Late Night Lately: Unpacking the Final Debate

8:00 AM 10/24/2020

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.

Courtesy of CBS; ABC; HBO

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: Stephen Colbert broke down the final presidential debate with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, while Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat visited Jimmy Kimmel's show and  John Oliver celebrated the sewer plant now named after him. Elsewhere, Michael Keaton named his favorite Batman.

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • Colbert Unpacks Final Debate With Andrew Cuomo

    In keeping with tradition, Stephen Colbert went live after Thursday's final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Colbert referred to Trump's "lies"  while noting that Biden distinguished himself from Trump when talking about personal taxes.

    The late-night host exclaimed during his monologue, "it finally happened," referring to one of Biden's signature words, "malarkey." Colbert declared, "Boom, the first malarkey of the night!"

    He welcomed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has his guest, noting at the top of the interview that Trump said that New York used to be vibrant and now it's a "ghost town" that is "dying."

    Cuomo responded by explaining that Trump hates New York. "It’s probably mutual," said the governor. He also joked that New York has a lower infection rate than the White House.

    Asked why Trump fixates on Cuomo in his tweets, the governor called the President a "bully" who deceived people in America about the facts of the virus. He went on to refer to Trump's vaccine plan as a "scam."

    "He’s never had an idea about how to do this," said Cuomo," who has written a book titled American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

    Cuomo called Trump "paranoid," a "liar" and a "narcissist" who could have stood up and told the truth about the coronavirus pandemic to the American people who were afraid and needed leadership.

    Referenced how Trump thought that Americans might have panicked if they knew the severity of the virus, Cuomo said, "The American people don’t panic. He panicked."

  • Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat Performs Health Exam on Jimmy Kimmel

    Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to discuss his new film Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the Jason Woliner-directed sequel to the 2006 mockumentary. But in typical Borat fashion, things did not go at all as planned.

    Borat Sagdiyev, the gray-suited journalist working for Kazakhstan's state-run TV network, arrived at the late-night show with some precautions in place to battle the novel coronavirus pandemic — a magnifying glass to spot the virus and a frying pan to knock it out.

    "He is a coward, the virus is a coward!" Borat screamed as he slammed the pan on various surfaces, all while host Kimmel repeatedly explained that the method wouldn't work.

    Before the planned interview could take place, Borat told Kimmel he needed to perform a basic "Kazakh health questionnaire/exam" that involved asking Kimmel if because he was a "member of the Hollywood elite," if he had recently drunk "unpasteurized children's blood," and for contract tracing purposes, if the host could give the names of the last 12 prostitutes he had been with.

    Borat's daughter (played by Irina Nowak) later arrived on the show with a request for the host to give her his pants so he and Borat could trade trousers.

  • John Oliver Blasts Trump's Plan to Cut Ties With World Health Organization

    John Oliver on Sunday's Last Week Tonight took a deep dive into President Trump's issues with the World Health Organization or, as Oliver called it, "one of the president's favorite punching bags."

    "Over the last six months, Trump has consistently tried to deflect blame for his handling of the coronavirus onto the WHO, China and the close relationship he claims the two have," Oliver said.

    Oliver showed a news clip noting that in the beginning of July, Trump said that the U.S. would be "terminating" its relationship with the WHO and "redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs."

    "And look, it is fine if the U.S. has problems with the WHO. It has problems," Oliver said. "But the solution clearly isn't to walk away. It is to try and fix them. But the only way for the U.S. to have a say in how that happens is to have a seat at the table, and we're about to just give that up."


    Oliver wrapped his show on a completely unrelated note: with an update to his tongue-in-cheek "feud" with the residents of Danbury, Connecticut. The city council voted last week to rename its sewage plant after him on the condition that he physically attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony. So last week, Oliver made the 90-minute trip from New York City to the town.

    Oliver gave a little speech, saying: "There is a reason this sewer plant means so much to me and that's that it represents everything that we need the most right now, because think about it: This place takes the worst that humanity can produce and transforms it into something that we can live with. And now more than ever, there's something inspirational in that. Because at the end of this awful, awful year, what could be more important than evidence that if we want to, we can come together, overcome our differences and sort our shit out? Mr. Mayor, I could not be more proud to have my name on your shit sorter."

  • Michael Keaton Picks His Favorite Batman

    Michael Keaton was a guest Tuesday on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and, of course, he was asked about the rumor he is reprising his most famous role: Batman.

    The iconic actor was somewhat elusive about whether he will appear in the upcoming Flash film as his incarnation of Tim Burton's Bruce Wayne/Batman, but he admitted "we are having discussions, as they say. We'll see if it happens."

    As for who is the best Batman of all, Keaton, who was on the show to promote his new film, The Trial of the Chicago 7, immediately told Kimmel, "me," before joking that all "127" actors who have played Batman will appear in The Flash film. In reality, Keaton is reportedly going to return, as is Ben Affleck. Flash is eyeing a London start in spring 2021.

    Keaton also quipped that he sports the suit now and then around the house. "If I am just feeling insecure enough, I will slip into the suit. It just makes me feel a whole lot better," he said. "I will walk around the neighborhood a little bit. By the way, when things around here get a little bit nervous-making, I just put the suit on, and boy, things straighten the fuck up."

  • Dolly Parton on Pandemic-Themed Music

    "I really think of myself as a songteller, because I write songs, but I tell stories," said Dolly Parton, explaining the name of her memoir,  Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, to Stephen Colbert.

    She added that the book contains a number of stories about how she wrote certain songs and what she was feeling at the time. Parton also talked about how she loves to write and perform, but there’s something about writing songs that is her "personal time with God." It’s her "quiet time" where she can express herself, sort of like therapy.

    She also loves when different people interpret her songs, because the sound and feelings can change so much depending on their arrangement, how they are produced and performed. Parton specifically talked about Whitney Houston's cover of  "I Will Always Love You." When Parton first heard it, she couldn’t believe it was her song.

    Parton, who has a new album out called A Holly Dolly Christmas, also wrote a pandemic-themed song called "When Life is Good Again." She told Colbert, "I felt really glad to write that," noting that it is uplifting with lyrics like, "When life is good again, I'll be a better friend, a better person."

    "I can't wait for this year to be over, can you?" Parton exclaimed.