Late Night Lately: Kamala Harris, Sacha Baron Cohen and a Last Push Before Election Day

8:00 AM 10/31/2020

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.

Sacha Baron Cohen on Kimmel - Kama Harris on Daily Show -Conan O’Brien
Courtesy of ABC; Comedy Central; TBS

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: Kamala Harris spoke with Trevor Noah about the importance of pronouncing one's name correctly, Sacha Baron Cohen addressed controversial scenes in the Borat sequel and Conan O'Brien went behind the scenes on his set to reveal a robbery.

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • Kamala Harris Addresses Political Figures Mispronouncing Her Name

    Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris joined Trevor Noah on Thursday where she addressed those who mispronounce her name. "Why does it seem like it becomes harder to pronounce your name the more conservative a person is?" Noah asked, also mentioning that "any child of immigrants has this story. How does it make you feel when you see people fighting about your name?"

    Harris was quick to emphasize that someone's name is "one of the greatest gifts that a family can give you." "It is usually informed by tradition and love, and the hope and aspiration the family has for that child. It is something precious and sacred and it is a part of their identity," she explained.

    "When I see people fighting for the right for that to be respected and treated in a dignified way, I applaud and salute that. Anybody who otherwise, on the other side of that wants to play childish games as though the highest elected leaders should conduct themselves like they did when they were children on the playground," Harris said, also noting that "it's a reflection of their value and maturity."

    During a recent rally in Arizona, President Donald Trump made a jab at Harris, saying "if you don't pronounce her name exactly right, she gets very angry at you."

    Harris assured that she doesn't give attention to the name calling she's experienced while running in the election. "There are some of us who have lived a lifetime of being called names and it is predictable and it is childish and it will not distract me."

  • Sacha Baron Cohen Reveals Near-Tech Glitch, Intense Security Around Giuliani 'Borat' Scene

    Much has been written about the scene in Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat sequel in which Rudy Giuliani is shown in what appears to be a compromising position in a hotel room with actress Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat's 15-year-old daughter Tutar in the movie.

    But Baron Cohen offered some new, behind-the-scenes details from the filming of that encounter in a Monday appearance on The Late Show. The Borat star mentioned that while Giuliani thought he was alone with Bakalova, Baron Cohen was waiting in a "hideaway" in the closet, where his only way of knowing what was happening in the scene was via text messages he was receiving from the director, Jason Woliner, in the small, dark space.

    However, once he got in there, Baron Cohen said he switched on the phone and the battery life was at about 3 percent.

    "Hold on, we've got Rudy Giuliani. We've got the president's lawyer. We've got this scene — this is the climax of the movie — and no one thought it might be worth charging the phone," Baron Cohen recalled thinking.

    Baron Cohen also explained that Giuliani brought an ex-policeman to the interview and the former cop did a sweep of the hotel suite before sitting outside, "ensuring that no one could come in and out," Baron Cohen said.

    The actor observed that that's "even more scary, when you think about it," for Bakalova.

    Giuliani has fired back at Baron Cohen, calling the scene "a hit job." He also tweeted, "At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise, he is a stone-cold liar."

    Baron Cohen offered a similar response to what he said of Giuliani's comments on Good Morning America on Friday. “Well, he said that he did nothing inappropriate and, you know, my feeling is, if he sees that as appropriate, then heaven knows what he’s intended to do with other women in hotel rooms with a glass of whiskey in his hand,” Baron Cohen told Colbert. “I mean, I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone, so I would just say, see it and make your own mind up.”

    Baron Cohen additionally revealed unseen footage of him escaping from a "gun rally," where he pretended to be a country music singer, singing about the "Wuhan flu" and the "radical left."

    “Everyone was singing along and the problem was that some of the militia groups that were in this rally had been antagonizing the Black Lives Matter protesters, so as revenge some of the Black Lives Matter protesters were coming over to confront them,” Baron Cohen said. “One of them went, ‘Oh my God, it’s Sacha Baron Cohen!’ Word got out that it was me, and then the organizers and a lot of people in the crowd got very angry. They tried to storm the stage. Luckily for me, I had hired the security, so it took them a while to actually storm the stage.”

    And he shared how he had to quickly hide any evidence of his true self while he was quarantining in character in the film.

