Late-Night Lately: Hosts Guess at N.Y. Times Op-Ed Writer and React to Woodward's Trump Tell-All

8:00 AM 9/8/2018

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.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah; Late Night with Seth Meyers; The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube

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: First, late-night hosts came back from summer hiatus to revel in guessing at who could have written The New York Times' anonymous op-ed about "resistance" in the White House. Meanwhile, Bob Woodward's tell-all book about life in the White House, Fear, led to several takes on how Trump talks, how his administration feels about him and whether he knows his own wife's name. Trevor Noah took time to address Colin Kaepernick's Nike ad, and Jim Carrey stopped by for a bizarre and wide-ranging interview with Jimmy Kimmel. 

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman  

  • Reacting to Anonymous Trump Official's NY Times Op-Ed

    Screengrab/The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    Late-night hosts had a lot to say about a bombshell op-ed published in The New York Times on Wednesday, which was written by an anonymous senior Trump administration official. 

    In the piece, the writer, claiming to be part of the "resistance" to Trump but not from the left, said in part: "Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office."

    In his Late Show monologue, Stephen Colbert jokingly warned the president, "Mr. President, they traced the resistance. It's coming from inside the White House! Get out of there and stay out of there!"

    Colbert's guest, former Secretary of State and onetime Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, also shared his thoughts on the Times piece, saying that it "scared the hell out of him," but, he joked, "there is some reassurance for James Buchanan because it means he's no longer the worst president."

    "Actually, it's really serious," he continued. "You know what it really means, Stephen, is that we don't really have a president. We have a president who is there but he's not capable of doing the job or living up to the responsibilities."

    Over on The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah was incredulous over the news. "Holy shit. There's a secret group of people within the White House actively working to curb President Trump, which is wild, because this means this whole time we've been dealing with the watered-down version of Trump!" He continued, "This is the Diet Trump? That's like finding out [adult video] 'Two Girls, One Cup' is the PG version of the clip!"

    Noah also said the op-ed and its author's admission that "it may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room," did not make him feel any better. "Before this, I knew there was turbulence. But now someone came on the PA system and said, 'Uh, ladies and gentleman, the pilot is actively trying to crash the plane. But don't be alarmed, we're doing everything we can to stop him. Mikey's got a pretty good choke hold and I've had some harsh words with him, so please keep your seat belts fastened and enjoy your peanuts and tax cuts.'"

    The opinion piece immediately triggered a wild guessing game as to the author's identity on social media, but Jimmy Kimmel thinks he has it figured out. First, he joked, "I have to say, I'm surprised by how good a writer Ivanka is." But, he pointed out that some Internet users have picked up on the use of the word "lodestar" in the piece. "That's not a common word, lodestar. Not a lot of people use that word," Kimmel explained before offering video evidence of Vice President Mike Pence using the word. 

    "Wouldn't that be something if it was Mike Pence?" he said. "This is gonna drive Trump absolutely nuts. Can you imagine what it must be like to have a job at which almost everyone who works for you thinks you're a complete idiot?"

    "I can," he deadpanned. "I'll tell you something — it's no fun at all."

    Seth Meyers also addressed the op-ed piece on Late Night. "OK, I'm gonna say it was Kellyanne in the Situation Room with the laptop," Meyers said as he guessed that the current counselor to the president is behind the piece. "We'll find out soon."

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    Over on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon shared how he believes Trump reacted to the news. "When Trump heard, he screamed, 'Oh my god! Fake news is coming from inside the house,'" joked Fallon with his Trump impression.

    "A senior official wrote an anonymous op-ed about Trump," continued Fallon. "Even stranger, the official signed it XOXO Gossip Girl."

  • Hosts Tackle Bob Woodward's "Explosive" Trump Book

    Screengrab/Late Night with Seth Meyers

    After excerpts from Bob Woodward's book Fear: Trump in the White House were published Tuesday, late-night hosts were quick to weigh in on the controversy it stirred up.

    "[The book] might bring down the Trump presidency," said The Daily Show's Trevor Noah. "I mean, it's probably not going to do that, but it is pretty funny." 

    Citing an excerpt that claims Trump referred to Attorney General Jeff Sessions as "retarded" and imitated Sessions' Southern accent, Noah quipped, "It's weird that Trump is running around doing accents when he hasn't even mastered his own." 

