Late Night Lately: Apologies, Odes and Trips Down Memory Lane

8:00 AM 5/16/2020

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.

From left: Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, Bill Murray
From left: Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, Bill Murray
Courtesy of ABC; HBO; ABC

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 apologized for a joke about Vice President Mike Pence holding empty boxes at a health care center; John Oliver launched branded stamps in an effort to help the U.S. Postal Service; Bill Murray explained why he deserves more credit for helping win the game at the end of Space Jam; and Stephen Colbert reminisced about his interview with Anderson Cooper about grief. 

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • Jimmy Kimmel Apologizes for Edited Mike Pence Video

    Courtesy of ABC

    Jimmy Kimmel apologized for mocking Vice President Mike Pence this week, saying, "This was probably the strangest Mother's Day ever, especially for me," the ABC host said as he kicked off Monday's show. "I spent some of my Mother's Day in a Twitter feud with, well, you know that weird baby that lives in the White House? The one with the orange face? Well, he is in a mood! And apparently part of the reason for that mood is something I did."

    Kimmel explained that he previously aired an edited segment that featured Pence delivering medical supplies to a Virginia health care center. After he dropped off some boxes, an aide informed Pence that the remaining boxes were empty. The vice president responded, "Well, can I carry the empty ones? Just for the camera?"

    The video prompted President Donald Trump to criticize Kimmel on Twitter on Sunday. "More Fake News. This time from Jimmy Kimmel's last place show!" he tweeted.

    "Turns out he was just joking. How anyone can tell when Mike Pence is joking, I don't know," said Kimmel. "I had only watched part of the video. It turns out there were 29 minutes of this on C-SPAN that apparently indicate he was joking about carrying the empty boxes for the cameras. Which again, I didn't know because I don’t have the mental endurance it requires to watch Mike Pence deliver boxes for 29 minutes." The host added, "I was wrong. He was joking."

    Once Kimmel learned that he was wrong, he took down the video and apologized to Pence on Twitter.

    "Apologizing to the Trump administration for spreading untruth is like apologizing to Barry Bonds for using steroids — it's hard," continued Kimmel. "But the outrage from the MAGA hats, the outpouring of venom was disgusting — stupid too, but mostly disgusting."

    The host said that a number of Twitter users sent him messages "wishing death on me, on my family, on my son. Some of them said they hope my son dies, they threatened my wife. There were hundreds of horrible, hateful, sometimes violent Twitter and Facebook posts."

    Kimmel said that Pence's team demanded that he apologize for the video on his show. "Because this is what they're thinking about while thousands of Americans are dying every day. Jokes from late night talk show hosts," he said. "It was my mistake. I do apologize to the vice president." He added, "Spreading misinformation is their thing, and I stepped on their toes."

  • John Oliver Launches Branded Stamps

    John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight that it isn't email or the internet that has hurt the U.S. Postal Service's bottom line.

    In fact, he said, it's a law passed by Congress called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. The law requires the USPS to prepay health care benefits for retirees on a 50-year schedule, starting with an "aggressive obligation" of setting aside over $5 billion a year for 10 years. The law also put price caps on first-class mail, limiting the Postal Service's ability to bring in more money.

    After it was passed, the USPS went from generating a yearly profit to losing money every year; it reported a net income of $900 million in 2006 and a loss of $3.8 billion in 2009.

    "At the worst possible time, this American institution is on the brink of collapse," Oliver said.

    Oliver noted that the USPS is a "self-funded entity that operates independently and pays for itself" with money made via purchases of postage and other services. "The purchase of stamps is still a key revenue generator for them," he said.

    To that end, in order to try to help boost its bottom line, Oliver announced that the show's staff had been working with Stamps.com for many weeks to launch a line of Last Week Tonight-branded stamps. The stamps, which are available here, feature characters who have appeared on the HBO show along with one that reads "And Now … a Stamp," a twist on the name of one of his weekly segments.

    "The assortment includes images of a free-spirited otter mascot named Chiijohn, a giant squirrel named Mr. Nutterbutter, a zebra mascot who directs traffic in Bolivia and a stamp that says 'AND NOW … A STAMP' to remind you that the stamp is — and this is true — a stamp," reads the listing on Stamps.com.

  • Bill Murray Wants More Credit for His Role in 'Space Jam'

    Courtesy of ABC

    Bill Murray joined Jimmy Kimmel Live! from his bathtub on Wednesday, where he quipped he does not get enough credit for his work in the 1996 film Space Jam. 

    Kimmel asked Murray if he had been watching the ESPN docuseries The Last Dance, which chronicles Michael Jordan's final championship season with the Chicago Bulls. Murray, a huge Bulls fan, confirmed he was and that he loved seeing himself in old clips since he was at a lot of those big games. 

    "There! I'm in the background! Stop, play that back," Murray joked about seeing himself in the series. 

    Asked about his most memorable experience with Jordan, Murray reminded Kimmel that he did play himself in Space Jam, a performance he asserted deserved more credit. "People forget I got the assist on the game-winning basket," Murray said. "I stole the ball. I made the pass. I got nothing. I wasn't even interviewed after." 

    In all seriousness, Murray said he enjoyed making the film, especially since it took so much time to set up between shots that he, Jordan and Larry Bird could escape for a while to play golf. 

  • Stephen Colbert Reflects on Emotional Interview With Anderson Cooper

    After Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper engaged in an emotional interview about grief last year, the late night host took a moment to reflect on their viral discussion while making a guest appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. 

    During a CNN interview with Colbert, Cooper opened up about the recent loss of his mother, and discussed the letter that Colbert sent him after her death. "You wrote me a letter after my mom died, and in it you said, 'I hope you find peace in your grief,’” Cooper said. “One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about is how we don’t really talk about grief and loss. People aren’t comfortable talking about it."

    During their conversation, Colbert opened up about his faith, something he learned to lean on after losing his father and two brothers to a plane crash when he was 10 years old. 

    "I was very grateful to have that conversation with Anderson," Colbert told Cohen. Cohen explained that the interview seemed to have gone viral because it was something that "resonated with so many people." 

    "I think that because the things he was asking me about are common to all of our experiences, but we generally don't want to talk about them because there's something about grief that we feel is contagious," Colbert explained of the attention his conversation with Cooper received. 

    He added: "The elephant in the room is that while love lasts forever, our relationship or our present physical relationship with those we love most doesn’t. We just don’t want to talk about it to invite that particular anxiety or demon into the room, and so I think the fact that Anderson and I just talked about it frankly and from our hearts might have been unusual, but not unique. It's just that we did it publicly." 

  • Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz Reprise 'SNL' Characters

    Roy Rochlin/Getty Images; Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

    Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz virtually reprised their "Jarret's Room" characters for an Saturday Night Live reunion during Thursday's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

    The recurring sketch featured a webcast series hosted by two stoner college students at Hampshire College, Jarret (Fallon) and Gobi (Sanz). Sporting dreadlocks, Jarret opened the sketch by addressing the camera. "Still chilling at Hampshire College, where I'm technically no longer a student. But my meal-plan card still works," he said. 

    Gobi soon called in to catch up with his old friend. Wearing a tie, a clean-cut Gobi explained that he now goes by "Michael" and works as a financial adviser. "I love my life," he said.

    The friends took a walk down memory lane as Gobi looked through a care package that Jarret sent him, which included his old hacky sack and copies of Maxim. The care package also included homemade banana bread, which Jarret laced with drugs.

    An instantly high Gobi later reflected on his time spent social distancing for much of the video.