Late-Night Lately: Colbert on Justice Dept.'s Family Separation Policy, Kimmel vs. Cruz, Scaramucci-Avenatti Debut

8:00 AM 6/16/2018

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.

CBS/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 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: Stephen Colbert attacked the Justice Department's policy of separating families that illegally cross the U.S. border and Jimmy Kimmel announced he will be playing Ted Cruz in a one-on-one basketball game for charity. Additionally, Anthony Scaramucci and Michael Avenatti made their debut as TV debate partners on Colbert, and hosts offered their takes on President Donald Trump's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman, Lexy Perez and Katie Kilkenny  

  • Stephen Colbert Tears Into Justice Dept.'s Family Separation Policy

    Stephen Colbert had some stronger-than-usual words for Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday night's Late Show. Focusing the second act of his monologue on the Department of Justice's month-old policy of separating immigrant families who enter the U.S. illegally, the late-night host called the measure "tragic" and "evil" and suggested Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a modern-day Jim Crow. 

    Colbert introduced Sessions as the "Attorney General and man dreaming about legally changing his name to Jim Crow" and explained the policy, introduced in early May and receiving renewed attention this month after it was reported that 1,358 children had been separated from their families at the border, and MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff reported a dispatch from a facility in which children are being held.

    "Now, if that sounds evil, then good news, your ears are working. Here's the bad news. The United States? That's you and me who are putting up with our government saying to immigrants, 'If you come to the U.S., the worst thing imaginable will happen to you. We will take your children away from you with no guarantee you'll see them again.' That is using cruelty as a deterrant," Colbert said.

    Colbert, who is a practicing Roman Catholic and at one point taught Sunday school, particularly took issue with Sessions' explanation of the policy using passages from the Bible on Thursday. In response, Colbert shot back: "Hey, don't bring God into this. First of all, I don't think God picked you, because I don't worship Vladimir Putin." He also advised Sessions read further, to Romans 13:10, which called for people to "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and consider love "the fulfillment of the law."

  • Jimmy Kimmel Sets "Blobfish Basketball" Game Against Ted Cruz

    Screengrab/Jimmy Kimmel Live

    Jimmy Kimmel announced on Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live! that he will fly to Texas to face off in a basketball matchup against Sen. Ted Cruz.

    The one-on-one hardcourt contest is June 16 at Texas Southern University, with the loser donating $5,000 to the charity of winner's choice. The matchup originated after Kimmel mocked Cruz during the NBA's Western Conference Finals, when the Texas senator attended game seven in Houston to watch the hometown Rockets face off against the Golden State Warriors. Kimmel referred to Cruz as a "blobfish," and the senator responded on Twitter with the challenge to take their tiff to the court.

    "If there's anyone you want to have a beef with, it's Ted Cruz," said Kimmel. "This is a guy who during the election, Donald Trump insinuated that his wife was ugly and his dad helped kill JFK, so what did Ted do to retaliate? He endorsed Donald Trump for president. This is a man whose motto is 'If you can't beat them, throw away your dignity and grovel before them like a hungry dog.'"

    Kimmel dubbed the face-off the "Blobfish Basketball Classic," with a short promo video touting the event. 

  • Anthony Scaramucci, Michael Avenatti Make 'Late Show' Debut as a Duo

    Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

    Amid reports that former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci and Stormy Daniels' (aka Stephanie Clifford's) lawyer, Michael Avenatti, may be teaming up for a TV show, the two outspoken public figures with ties to the Trump administration gave TV viewers a preview of what their pairing might look like on Wednesday's Late Show. 

    Colbert began by asking if Scaramucci and Avenatti were indeed teaming up for a TV show. Avenatti dismissed speculation with a joke alluding to Scaramucci's nickname, "The Mooch," saying he has a rule that he won't do a TV show with someone whose first name is "The." Meanwhile, Scaramucci teased that he saw a potential show between them as the male version of Thelma and Louise.

    Colbert wasted no time in joking about the film's famous ending: "Well, this administration is certainly driving the country off a cliff."

    Colbert really got fired up when he asked the pair, "What do you make of the fact that it was revealed that Donald Trump did dictate [the memo] obfuscating Donald Trump Jr.'s acceptance of an invitation to collude with the Russian government to get information on Hillary Clinton? That was revealed by his lawyers to the Justice Department, to Mueller's team. He did dictate that. That's another lie. Are you OK with the lies?" 

    Colbert let Avenatti answer first: "This is what happens when your whole administration is built on lies. Lying is the rule rather than the exception with this administration. And when you can't keep your lies straight, this is what happens."

    Scaramucci then offered, "Politicians lie when their mouths are moving."

  • Hosts Sound Off on Trump's Historic Meeting With Kim Jong-un

    Screengrab/The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    Late-night dug into President Donald Trump's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that occurred on Monday in Singapore.

