Late Night Lately: Hosts Wrap Up Emmys Week

8:00 AM 9/26/2020

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-Graphic-Sept-26-Edit-2-H-2020-1601061245
Courtesy of Comedy Central; ABC/Randy Holmes; Turner

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: Trevor Noah responded to the "disappointing but predictable" decision made in the Breonna Taylor killing. Jimmy Kimmel spoke to the Schitt's Creek cast, big Emmy winners on Sunday, and also addressed the Emmy ratings. Conan O'Brien and Michelle Obama urged everyone to vote and Jeff Daniels told his friend Jim Carrey to "go easy" on Joe Biden on SNL.

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • Trevor Noah Calls Breonna Taylor Decision "Disappointing but Predictable"

    Trevor Noah took a moment during Thursday night's The Daily Show to react to the Kentucky grand jury's decision regarding the Breonna Taylor case.

    It was decided that the only charges brought forth regarding the death of Taylor were wanton endangerment against a fired officer for shooting into a neighbor's home next to Taylor’s home. The late-night host called the decision "disappointing but predictable."

    Noah added that after seeing the outcome and anger that followed, he only thought of one thing. "As I watched what unfolded yesterday like whether it was in the streets of Kentucky or between people interacting online, I found myself asking one question that just couldn't get unstuck from my mind... who is winning in this whole thing?" he asked. Noah said though the election is approaching, he doesn't believe this will be an issue solved by the election but rather the focus should be placed "on the ground" with "the lives of people."

    "Breonna Taylor's family isn't winning. They lost a loved one. They got no justice and they've been thrust into a political firestorm," Noah said. "Black people definitely aren't winning because they've basically been told that a cop can just barge into your house and shoot you and not only that they can say that they were defending themselves in your house." "If only the criminal justice system valued Black people as much as drywall," he quipped.

    He went on to emphasize that Black people are always told the same things on how to best avoid cops whether it be just being a good person, having a job or not committing any crimes. "But what is it now?" Noah asked. "If you told the police to do their job better and not burst into places assuming everyone is a criminal threat then this wouldn't happen."

    He argued that following the deaths of Taylor and George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this year it's conclusive that "Black people aren't winning." "Why doesn't America treat the police as responsible for their own actions?" Noah asked. "They're human beings who should be accountable for what they do."

    The late-night host pointed out that the jury's decision exemplifies contradictions with the "story America tells people." "A story America tells people that the second amendment means you should get a gun to protect yourself but then that same America tells you that if you use your gun to protect yourself in your home then the cops have a right to kill you and that sounds like a tyrannical government to me."

    Despite a demand for police reform, Noah acknowledged that the police are not winning either because "they lose the trust of the community they're meant to protect and serve." He also noted that police and their families are now paranoid out of fear that they'll get hurt. "Being a policeman in America is already terrifying," he said.

    But nonetheless, Noah says, "a policeman is a policeman" and can be held accountable. "They're part of a structure and when they're not held accountable only chaos will ensue."

    "Black people are exhausted. Millions of Americans are exhausted. They're tired. Tired of feeling like they're hunted. Tired of protesting the streets in order to be viewed as equals. They're tired of people telling them how to protest and trust me when I say Black people would rather be at home taking a nap."

    Following the grand jury decision, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron urged people to keep protests peaceful and, Noah mentions, advised that "mob justice is not justice." "But then what happens when justice is not justice?" Noah countered.

    "What part of it is justice? Nobody's winning. As a society, we are all losing right now and until there's real justice, nobody wins."

  • Kimmel Responds to Low Emmys Ratings

    Jimmy Kimmel addressed the all-time-low ratings for the 72nd annual Emmys ceremony, which he hosted, at the top of his ABC show on Monday.

    "Well, I hosted the virtual Emmys last night. They’re saying it was the highest-rated Emmys ever. Oh, the lowest? Oh, all right," he joked during his monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in his first episode back from a summer-long vacation (Live! was hosted, in Kimmel's absence, by several guest hosts including Anthony Anderson and Billy Porter). "Well, we set a record, let’s just say that."

    The 2020 Emmys, which aired on ABC, pulled in 6.4 million viewers and a 1.3 rating with out-of-home viewing included, per Nielsen numbers. It's the second consecutive year the show has had record-low ratings: Fox's 2019 show ultimately drew 7 million viewers and a 1.7 rating for 18-49s.

    Still, Kimmel called the show "a lot of fun" and poked fun at some of the winners' video backgrounds. "For instance, we learned the winner for best actor, Jeremy Strong, has been haunting a Sears portrait studio," he said, referring to the Succession actor, who won in the drama category. Of Ozark's Julia Garner, who won for supporting actress in a drama series, he said she "almost forget to thank her husband even though he was six inches away from her in a red silk bathrobe." Zendaya, who accepted her best actress in a drama series prize for Euphoria with a number of people behind her, prompted Kimmel to comment, "We learned that the only person social-distancing in Zendaya’s house was Zendaya herself."

