Late-Night Lately: Hosts Respond to "Moron" Reports, Clinton Thank You Notes, Gun Violence Pleas

8:00 AM 10/7/2017

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.

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS; Andrew Lipovsky/NBC; Screengrab

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

  • The Hosts Address Trump’s "Fake News" Tweets About "Moron" Report

    Courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

    After President Trump tweeted this week about NBC News' recent report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called him a "moron," Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel took time during their Thursday shows to offer more of their take on the controversy.

    Trump's tweet posted on Thursday morning reads: “Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign. This is Fake News put out by @NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me.”

    “And as you know, nothing’s true without verification from me,” Colbert mocked after reading the tweet.  

    To elaborate, Colbert jokingly referenced Trump’s past arguments. “Obama’s birth certificate, totally fake ‘til I said it wasn’t,” Colbert said impersonating Trump. “Last year’s election? Totally rigged until I won it. Then again, what do I know? I’m a verified moron.” 

    Kimmel also offered his two cents on another one of Trump’s tweets regarding the Tillerson allegations, where he urged for the Senate Intel Committee to investigate the validity of reported news.

    “I guess he’s moved on from Puerto Rico and Las Vegas, “ Kimmel jokingly responded.

    “The Senate Intel Committee, by the way, is busy right now looking into the fake news stories that Russians made up to help him win the election," the late-night host further commented. "The other irony is no one, no breathing human on Planet Earth, produces more fake news that Donald Trump.”

    James Corden also shared some quips about the controversy but focused his attention on Pence. And rather than refer to Tillerson as the secretary of state, Corden joked that after Tillerson's "moron" comment, he was "secretary of stating the obvious."

  • 'Tonight Show' Female Writers Pen Thank You Notes to Hillary Clinton

    Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

    After an interview with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday's Tonight Show, Hillary Clinton was surprised by the show's female writers, who came onstage for a special version of the popular "Thank You Notes" segment, dedicated to the former secretary of state. Writers Caroline Eppright, Becky Krause, Albertina Rizzo, Jo Firestone, Jasmine Pierce, Taryn Englehart and Marina Cockenberg shared their thanks to Clinton during the segment.

    Accompanied by the familiar, reflective piano theme that scores Fallon's note-writing, the female scribes penned heartfelt messages to Clinton, who sat beside them, smiling.

    "Thank you, Hillary Clinton, for being the first female candidate to run in a presidential election from a major American party," one staffer wrote. Miley Cyrus, on set for her weeklong residency on the show, even participated. 

  • Hosts Speak Out About Gun Violence After Las Vegas Tragedy

    Screengrab/Jimmy Kimmel Live

    Late-night hosts dedicated a portion of their shows on Monday to serious messages about gun violence in the wake of the tragic events that unfolded in Las Vegas on Sunday night. The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history left at least 59 people dead and 527 more injured after a gunman opened fire on an outdoor country music festival. 

    Nevada native Jimmy Kimmel opened Monday's Live! with an emotional response to the shooting, choking up as he addressed the news. "Here we are again in the aftermath of another terrible, inexplicable, shocking and painful tragedy — this time in Las Vegas, which happens to be my hometown," he said. 

    Singling out "our so-called leaders" and questioning why they continue to allow these deadly acts of violence to happen, he asked, "Or maybe a better question — why do we continue to let them allow it to happen?" The host noted that his stance wasn't about gun control but about "common sense."

    "Common sense says no good will ever come from allowing a person to have weapons that can take down 527 Americans at a concert," he said. "Common sense says you don’t let those who suffer from mental illness buy guns."

    Kimmel also addressed White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' comments earlier that day, when she said it was "not the time" for political debate: "Well, thank you, Sarah, but we have 58 innocent people dead — and it wasn't their time either — so now is the time for political debate."

    Late Night host Seth Meyers began his show by sending his condolences to the families of the victims and commending the first responders and heroic residents who "risked their lives to save strangers."

    "It always seems like the worst displays of humanity in this country are immediately followed by the best, and then, sadly, that is followed by no action at all. And then it repeats itself," Meyers said, before sending a pointed message to Congress. "I would just like to say — are there no steps we can take as a nation to prevent gun violence? Or is this just how it is, and how it's going to continue to be?"

    Meyers ended his message with a plea for transparency: "If you're not willing to do anything, just be honest and tell us. ... If it's going to be thoughts and prayers from here on out, the least you can do is be honest about that."

    Trevor Noah similarly tackled the taboo subject of gun control in America on The Daily Show. "What's particularly heartbreaking is other than the lives lost, I feel like people are becoming more accustomed to this type of news," he said. "I've never been to a country where people are as afraid to speak about guns. Every time there's a shooting you go to look at something else. Is it Muslims? Is it there religion? Is that what it is? Is it the blacks? Is it mentally ill people? Is it white nationalists? Every time it's a different question."

    "To the people of Las Vegas, I can't give you thoughts and prayers. I can only say that I'm sorry," Noah said. "I'm sorry we live in a world where people will put a gun before your lives."

    Conan O'Brien spoke about the "terrible and numbing" tragedy, telling his audience, "When I began in 1993, occasions like this were extremely rare. For me, or any TV comedy host, to come out and need to address a mass shooting spree was practically unheard of. ... Things have changed."

    "I'm not the most political of our comics, but I will repeat what I said not long ago, after Orlando — I don't think it should be so easy for one demented person to kill so many people so quickly," O'Brien added, before concluding, "Something needs to change."

    James Corden also somberly urged the need for gun control in the country. “Last night was the biggest mass shooting in the United States history. That is a record that has been set twice in just the two and a half years that I’ve been living in America,” Corden said to the camera. “I come from a place where we don’t have shootings at this frequency so it’s hard for me to fathom. But it should be hard for everyone to fathom," Corden explained.

    He added, “Gun violence should not be a staple of American life. Some say it’s too early to talk about gun control. For those victims last night, it’s far too late.”  

    Colbert expressed frustration but hope that with just a little effort, members of Congress can be heroic. “The bar is so low right now that Congress can be heroes by doing literally anything,” he urged. “Doing nothing is cowardice. Doing something will take courage.”

    Colbert also directly addressed the president: “President Trump, you’ve said you want to be a transformative president who doesn’t care about the way things have always been done in Washington. This is your chance to prove it. You don’t owe the Republicans anything. You know the Republicans tried to stop you from being president. Screw 'em." 

    “You want to make America great again? Do something the last two Presidents haven’t been able to do. Pass any kind of common sense gun control legislation that the vast majority of Americans want. Think about what you need to do and pray for the courage to do it.”

    Miley Cyrus kicked off her residency on The Tonight Show that evening with a special tribute and a performance of Dido's "No Freedom,” calling on fellow guest Adam Sandler for support on guitar and backing vocals. “Peace everybody,” she shouted out as the song came to its close. 

  • Julia Roberts Reenacts Her Film Career With James Corden

    Courtesy of The Late Late Show with James Corden

    On Wednesday's episode of The Late Late Show, Julia Roberts reenacted some of her most iconic film roles with the help of the oft-wigged James Corden. The host and actress crammed a number of snippets from her impressive filmography of more than 50 movies into a nine-minute sketch.

    The duo first took on Roberts' turn in Notting Hill for the film's most famous line "I'm also just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her." 

    Roberts revived her role from Pretty Woman during the scene when she returned to a boutique that refused to sell her any merchandise a day before. The two then reenacted scenes from Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Stepmom, Mirror Mirror, Flatliners, Hook and Erin Brockovich. They also managed to sneak in a promotion for her upcoming film, Wonder. Corden stole the sketch as a modern-day George Clooney in the pair's reenactment of Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve

    The sketch came to an end when Corden then brought out a microphone and began to sing "I Say a Little Prayer (For You)." Roberts then grabbed a microphone and joined in on the sing-a-long as confetti began to fall.

  • Stephen Colbert Reveals Results From #PuberMe Campaign

    Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

    Stephen Colbert started a viral movement last Wednesday when guest Nick Kroll encouraged fellow stars to tweet pictures of themselves during their "awkward phase" with the hashtag #PuberMe and #PuertoRicoRelief to benefit the victims of Hurricane Maria with a $1,000 donation for each photo posted.

    Now, a week later, Colbert has announced that the viral sensation has raised $1 million. Over 200 photos of stars in their teenage years were posted, with participants from Bill Clinton to Reese Witherspoon to Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

    The Late Show host revealed the results for on Thursday's show. Kroll called into the show to add another donation of $100,000, while CBS and Colbert's Americone Dream Fund also promised massive donations, which eventually brought the total to $999,000. Luckily, Lin-Manuel Miranda made a surprise appearance to bump the total over the $1 million mark with an awkward video of his own and promote his new song "Almost Like Praying" that was moved to help benefit Puerto Rico. 

  • Late-Night Lineup: October 8-14

    Monday, October 9
    Late Night With Seth Meyers: Days after each late-night host got emotional and political over the issue of gun control, the NBC host welcomes Senator Cory Booker on his show. 

    Wednesday, October 11
    The Late Late Show With James Corden: Josh Gad and Rachel Bloom fill out a very musical night of guests on the CBS show. 

    Thursday, October 12
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: Bill Murray is set to serve as both guest and musical performance. 

    Friday, October 13
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: The late-night worlds collide once more when TBS' Conan O'Brien stops by CBS to chat with Colbert.