Late-Night Lately: Hosts React to "The Mooch," Trump's Military Plans and More

8:00 AM 7/29/2017

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 Split 07/28 - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of CBS; Courtesy of Comedy Central; Courtesy of NBC

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

  • Late Night Tests the Censors With "The Mooch" Rant

    Hosts were quick to react to an epic rant released this week, in which newly appointed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci went off about chief strategist Steve Bannon and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus to New Yorker correspondent Ryan Lizza

    In his "Closer Look" segment on Late Night, Seth Meyers created a solution for network censors to Scaramucci's strong language. "There's one word that we can't say on TV, so instead we're going to play the sound of a rooster and you can figure out what word he's using," the host said. Meyers proceeded to read off a series of the communications director's comments with a rooster sound in place of a particular profanity. 

    "Let me leak the f—ing thing and see if I can [rooster noise]-block these people the way I [rooster noise]-blocked Scaramucci," Meyers read, interrupted by the loud crow of a rooster sporadically.

    On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert wasted no time in going after Scaramucci. "We got an incredible taste of unfiltered Mooch today," the host said before launching into Scaramucci's critical comments about Bannon and Priebus

    “I want to give a quick warning to the CBS censors, you’re going to want to break out the extra bleeps for this one,” Colbert said. “He’s paranoid, OK? He thinks his own communications director is gonna stab him in the back,” Colbert added in his mock-Scaramucci Italian accent before adding, “Front-stab!” with a threatening gesture.

    On Comedy Central's The President Show, actor Mario Cantone slipped into a Scaramucci impression to mock the new communications director. Host Anthony Atamanuik's Trump introduced "Scaramucci" to the podium, inviting up "my favorite new team member, who I will eventually betray."

    "The Mooch" took the stage declaring his love for Trump before starting his New Yorker-inspired rant. "I’m gonna fire so many people," said Cantone. “I don’t know who it’s gonna be, Reince, but I’m gonna get to the bottom of the leaks in the White House. Do you hear me, Reince?"

    And earlier on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah said that to go over everything Scaramucci said in his rant would break his show's bleep machine. Noah highlighted Scaramucci calling Priebus a "fucking paranoid schizophrenic" and saying, "I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own cock."

    "Just looking at Bannon, I don't think that's physically possible," joked Noah. "I didn't even know it was possible to drain your own swamp."

    The host laughed and said that people don't usually curse out their coworkers until they leave, not when they start.

  • Hosts Slam Trump Over Plan for Transgender Military Ban

    President Donald Trump was criticized this week for his decision to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. Late-night hosts joined activists, politicians, journalists and military members on Wednesday night in their criticism over Trump's plan, which he announced through a series of tweets earlier in the day. 

    Trump tweeted that the U.S. government "will not accept or allow" transgender people to serve "in any capacity" in the military. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory," he wrote. "And cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

    Jimmy Fallon invited transgender comedian Patti Harrison on NBC's Tonight Show to share her thoughts: "As a trans person, it's hard to articulate exactly how I feel," said Harrison. "But I guess if I had to describe it, I'd say, 'Donald, you are so stupid. You are so stupid.'" She added: "I don't even think Trump knows what transgender means — he probably thinks transgender people are those cars that turn into robots."

    James Corden turned to music on CBS' Late Late Show to criticize Trump's announcement. He sang a parody of the song "L-O-V-E" with the letters "LGBT."

    "How is their disruption worse than Trump's corruption, why's it such a crisis, thousands willing to fight ISIS," Corden continued in his tuxedo and tophat. "LGBT we love all of you," he sang, waving a rainbow flag.

    Earlier on CBS, Late Show host Stephen Colbert came to the conclusion that the president is "really off his meds."

    "Today, he went from crazy to cruel," Colbert said, reading Trump's tweets announcing a transgender military ban, which ended in "thank you." "Thank you? F— you," responded Colbert, to loud applause from his audience. 

    Samantha Bee shared a similar (word-for-word) sentiment on TBS' Full Frontal for Trump's sign-off in his tweet. "Thank you? F you," she said.

    “Firing thousands of active-duty service members during the big push against ISIS is Trump’s version of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ He didn’t ask anyone if it was a good idea and didn’t tell anyone he was doing it,” said Bee.

    The Daily Show's Trevor Noah broke down Trump's tweets, as well as his history with the LGBTQ community (and his history of forgetting parts of the acronym). 

    The host also had two transgender military veterans on his show to speak about the ban. "The past administration made a lot of strides in order to lift this ban," said Joey Whimple. He said individuals felt "that safety net to come out" and now the "carpet is being completely pulled out from underneath" leaving a question of uncertainty.

