Late-Night Lately: Corden's Taylor Swift Audition, Kimmel's Guest Hosts, Tackling Al Franken's Resignation

8:00 AM 12/9/2017

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.

Late Night Lately James Corden, Tracee Ellis Ross and Al Franken - Split - Getty - H 2017
Getty Images (Franken); Courtesy of ABC (Ross)

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.

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • James Corden Plays Backup Dancer for Taylor Swift

    James Corden isn’t shy and he’ll try anything for a laugh, even at his own expense. On Thursday night, The Late Late Show saw the British comedian bursting into Taylor Swift's practice room backstage at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball to offer some tips.

    Corden, in a fishnet outfit, inserts himself into Swift's lineup of dancers. “I’m ready. I’m ready. Use me. I’ll slot right in,” he affirms, offering way too many suggestions for how the performance should go as he stands in as a backing dancer during Swift and Co.'s rehearsal of “Look What You Made Me Do.” 

    Elsewhere in the "Take a Break" bit where Corden slips into the General Manager gig at L.A.'s Forum, he gives Niall Horan a terrible massage, confuses Demi Lovato with way too many hand gestures, tries to intimidate Ed Sheeran's bodyguard and generally makes a nuisance of himself backstage (while also making the grossest footlong deli sandwich at catering).

  • Tracee Ellis Ross Teaches Sexual Harassment Through a Children's Book

    Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross took over hosting duties for Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night and shared her children's book, "The Handsy Man," which discusses the issue of sexual harassment.

    "While I’m not totally surprised by these stories, it seems like quite a few men are," Ross said of the bevy of sexual harassment allegations surrounding Hollywood. “Treating another human being with respect isn’t complicated, but it seems a bit confusing for a lot of men out there, so I wrote a book. It’s kind of like a children’s book for men that is going to make it really simple and bring it back to the basics.”

    Ross then brought out her book to read a passage: “There is a guy, with 10 long fingers / creepy glares and hugs that linger / If you’re a woman, you’re not a fan / I speak, of course, of The Handsy Man,” she read.

    Ross went on to read all the things that “Handsy Man” may not do. “You may not compliment my butt. You may not call me ‘ho’ or ‘slut.’ And even if you’re stoned or drunk, do not expose me to your junk,” Ross read, showing a drawing of “Handsy Man” exposing himself to a woman.

    Her one final message: “I’ll say it clearly, nice and slow. If she doesn’t consent — the answer is NO.”

  • The Hosts Respond to Al Franken's Resignation

    Following sexual misconduct allegations and several Democrats calling for his resignation, Sen. Al Franken announced Thursday that he'd be stepping down from the Senate. Hours later, multiple late-night hosts tackled the downfall of the comedian-turned-politician.

    Jimmy Fallon addressed Franken’s resignation during his Tonight Show monologue. “Other senators said he seemed heartfelt, contrived and dignified and there’s no place for someone like that in the United States Senate,” began Fallon. “Franken said he couldn’t focus on his job while under investigation, then another guy said, ‘That’s why I blow off the job and focus on my investigation,’” he said in his Donald Trump impersonation.

    “And after Franken resigned, another senator’s expected to resign tomorrow,” said Fallon. “I’m not basing this on any news. I’m just assuming there’ll be another senator that has to resign.”

    Seth Meyers also addressed the news of Franken’s resignation on Thursday’s Late Night. The host referenced an interview in which Franken was asked if he believes any more women would come forward with allegations. He responded, “I certainly hope not.” Meyers then stated, “Not an answer that inspires a lot of confidence.”

    “This should be a non-partisan issue but many Republicans exploited Franken’s exit for political gain, while simultaneously refusing to denounce abusers in their own party,” said Meyers, who also pointed out the hypocrisy in Kellyanne Conway’s tweet directed at New York Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for leading the movement for Franken to step down when “just yesterday, she wasn’t so sure.” In response to Conway’s tweet, Meyers stated, “You work for a guy who’s been accused by more than 12 women of sexual harassment and assault!”

    Late Night writer Amber Ruffin sat down with Meyers to share what she has learned about apologies from the powerful men that have been accused of sexual misconduct in the recent months.

    After punching Meyers in the face, Ruffin stated, “I categorically deny those allegations.” When Meyers told Ruffin the she did in fact punch him, she responded, “Did I? That doesn’t sound like me. Anyone who knows me would say that’s very out of character.” After stating that Meyers must remember the events differently, she said, “I’m sorry … that your face feels punched.” Meyers then stated that she did not give a real apology, to which Ruffin retorted, “Seth, it was a different time back then.”

    The Daily Show host Trevor Noah focused on Franken’s statement regarding the irony of his resignation when Trump remains president and Roy Moore continues his run for Senate, even though they have both been accused of sexual misconduct multiple times. “Regardless of how you feel about Al Franken, he does have a point,” said Noah. “Democrats are draining their swamp. Republicans are installing a jungle gym in Roy Moore’s new office.”

  • Bryan Cranston's Elf on the Shelf Haunts James Corden

    In a bit on Monday's Late Late ShowBryan Cranston transformed into a rather annoying Elf on the Shelf. In the sketch, host James Corden receivs a gift ("an American Christmas tradition") from Cranston with a card reading, “I’ve modeled this one after yours truly. Now this elf will report back to Santa whether you’ve been naughty or nice. So be nice, James,” Cranston warns the late-night host.

    “Bit cheap, Bryan. Gift card would’ve been better,” Corden jokes after reading the actor’s card.

    Cranston's elf then proceeds to hound Corden, admonishing him for attempting to eat one of the treats intended for Late Late Show guests. “Whatever you’re doing, you ought to think twice. Cause I’m taking notes if you’re naughty or nice,” the actor's elf warns Corden.

    Cranston’s elf also forces Corden to admit he farted during a meeting, as well as tell his band member the real reason he didn’t accept an invite to their gig.

  • 'Access Hollywood' Tape: Billy Bush Tells Stephen Colbert His Side of the Story

    Former Today host Billy Bush made his first late-night appearance with The Late Show since he was fired last year over the Access Hollywood tape in which Donald Trump made his infamous "grab them by the pussy" comment.

    The Access Hollywood tape resurfaced in the news last week after a report that Trump has been questioning the authenticity of the recording. Colbert asked Bush about his recent op-ed in The New York Times, in which Bush asserted, "He [Trump] said it. 'Grab ‘em by the pussy.' Of course he said it."

    Bush told the CBS host he was frustrated and offended "on the personal front" by Trump's refutation of the tape. “Last week, for some reason, he came out with ‘That’s not my voice on the tape,’ " Bush told Colbert. "Like I said, you can’t say that. That is your voice. I was there, you were there, that is your voice on the tape.”

    Colbert replayed the infamous tape during the interview and asked Bush for his reaction. “The first time I ever heard it was three days before it leaked, and it was like a gut punch. It’s like a gut punch now.”

    Bush explained that Trump’s status at NBC in 2005 meant he was a very powerful person at the network. “At the time he was the big star of NBC, and I sort of equated what he was saying to some kind of crass performance act,” he said. "Everybody had to kiss the ring of Donald because he was making the big money for NBC at the time."

  • Late-Night Lineup: December 10-16

    Monday, December 11
    The Late Late Show With James Corden: The CBS late-night show welcomes both Franco brothers on Monday to chat about The Disaster Artist

    Tuesday, December 12
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: The one and only Tom Hanks stops by the show to preview the Spielberg film, The Post. 

    Thursday, December 14
    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Long after his traumatic experience riding a roller coaster with the NBC host, Hart returns to The Tonight Show to promote Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle