Late Night Lately: Hosts Expand At-Home Episodes

8:00 AM 3/28/2020

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.

Late Night Lately March 28 graphic FINAL-Publicity- H 2020
Courtesy of Comedy Central; NBC (2)

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: With "safer at home" and "stay inside" recommendations in place, most late night hosts took to their living rooms and iPhones to continue with their late night shows. James Corden celebrated The Late Late Show's fifth anniversary, Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah spoke about the new normal of hosting late night with no audience, Seth Meyers invited his writers to virtually join him for a recurring segment and even Dr. Fauci and Joe Biden made appearances. See below just a few examples of how late night hosts are dealing with the new normal of late night with no audiences and no studios. 

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • James Corden Celebrates 'The Late Late Show's Fifth Anniversary Amid Coronavirus

    Though late night television programs are looking quite different after stay-at-home orders were enacted in California and New York due to the coronavirus pandemic, that didn't stop James Corden from celebrating a special day for The Late Late Show. 

    In a video filmed from his home, Corden announced that Monday marked the Late Late Show's fifth anniversary. To commemorate the landmark, Corden said the show's first episode would be reaired — the plan had to be changed amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

    "We had so many big plans for tonight for the show we were going to give to you, and for obvious reasons we can't give you that show right now," he explained. 

    "I never thought that day that I'd be here today talking to you five years on. That first episode is also important to us because it makes me think of Tom Hanks, who was our first-ever guest on the show. Thoughts go out to him and Rita [Wilson] in Australia right now. Our thoughts go out to all of you wherever you are." 

    "This is the strangest, strangest time, and all we've ever wanted to do on our show was bring you some light in the dark in the corner of your room every night, and we're going to do our best at some point to continue to do that. Thank you for this last five years for letting me talk to you every night. I never expected it to be quite the journey that it's been," Corden said in the video. 

  • Fallon and Noah on Late Night During a Pandemic

    Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah discussed how their quarantines are going on Monday's Tonight Show: At Home Edition.

    The episode opened with Fallon's daughters playing the piano and cowbell, while his daughter Winnie drew a sign to act as the show's title card. After a monologue, Noah joined the host to discuss how they have been handling the lockdown due to the outbreak.

    "I haven't noticed any difference in my life. I'm not even trying to be funny here," Noah said about staying indoors to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. "My whole life I've been an indoor kid."

    The late night hosts next spoke about hosting their shows from home without audiences. "I've never just told jokes to myself. That's the first sign of madness in my opinion," said Noah. "It's weird doing a show without an audience because I think it's always a reminder, after like every joke or every moment, it's always a reminder of the time we're living through."

    "I'm trying to inform my audience. I'm trying to stay informed. I still don't believe anybody should be watching the news 24 hours a day because the truth is news has to tell you news, so they're gonna try to find bad things to tell you for 24 hours to make this thing continue," said Noah. "I don't think it's healthy so I go, 'Hey, I know a lot of people watch my show because they just want to catch up on essential news and then they want to carry on living their lives.' And I'm honored that people would have me provide that, so that's what I do."

    "We have to remember the balance. We're not staying at home because everyone's gonna die. We're doing this preemptively. We're trying to prevent a disaster from happening," continued Noah. "So we have to do the boring thing. Prevention is always boring."

    The segment continued with Noah discussing the importance of donating to, which provides food for children who rely on getting meals at school.

    "Feeding kids is something you take for granted. I know what it was like to grow up in a home where we didn't have food all the time. I know what it was like to go for two or three nights not eating," explained Noah. "I don't think any kid should ever have to go through that."

  • 'Late Night' Writers Join At-Home Edition for "Jokes Seth Can't Tell"

    Late Night writers Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel joined Seth Meyers via video on Tuesday for a home edition of the show's segment "Jokes Seth Can't Tell."

    "We do a lot of jokes on our show that due to having a diverse writing staff, some of them don't sound right coming from me, a straight white man," Meyers explained. "We decided that we should still tell you some of those jokes, which brings us to a segment we call 'Jokes Seth Can't Tell.'"

    Meyers then introduced Ruffin and Hagel, both working remotely. 

    The host, as always during this segment, did the setups to the jokes, while Ruffin and Hagel took turns delivering the punchlines.

    "The footwear company Crocs is working with the makers of marshmallow Peeps to release clogs in pastel colors," said Meyers. Hagel responded, "Said lesbians, 'You had me at clogs, but you lost me at pastel.'"

    He next shared that the Smithsonian Channel released a new documentary called Black in Space, which is about the first black astronaut. "Said the astronaut, 'I did it. I finally got away from all these white people,'" quipped Ruffin.

    The host set up another joke by explaining that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh made the court's cafeteria add pizza to its menu, which has been described as "just below Pizza Hut and just above the average gas station offering." Ruffin replied, "You know what they say, 'Pizza is like sex. Even when it's bad, Brett Kavanaugh will still try to force it on you.'"

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci Makes 'Daily Show' Appearance

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House coronavirus task force member and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made his first late-night appearance on Trevor Noah's The Daily Social Distancing Show on Thursday, where they discussed the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic. 

    Throughout their conversation, Noah asked Fauci to clarify basic facts about COVID-19 that seem to be the most questioned among the population, such as how one can truly become infected. 

    Fauci explained that though there are "varying degrees of risk," the main actions to be the most cautious about include sneezing and coughing ("when someone is ill they got to get themselves out of circulation because they can spread by droplets," he explained), hand shaking ("just lose that for awhile") and to make sure that you "wash your hands as often as you can." 

    Noah then touched on the "breeding ground of miscommunication" our country seems to be having when it comes to COVID-19, in particular with medication. 

    Though it's been advised that the country seems to be on a "15-day clock" until things can go back to normal, Fauci explained that it's hard to truly give a timeframe. "The virus is the clock. People say in two weeks we'll be OK. It depends on the kinetics of the outbreak," he said. He went on to use New York as an example, which he says is "getting hit really hard." 

    "If you look at each individual country ... we're almost like a lot of little countries. New York in itself can be considered a country." Speaking on New York, Fauci cited it as the "travel hub of the country." "So clearly we had a lot of cases come in," he said. "By the time they realized what they were dealing with they had already gotten a sucker punch. Really we're playing catch up. They didn't do anything wrong … they're a big, robust city and because of that they're getting hit hard." 

    However, he added that he feels "really confident" about the prospects. "I feel really confident that if this virus acts like every other virus that we know, once you get inflected, get better, clear the virus, then you'll have immunity that will protect you against reinfection." He added, "It's never 100 percent, but I'd be willing to bet anything that people who recover are really protected against reinfection," he said.  

  • Joe Biden Talks to Kimmel About How Trump Has Handled Coronavirus Pandemic

    In Thursday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel's Quarantine Minilogue, the host recruited former Vice President Joe Biden to speak on the current state of the world amid the new coronavirus pandemic. 

    Despite the world being filled with fear over the spread of coronavirus, Kimmel mentioned that "we've almost forgotten about the presidential election," as he welcomed Biden, who was filming from his former recreation room, via a live stream. 

    Biden said that though he's "not officially quarantined," he is still trying to follow the rules. "I'm not going out. I'm just keeping distant," Biden explained. 

    As to how President Donald Trump is handling everything, Biden says he doesn't agree with the "speed" the president is displaying when it comes to fighting the pandemic. "The coronavirus is not his fault, but the speed with which we are responding to these things I think could be improved considerably," Biden told Kimmel. 

    Though Biden says he's "on the same page" with "a number of his experts" like Dr. Anthony Fauci and others, Biden isn't sure why Trump wouldn't aid in helping businesses have access to masks, gloves and other essentials. "Honest to God, Jimmy, I don't know. He has that power. He said he was going to be a war-time commander in chief during this period, but he hasn't done what is rational to do." 

    He continued: "Speed matters. Faster is better than slower no matter what you're implementing ... I don't quite understand the lack of willingness to move rapidly and to let the science dictate." 

    Biden also doesn't agree with Trump's statement that businesses will open come Easter. "That's a false idea," Biden said.