  • Conan O'Brien Reveals Robbery on Set

    Conan O'Brien's show set was burglarized, the host announced on Monday night's program, and the thief, according to producer Jason Chillemi, stole "a couple of laptops" and the slate that they use to indicate that filming has begun.

    Sharing what happened with his show's audience, O'Brien was at turns horrified, disappointed and amused by the situation. He announced that the thief had taken some of "the equipment we use to make the show," before bringing in sidekick Andy Richter, sitting in the theater's audience of cardboard cutouts.

    "You would have thought that the minute they came in and saw 'Conan' on anything, they would've been like, 'No, come on. He's one of the good guys. Let's go break into someone else's house.'"

    O'Brien added, "And whoever broke in here had to stare at what I think is about 350 cardboard cutouts of exuberant fans in the eyes and say, 'Hey, don't mind me. I'm going to steal some shit.'"

    Richter and O'Brien then joked that perhaps the thief is still there but just froze to blend in with the cutouts,.

    "Look at us. What happened to us? This kind of shit isn't happening to other big-time late night shows. No one breaks into The Tonight Show and steals all of the equipment," he said. "What happened to us? We've become this garage band that drives around. We've got our van and we've parked it in an alley, and someone broke in and took our amps. This would never happen to [Jimmy] Kimmel or [James] Corden or any of those guys. 'What happened? We couldn't do a show today! What happened? They broke in and took our shit, man! They took our shit while we were sleeping.'"

    After marveling at the "new low," O'Brien laughed at the absurdity of a late-night talk show not being able to tape an episode because of a robbery.

    "Just for the laugh alone, maybe it's worth it," he said after calming down.

    "Enjoy the laptops," Richter said, as he and O'Brien wondered what the burglar would do with the slate.

    O'Brien has been filming from the historic Largo at the Coronet in West Hollywood since July, without an in-person audience and with a limited number of staffers on site.

  • John Oliver: Why Trump Being on His "Best Behavior" Isn't High Praise

    John Oliver kicked off Sunday's Last Week Tonight by fact-checking comments made by President Trump during Thursday's debate. Those included Trump saying the U.S. is "rounding the corner" as it pertains to the coronavirus and that wind turbines kill all birds (both of which Oliver said were not true).

    He then noted that Trump insisted during the debate that he was the "least racist person in the room."

    "That is strange for multiple reasons," Oliver said, including the fact that "that room contained his family. So he's effectively throwing them under the bus."

    Oliver noted that the media and talking-head response to this debate was "slight relief," with one newscaster noting that "no one set themselves on fire." However, Oliver opined, that isn't really high praise.

    "What is really sad here, is that when people claim Trump was on his best behavior, that's actually true," Oliver said. "But his best behavior is still absolutely appalling because even when the bar is so low as to be virtually nonexistent … the unshakable fact is unless you set the bar at 'nobody caught fire,' Trump will always find a way to disappoint."

    Oliver also addressed the controversy surrounding Hunter Biden and the "laptop from hell." But Oliver noted that "there are a lot of red flags here, including the fact that the New York Post story that broke it was reportedly written mostly by a staff reporter who refused to put his name on it and the laptop's conduit to the press is Rudy Giuliani, who intelligence officials flagged last year was the target of a Russian intelligence operation to feed misinformation to Trump."

    He added that "Giuliani's ability to spot fraudulent information is at best, not great. He's so technologically illiterate, he has butt-dialed a reporter and left an accidental voicemail more than once."

  • David Letterman Takes Shot at Dodgers' Justin Turner Over Post-Game COVID Controversy

    David Letterman on Wednesday dropped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to mainly talk about the latest season of his Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, but naturally current events were brought up to break the ice.

    Letterman mentioned the Dodgers' recent World Series victory and talked about how much fun it was in the late '70s when he lived in Los Angeles and the team played the New York Yankees for the championship. However, he admitted he did not watch this year's series. Still, he was aware of the Justin Turner controversy and, naturally, had to make a quip about it.

    "There is no 'I' in 'team,' but there's an 'I' in 'ventilator,'" Letterman said.

    Major League Baseball on Wednesday said it was opening an investigation after the Dodgers' star third baseman celebrated on the field among his teammates despite the fact he was pulled in the middle of the final game because he had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier that day.

    “While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk," the league said in a statement cited by the Los Angeles Times. "When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply. The Commissioner’s Office is beginning a full investigation into this matter and will consult with the Players Association within the parameters of the joint 2020 Operations Manual.”