Late Night Lately: Barack Obama and Michael Moore Weigh In on Election Aftermath

8:00 AM 11/21/2020

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.

Jimmy Kimmel - BARACK OBAMA - Stephen Colbert
Courtesy of ABC (2); CBS

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: Barack Obama, making the late-night rounds to promote his new book, spoke about the transition post-election. Meanwhile, Michael J. Fox shared a story about Princess Diana and Back to the Future, and Jimmy Kimmel presented the 2020 People's Sexiest Man Alive.

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • Barack Obama Talks New Memoir, Michelle Obama's Book Sales

    Former President Barack Obama joined Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday to discuss his new memoir, A Promised Land, but Kimmel had another important question on his mind when kicking off their interview.

    "Why did you leave us with him?" Kimmel said of President Donald Trump with Obama quickly responding, "I got to follow the Constitution and Michelle's mandate."

    The first volume of Obama's 768-page memoir features an honest account of his presidential campaign and time in office, as well as the personal journey he and former First Lady Michelle Obama went through during both terms. The length of the memoir didn't go unnoticed for Kimmel. "Did you make it that long to make sure Trump never reads it?" 

    The former president continued to explain that he didn't originally intend for his book to be so long but he realized he wanted to write about a myriad of things from his presidency. "I want people to understand how I was making decisions, what we were dealing with... I didn't want to put everything in footnotes and endnotes," he said.

    Obama's book may have been an anticipated title this year, but Michelle Obama's Becoming was recognized as 2018's fastest-selling book after selling 725,000 copies sold on the first day of publication. However, Obama assures his book, which was reported to have sold over 800,000 copies in its first day, sold "a tad more" than the former First Lady's. "But I'm not rubbing it in over dinner," he said, adding that Michelle joked all his book sales could help pay for her shoe purchases.

    As his book released shortly after his former vice president Joe Biden was declared the president-elect, Kimmel asked whether Obama felt congratulating Biden for his win was "premature" given Trump continues to claim the election was rigged. "I thought I was right on time," Obama said.

    Obama also expressed his wish that the transition between Biden and Trump was going better and he recalled how "gracious" former President George W. Bush was to him when he became president.

    "He's a good man. He's a patriot and he ordered everybody on his team to work seamlessly with us on the transition," he said of Bush. He said that because of Bush's willingness to help, it helped his team get a "headstart" on tackling the financial crisis.

    Obama ends his first volume with the Osama bin Laden raid, which he recalls at the same time having to endure conspiracy theories being made by Trump in which it was questioned whether Obama was born in the United States.

    "We are planning this huge risky, difficult operation that involves all the power and technology and skill and courage of the U.S. military and, at the same time, I'm dealing with a guy who's saying I wasn't born where I was born," Obama said. "It gives you an example of the weirdness of modern politics." He continued to add that while a president aims to be "focused on the job," it can be difficult when "the circus" is what dominates the press and "ends up distracting the White House."

    "I had to screen that stuff out to make sure I'm keeping my eye on the ball," he said.

    Later, Kimmel and Obama later surprised a fan with a virtual meet-and-greet.


  • Michael Moore: "Trump Defeated Himself" in 2020 Election

    Michael Moore joined Late Night With Seth Meyers this week to discuss the election aftermath, and underestimating of Joe Biden as a candidate.

    Moore said that Biden was criticized early in his campaigning for being in the "basement," but Moore said that's exactly where he should have been, because "Trump was defeating himself. The more Biden just let Trump talk, the more Trump just kept doing one wackadoodle thing after another, that was going to guarantee his defeat."

    "I want to hold on to some belief that Biden is going to seize this moment," Moore added, noting that Biden "has a chance to be remembered" and he is going to take it.

  • Jimmy Kimmel Unveils People's Sexiest Man Alive

    Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday revealed the cover star of People's sexiest man alive competition. But first, there was a guessing game. The sexiest man came into the studio fully masked and disguised in a yellow hazmat suit, while audience members asked questions to figure out who he was.

    "Do you work in film?" "Are you an Avenger in movies?" "Are you married?" "Have you ever been in a romantic relationship with Taylor Swift?"

    Finally, a "yes" came when an audience member asked if he had over 5 million Instagram followers. She then guessed Channing Tatum, which was incorrect. After confirming that the sexiest man did not play Aquaman (ruling out Jason Mamoa), does not have children, and isn't known for being funny, an audience member guessed "Michael B. Jordan." That was correct.

    Jordan has received the honor this year, passed on from 2019's winner, John Legend.

    After the commercial break, Jordan emerged out of the hazmat suit and in his regular clothes, dressed up for the occasion. Asked if he feels more pressure now that he is the sexiest man, Jordan said, "Just a little bit, but it's a cool title to have." He said that he found out in the car with a family friend, when his publicist and manager gave him a call. Immediately his friend ragged on him, because being the "sexiest man" is cool for anyone who doesn't know you, explained Jordan, but for anyone who does — it's something to have a laugh about.

    The actor, who says he had continued to work throughout lockdown, is currently preparing for the movie Journal for Jordan, which Denzel Washington is directing.

  • Michael J. Fox Shares Princess Diana 'Back to the Future' Story

    Michael J. Fox says the world premiere of Back to the Future was memorable for a few reasons, one being that Princess Diana sat next to him — but he called it a "nightmare." The beloved actor dropped by The Tonight Show on Wednesday to mostly talk with Jimmy Fallon about his new book: No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.  

    Fallon said he wanted to get to the bottom of a few rumors about Fox's past, which is when he asked if it was true Princess Diana sat next to him at the Back to the Future premiere in London.

    Fox confirmed the story was true.

    "She was sitting next to me, and the lights go down and I realize I am one fake yawn and arm-stretch away from being on a date," Fox joked. "But then what happened, the movie started and I had to go pee. So, I am sitting there in agony. I can't say anything to her, and I can't turn my back on her. So the rest of the night was a nightmare, a pee-floating nightmare."

    Asked if she enjoyed the film, Fox recalled, "She seemed to laugh a couple of times — she wasn't booing it."

  • Jake Tapper Says People Need to Stop "Coddling Donald Trump's Feelings"

    CNN's Jake Tapper stopped by A Late Show with Stephen Colbert, speaking about the White House transition and COVID-19.

    Tapper had just spoken with Dr. Fauci, and Colbert asked him if the current problems with the transition to the new president-elect meant that Americans were "less safe."

    "Of course," Tapper said. It is hard to come up with a sense of dismay that I feel covering this just because it's just the transfer of power. We go through this every 4-8 years, and this Kabuki, this pretense that everybody should be coddling Donald Trump's feelings like he's a 5-year-old whose pet turtle just died, and we should all just worry about him, and not have people preparing to take over, I just don't even know what to say."

    Colbert remembered when he spoke to Tapper in 2018, when the news anchor told him he just "wanted facts to be respected again in this country." Tapper said it's "even worse today than it was in 2018."

    Colbert stressed, though, that this could come from "the top" and if the president accepted facts, that could flow down to the rest of Americans. 

    Tapper agreed, "Theoretically, that's the hope for those of us who are in the fact-loving business."