    On Late Night With Seth Meyers, the host dedicated a section of his "Closer Look" segment to Woodward's book. "He's like a guy who doesn't understand he's being dumped," Meyers noted of a recorded conversation between Trump and Woodward of the book. "I'm breaking up with you because you're dumb, annoying, selfish, ugly … and I'm not attracted to you in any way. 'So, it sounds like you're on the fence about going to prom with me?'" 

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    Over on the Late Show, host Stephen Colbert returned from his two-week hiatus with a new beard and a few opinions on Woodward's book. "It seems like an explosive book about the Trump White House comes out every few minutes," the host said.

    Citing the title of Woodward's work, Colbert said, "Named after the emotion Trump feels whenever he sees a book."

    On ABC, host Jimmy Kimmel said the book "promises to be the president's most unflattering portrait yet" and noted, "It's a good thing Donald Trump doesn't read books, because I don't think he'd like this one."

    Kimmel also compared the current situation in Washington to a different program on his own network: "The Trump White House has had more men tell-alls than The Bachelor."

  • Jim Carrey Talks Trump, His Artwork and 'Kidding'

    Jim Carrey mixed up characteristically wacky jokes with moments of deep seriousness about the state of the U.S. during his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday night.

    The actor first explained some of his political artwork, telling Kimmel that he started drawing figures of authority in one "hip" teacher's class: "I was at the back of the classroom drawing pictures of her getting attacked and missiled ... I hadn't learned how to be correct yet," he said. The teacher saved the pictures, he learned later, and sent them back after he became famous. "She saw the divine spark, Jimmy!" Carrey joked.

    Carrey got down to business when Kimmel asked him to explain the premise of Kidding, his upcoming show on Showtime about a Mr. Rogers-like children's television host, Mr. Pickles, who loses a child and begins to spiral out of control. "The show is about a beautiful human being with a huge heart that everyone's trying to protect. And lightning hits his life. And everyone's afraid he's going to [fall apart]," Carrey explained.

    The actor then connected the qualities of the character to a broader opportunity for candor in 2018. "Mr Rogers would come out on a show like this and he would be so absolutely authentic that you can't find the irony," he said. "We're really reminding people that we're all innocent. We have it. We haven't lost it. Trump can't take it away from us. It will always be there," Carrey said.  

  • Trevor Noah Addresses Nike Colin Kaepernick Ad

    YouTube/The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    Trevor Noah weighed in on Nike's "Just Do It" ad with former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, cautioning viewers not to buy the company's products for its corporate values.

    "I'm a big fan of Colin Kaepernick, I love the ad," Noah told his audience. "I do worry, though, that people have become a little too convinced by corporations that suddenly seem to have political stances."

    Noah then noted that corporations are always trying to make money and look for endorsement deals that will be lucrative. "So as much as people are like, 'Yeah, I'm going to buy Nikes because they support'...they're also trying to make money and they see this trend can be profitable," Noah said.

    The ad, released Sept. 3, shows the former 49ers quarterback staring at the camera while the words "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt" flash across the screen. 

    On The Daily Show Noah told viewers not to buy Nike simply because it is advertising with Kaepernick. "I don't think people should put their alignment behind brands," he said. "Buy the shoe because you like the shoe, not because it represents my political beliefs. Because I don't know that it completely does. You can very quickly go down a rabbit hole of the things that Nike may not do or do that you don't like, and that may put you in a quagmire." 

  • 'Late Show' Creates 'Reading Rainbow' for Woodward's Trump Tell-All


    To celebrate Bob Woodward's book Fear: Trump in the White House, The Late Show brought back Reading Rainbow with kids giving their takes on the new tell-all. 

    In the sketch, kids gave their book reports. "When you grow up, do you want to be the president? Well, this book shows anybody can do it."

    "My favorite part was watching the Republic crumble before our eyes," said another young reader.  

    One little girl described the book: "An ogre made of cheese runs the country, without knowing anything about how to do it." 

    But they also warned: "Don't read it before bed. you'll get nightmares ... But don't read it in the day, because you'll get daymares."

  • Late-Night Lineup: September 9-15

    Monday, September 10
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: Journalist Bob Woodward stops by to address his latest book that has been making waves, Fear: Trump in the White House.

    Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Sean Penn follows up on his bizarre book tour with a press tour for his upcoming space series, The First. 

    Wednesday, September 12
    Late Night with Seth Meyers: NBC hosts an SNL reunion (and welcomes back its band leader) with Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen, stars of the new show Forever.