    Kimmel, who has previously hosted the Emmys as well as the Oscars, said the "weirdest" part about 2020's half-live, half-virtual ceremony was that "when it was over there are usually parties and everyone is carrying their Emmys around, everybody’s happy, everybody’s celebrating. This year, the show ended and it was like 'Well, I guess I’ll go into my car and drive home.' It was nothing."

  • Michelle Obama, Conan O'Brien Talk Voting Importance

    Former First Lady Michelle Obama sat down with Conan on Wednesday to discuss the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election, what Ruth Bader Ginsburg's legacy means and activities during quarantine.

    As host Conan O'Brien referenced, a "razor-thin" group of people voted and decided upon the last election. "It's amazing to me to hear people say, 'Oh, I didn't vote because I didn't think it mattered.' And as you mentioned, this last election, in some of the swing states, the margin of difference was five votes per precinct. And that wasn't just unique to this past election — I have been campaigning in mid-term elections and in the last several elections, and I've looked at the statistics, and every time you look at the margin of victory because we have such a low voting percentage in this country, that for every election, at every level, we're talking about 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 votes that determine who your major is, who your governor is, who your council member is."

    The former First Lady went on to say, "Every vote absolutely matters. People just take this for granted, and then when it doesn't turn out the way they had hoped, they're shocked and upset. But this is a democracy, and yes, sometimes it's frustrating, and sometimes it can be alienating, I get that. But I've also traveled the world, and I've seen other forms of government, and I wouldn't trade our democracy for anything in the world. But in order for it to work, we need active, engaged and informed citizens who are ready to do the one pretty simple thing, which is vote."

    During her late-night appearance, Obama joined O'Brien in "Zoom-bombing" a meeting of volunteers working for the non-profit organization When We All Vote in the lead-up to the election.

  • Daniel Levy Recounts 'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Party

    Fresh off their multiple Emmy wins, the Schitt's Creek cast joined Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday to share how their evening celebrations went down and tease interest in the popular characters returning in the future.

    Co-creators (and father and son) Eugene and Daniel Levy and co-stars Catherine O'Hara and Annie Murphy appeared, all four of whom won Emmy Awards for their performances in the Pop TV sitcom.

    Kimmel declared a "historic Schitt's-sweep" as he introduced his virtual guests from his second night back at the studio, and noted that "every comedy nerd was delighted" when the show won all the awards Sunday night. "I felt that backstage for sure," said Kimmel.

    Eugene Levy called the evening "bizarre" and "surreal," while Daniel shared how the evening celebrations went down. "It was a two-parter, to be honest," he began, adding that in Canada, slightly larger gatherings are allowed under the COVID-19 guidelines. But, as he explained, the government actually had to minimize the party size the night before the Emmys and therefore, some of the crew had to be uninvited. Daniel recalled a "strange kind of vibe going into the evening" as crewmembers were informed of the change.

    Kimmel asked Murphy if she felt extra pressure because her category was the last of the group to be announced, and she recalled an "internal monologue" where the actress asked herself: "Who am I going to apologize to first if I lose?"

    After a series of impersonations of Eugene — including one from O'Hara in which she demonstrated how he thinks very thoughtfully about an idea when one is brought up to him, but doesn't say anything for "a good 10 minutes" — Daniel mimicked the movement of his eyebrows and said that he speaks with a "slow kind of cadence that only the sweetest humans on the planet would ever understand."

    Closing out the interview, Kimmel asked whether audiences might see the Schitt's Creek characters again. "I guess it just depends on how much money people want to spend," joked Daniel. He called it the "single greatest experience" of his life and referenced "a kind of elegance about bowing out when people still care about you."

    Schitt's Creek garnered seven awards at Sunday's virtual ceremony — including best comedy series — and two earlier in the week at the Creative Emmy Awards.

  • Jeff Daniels Told Jim Carrey to "Go Easy" on Joe Biden on 'SNL'

    Jeff Daniels says he's eager to see what long-time friend and collaborator Jim Carrey has planned for his Saturday Night Live run as Joe Biden.

    On Wednesday's Late Show With Stephen Colbert, The Comey Rule star was asked whether he'd spoken to his Dumb and Dumber co-star about the highly anticipated SNL gig. Daniels shared that he had reached out to the comedian about taking on Biden, jokingly telling him not to go too hard on him.

    "I texted him," Daniels said. "I said, 'Go easy, man. We need him.'"

    The Kidding star was announced to play the presidential candidate part of the NBC sketch comedy series' 46th season earlier this month and will appear on the show when it officially returns on Oct. 3 with five consecutive weeks of live shows. Carrey's involvement was revealed alongside the news that Alec Baldwin and SNL alum Maya Rudolph would also be returning to play Donald Trump and Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, respectively.

    After sharing that Carrey is "excited to do it," Daniels took a few guesses about how the actor might approach his role as Biden, who has often been portrayed by former SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis.

    "I want to see what he's gonna do," Daniels told Colbert. "You gotta figure he's gonna go with the aviator glasses and the teeth — the half-smile.”