on to study with Chuck Norris as an acting coach. "He told me I moved my eyebrows too much, so then I had to do all of my lines with my eyebrows taped." Simpson added that Norris encouraged her to "channel her inner Denzel Washington" even though, as a 12-year-old, she didn't know who Washington was. Now, as an adult, Simpson said that the experience "ruined every Denzel Washington movie" for her. "All I do is watch his eyebrows."
Speaking about the time she fired her father, who was her manager, at the dinner table — something she talks about in the book — Simpson explained that, while her father was amazing as a family man and a manager, she came to a point where she simply had to take control of her own life and career.
"It was like a four-minute scene with me and Jude Law beating each other up," Lively told Fallon. "And then on my hand, I severed a ligament here, so my knuckles are kind of dropped and then I dislocated these two bones and broke some things."
She added that she broke her hand by punching his elbow. "My hand just basically turned into party confetti. It was just like, 'Pow' upon contact," Lively recalled.
After her surgeries, Lively went through "tough" physical therapy. She explained that her physical therapist looked like "if Zac Efron and Fabio had a baby with a Ken doll."
Monday, February 3 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Mary Elizabeth Winstead stops by to discuss her latest movie, Birds of Prey.
Tuesday, February 4 The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: Host Stephen Colbert emcees a live show following Trump's State of the Union address.
Wednesday, February 5 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Homeland star Claire Danes talks about the Showtime series' eighth and final season, premiering Feb. 9.