    "There is the small detail that Trump is entering into a deal with a homicidal boy-king, but Trump is just working with what he’s got,” Late Show host Stephen Colbert noted in his monologue, before tossing to a clip of Trump saying “I’m given what I’m given,” to which Colbert said, “He’s given what he’s given, OK? Kim kills his own people, but it’s not like he kneeled during the National Anthem.”

    Colbert also inserted himself into George Stephanopoulos' interview with Trump, replacing the ABC interviewer's questions with his own while keeping Trump’s answers.

    Over on The Tonight Show, a spoof of ABC's popular dating show The Bachelor (entitled The Summit) showed footage from Trump and Kim's meeting as a "one-on-one date" between a "dictator" and "social-media influencer and steak enthusiast." 

    During his "Closer Look" segment on Late Night, host Seth Meyers noted comments Trump made about preparing for the meeting. "Oh, so Trump prepared for this sumit the same way he prepared for the debates? What was that meeting like, just three hours of Trump stalking Kim Jong-un around a room?" Meyers said. 

    The NBC host also took issue with the two leaders' choice of attire for the event. "They look like they shop at a store called Business Pajamas," Meyers said. 

    On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah compared Trump to a “condominium huckster” and mockingly imitated the president’s comments at a press conference.

    TBS' Conan O'Brien noted, "President Trump said Kim Jong-un is "absolutely" invited to the White House. Unless, of course, Kim Jong-un wins the Super Bowl or the NBA Championship."

    The Opposition host Jordan Klepper also addressed the meeting. “Now of course the liberals want you to think that Trump is in over his head, but the president is not out of his depth,” said Klepper. “He’s splashing around in the deep end of the pool with the confidence of the drunk cousin who just yelled, ‘F-k it! How hard could swimming be?’”

    Jimmy Kimmel joked: “A lot of pundits think it was a mistake to meet with an unstable dictator, but Kim Jong-un said, ‘You know what? I’m gonna do it anyway.’"

    James Corden also took time to address the meeting on The Late Late Show. “They did seem to hit it off,” he said of Trump and Kim. “In fact, Trump liked Kim so much he said he’s gonna let him decide the next presidential election.”

    The host also addressed Trump’s failure to get Kim’s commitment to destroy the missile testing site in writing because they ran out of time. “Didn’t have time? It’s a nuclear deal. It’s not a trip to Disney World where you didn’t have time for EPCOT,” he said.

  • Jeremy Renner Finally Reveals How He Broke Both Arms on 'Tag'

    Courtesy of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

    Jeremy Renner finally told the story of how he broke both of his arms on the set of Tag while visiting The Tonight Show on Tuesday. 

    The actor said that the group in the film plays an “extreme” form of tag that is almost “Jason Bourne style.” “There was this stunt on the second day of the movie where I was avoiding all of the guys,” began Renner, explaining that a stack of chairs was supposed to fall over and he would "ride it down like a surfboard and then keep running," but a hinge broke and the chairs were stuck as he kept going. 

    “It fell and I broke both, well I didn’t know I broke my arms. I just fell on the ground and I’m like, ‘That kind of hurt. Let’s do it again,’” he said. “I went up, did it again and it fell. I’m like, ‘Ah, okay. Whatever.’” He was later told he had fractured both his radial and his wrist, leaving him with two broken arms. Renner added that the film's crew hid the cast by using CGI to cover his arm.

    “Here’s the worst part of it. I just go to the bathroom and they’re like, ‘You okay?’ And this is all good, man. I can keep going. Let’s go. Let’s finish the day,” he said. “I go to the bathroom and they’re like, ‘Oh god. Jeremy’s not coming back. He’s not coming back.’ I got locked in the dang bathroom because it’s a round knob.”

    “Somebody in production came and got me. Literally pants down around my ankles. I was like, ‘Thanks, now can we go finish the day?'" he said. “Humiliating.”

  • Late-Night Lineup: June 17-23

    Tuesday, June 19
    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: David and Lauren Hogg, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and survivors of the Parkland shooting, stop by to talk about their activism and upcoming book. 

    Wednesday, June 20
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: Late-night hosts are visiting one another more and more frequently, and on Wednesday The Daily Show's Trevor Noah stops by the CBS offices. 

    Late Night With Seth Meyers: Fellow SNL alum Mike Myers visits Late Night to speak about his Gong Show, Bohemian Rhapsody film, or, who knows, maybe news about another Austin Powers movie. 

    Friday, June 22
    The Late Late Show With James Corden: A few weeks after Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch reportedly saved a London cyclist from muggers (but his representatives refused to comment on the incident), he's set to appear on Corden to talk his Showtime limited series Patrick Melrose and, perhaps, the cyclist incident.