    On NBC's Late Night With Seth Meyers, the host turned it over to four of his female writers for reactions. "President Trump, you just requested a $600 billion military budget," said writer Amber Ruffin. "You think you can't afford health care for trans people? The military spends $41 million a year on Viagra. What are you guys doing, screwing the enemy to death?"

    Referencing a recent tweet by Trump's daughter, Ivanka, in which she wrote she was "proud to support my LGBT friends," the writers tossed it over to the "daughter to the president and world-renowned entrepreneur" — only to show an empty podium at the White House. The gag was repeated later with footage of a tumbleweed crossing a desolate road and a lone wolf howling in a snowy field. "She's just stuck in traffic," noted the writers.

    Chelsea Handler previewed Friday's episode of her Netflix show with a message to the transgender community: "I'm sorry a man that has never served in the military a day in his life is denying you the right to serve your country. Thank you for your service and thank you for your bravery. And to the members of the Republican party who continue to choose party over politics, grow a fucking spine!" 

  • Usher Teaches James Corden Dance Moves, Sings the Hits on "Carpool Karaoke"

    Usher taught James Corden a few lessons "for the club" during his first Carpool Karaoke session this week. 

    The pair sang along to Usher's catalog, from "Yeah" to "Burn," "Mama," "I Don't Mind" and "OMG," and Corden quizzed his guest about his dancing talents. This, of course, led to Usher teaching the Late Late Show host how to act while "popping bottles" and "stepping up in the club." 

    The duo also stopped by Usher's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "I just find it odd. You work all of these years as hard as you can only to have people walk over you as a star," the singer remarked before cleaning it up a bit for his fans. 

  • Laura Benanti on Impersonating the First Lady: "We Are All Melania Trump"

    It has been one year since Laura Benanti debuted her Melania Trump impression on The Late Show, following Melania's plagiarized speech at the Republican National Convention. 

    Back on The Late Show, as herself, Benanti talked about how her impression started with Stephen Colbert pointing out that the actress looked like Melania and after the infamous speech at the RNC, the host asked Benanti to appear on the show. Benanti said she worked on her impression while taking the train to New York. "I was obsessively watching her speech," she recalled. "I was sitting next to this gentleman who looked very disturbed because I kept zooming in on her mouth." Benanti mimicked her pout and accent while on the train. 

    "I feel like basically now we are all Melania Trump," said Benanti. "I feel like we’re all reluctantly married to Donald Trump."

    "I do have empathy for her but at the same time I'm like, 'Well you also chose that,'" she said, prompting Colbert to remark that America did as well. "Did we?" joked Benanti

  • Hosts Introduce Trump's New Hire Anthony Scaramucci, "A Human Pinky Ring"

    Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned his post as New York financier Anthony Scaramucci was named President Trump's new White House communications director. Scaramucci was an unknown face to many in the administration, but late-night hosts took the opportunity Monday to rectify that problem and properly introduce him.

    Late Night's Seth Meyers had a lot of thoughts about Scaramucci, dubbed "The Mooch." "Look at this guy. He's a human pinky ring," joked Meyers. "He is the human embodiment of a double-parked BMW. He looks like the guy who leaves a doo-wop group over creative differences."

    He almost ran out of one-liners, but continued: "I could go on and on. You know, what? Let's. He definitely calls waitresses sweetheart. His yearbook quote was 'Don't worry about it!'" 

    Over on CBS' Late Show, Stephen Colbert was excited to try on his Fonzie-like new Scaramucci impression. In response to critics who have called Scaramucci "a joke" and a "Trump-world hanger-on who isn't qualified for the job," Colbert responded: "Wait, have you seen the Trump administration? Those are the qualifications for a job!"

    In Trevor Noah's segment called "Profiles in Tremendousness," the Daily Show host anticipated that Scaramucci is "going to be around for at least a month." The Comedy Central host also realized that because of his Goldman Sachs background, "maybe Trump's plan to crack down on Wall Street is just to move Wall Street into the White House." 

    In Scaramucci's weekend press conference, he claimed he'd seen Trump "throw a dead spiral through a tire" and other sporting accomplishments. Jimmy Fallon was inspired to create a "Donald Trump Sports Camp" commercial, complete with clips of Trump awkwardly playing sports.

  • Late-Night Lineup: July 30-August 5

    Tuesday, August 1
    The Daily Show: Al Gore stops by the Comedy Central show to speak about his Inconvenient Sequel, and likely reluctantly get drawn into the Trump news of the day. 

    Wednesday, August 2
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: Dave Chappelle chats with Colbert about comedy in the age of Trump ahead of his series of live shows at Radio City Music Hall. 

    Friday, August 4
    @Midnight: Chris Hardwick's late-night game show airs its last episode ever, after announcing the end of the show's run last week.