Late-Night Lately: Oscars Jokes, Cohen Testimony, Fallon's 'Larry Sanders Show'

8:00 AM 3/2/2019

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.


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.

This week: First, the late-night hosts had fun reacting to the hostless Oscars, commenting on Lady Gaga's performance and Green Book's win. Late Night's Amber Ruffin highlighted her favorite moments of the event in her segment, "Amber Says What." They later took on Michael Cohen's testimony this week, in which he called Trump a "racist," a "con man" and a "cheat." And Fallon welcomed guests Ben Stiller and Tina Fey for a Larry Sanders Show-inspired anniversary episode

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman 

  • Late Night Responds to the Hostless Oscars

    Lloyd Bishop/NBC

    Late-night hosts joked about the takeaways from the 2019 Oscars on their respective late-night shows Monday, focusing in on the hostless event. 

    Kimmel, who previously hosted the awards show in 2017 and 2018, gave his viewers a recap of the hostless show. "I watched the Oscars at home last night in a tuxedo. I was in a tux, full hair and makeup just in case someone called at the last second and said, 'Hey, listen we need you,'" joked the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host.

    He noted that the ceremony was 36 minutes shorter than the previous year. "Next year it's going to be 36 minutes shorter than that and every year they will cut 36 more minutes out of the show until it's exactly one minute long," he said. "And the ratings will be huge."

    "I tried pitching having no host for this show tonight, but ABC didn't go for it," Kimmel joked. 

    The host said that the theme for the Oscars was "the Grammys" due to the show's many musical performances, including Queen and Adam Lambert's opening performance and Lady Gaga's duet with Bradley Cooper, or as Kimmel called him, "the raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy."

    While Kimmel didn't attend the Oscars, his sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez covered the red carpet for the show. 

    During the segment, Rodriguez told nominee Glenn Close that their ensembles matched and asked Lee if he preferred to yell "action" or "cut."

    Rodriguez also offered the stars some liquid courage, showing Charlize Theron, Allison Janney, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Peter Farrelly, Jake Johnson, Shameik Moore, Richard E. Grant, Keegan-Michael Key, Sam Elliott and Marina de Tavira that his microphone doubled as a flask. For those who weren't impressed with the microphone flask, Rodriguez also revealed that he brought a clutch bag that doubled as a flask. Mirren, Awkwafina, Chadwick Boseman and Viggo Mortensen all took sips from the purse.

    Trevor Noah, who was a presenter at the Oscars, talked about his "amazing night" at the ceremony. "I was super starstruck. Literally, Helen Mirren punched me in the face," he joked. "Best night of my life."

    Noah added that the most talked-about moment of the night was the "super sexy duet" between Lady Gaga and Cooper. The host played a clip from the performance, though changed the music from "Shallow" to a more affordable song, an instrumental version of "Yankee Doodle."

    The host said that his favorite moment of the night was Lee's acceptance speech, which was followed by a news clip that shared Trump's tweet. "That's right. President Trump called Spike Lee racist," said Noah. "It was like, 'BlacKkKlansman, that's offensive folks. Should've been called Black Very Fine People on Both Sides.'"

    Meyers also discussed the awards show on Late Night. "The Oscars were last night and did not have a host. It went so well, NBC asked to see me after work," he joked.

    Writer Amber Ruffin also recapped the show in an installment of her "Amber Says What" segment.

    She said that the show was "crazy" and complimented the dresses worn by Danai Gurira, Kacey Musgraves and King, but especially loved Billy Porter's ensemble. Ruffin added that while everyone was curious to learn the night's winners, "every black person I know was like, 'Who cares? As long as it's not Green Book.'"

    She announced that while Green Book won best screenplay, "the real star was Samuel L. Jackson's face cause he opened that envelope and his face was like, 'What?'"

    Ruffin explained that Jackson's clear disappointment was linked to his role in Lee's 1989 film Do The Right Thing. "Which is one of the best movies of all time and wasn't even nominated," she shared. "The winner that year was Driving Miss Daisy. Fast forward to today when another Spike Lee movie lost out to Driving Miss Daisy 2. This time the white one drives."

    O'Brien introduced the topic of the Oscars on Conan by sharing that Trump was not happy with the ceremony. "He was furious that best foreign film went to someone from another country," he joked.

    O'Brien then talked about the Lady Gaga and Cooper's "intimate" performance of "Shallow." He said, "It was amazing cause the way they held each other's gazes as they sang really gave their performance a very emotional quality."

    The host and Andy Richter inched closer to each other as they discussed how close Lady Gaga and Cooper were during the performance. "Talk about selling a song. They were practically having sex with their eyes," said O'Brien.

    "After that performance, all I could think was… all I could think was, 'Fat chance, Mary Poppins Returns,'" said Richter as he approached O'Brien until their faces were mere centimeters away from each other.

  • The Hosts Weigh In on Michael Cohen's "Eventful" Testimony

    Sean Gallagher

    Late night hosts predictably picked apart Michael Cohen's harsh testimony about his experience with Donald Trump to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday. Trump's former personal attorney and fixer said in prepared testimony to Congress that Trump was a "racist," a "con man" and a "cheat" and said he had heard the president make remarks "disparaging African-Americans, saying at one point that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid."

    Trevor Noah reflected on Trump's alleged comments about why black people "would never" vote for him. "No, Donald, black people would never vote for you because of your trash-ass weave," Noah joked. "Look at that thing. What is that? Where did you get it from?"

    Noah then commented on the staccato nature of Cohen's opening statement. "Damn, that was one hell of an opening statement. Especially the part where he started speaking like the Riddler," Noah said. "Just like, 'Who is kind but not kind? Bald but also blond? His hands are tiny, but he can grab an entire pussy. Who is he?'"

    Seth Meyers focused his "Closer Look" segment on the disbarred lawyer. "We say this a lot, but today was truly one of the most eventful days of the Trump presidency," Meyers began. "It's not often that you have one of the president's closest personal confidants testify before Congress about their relationship."

    Meyers said the former lawyer "wasted no time going after Trump clearly and directly in his statement," listing Trump's "alleged crimes and personal failings" along with a claim that Trump took the presidency for selfish purposes and "never wanted to make this country great." Referencing the fact that Trump is currently in Vietnam, Meyers said, "It's so ironic: Trump finally went to Vietnam and he's getting killed back home."

    Conan O'Brien had fun with NBC's coverage of the testimony. He noted that the network provided graphics that allowed viewers to see information about a representative every time they spoke. "I noticed that as the hearing went on and on, the stats became less useful," he said. The host then joked about Rep. Mark Green's stats, which he said were "yellow belt in Taekwondo; disowned his son for listening to rap; once referred to salad as 'french fries for gays.'"

    Jimmy Kimmel joked, "It was a historic hearing — right from the beginning Michael Cohen delivered an opening statement that somehow managed to mention both the Holocaust and a porn star. And we were off to the races from there."

    The host also took issue with the fact that "the vast majority" of Republicans "seemed to have no interest whatsoever in learning whether or not the president committed a crime."

    "See, if I was president and I was accused of something I swore I didn't do? I would want a full investigation. I would want them to ask real questions," Kimmel said. "But instead they were behaving like they had this image of Trump raging around his hotel room in his underpants watching them on TV, so they had to make a stand."

    Jimmy Fallon explained that Cohen called the president a con man, cheat and racist, he said, "Trump heard that and he was like, 'Great, now I need a new 2020 campaign slogan and a new Tinder bio."'

    The host later touched on Cohen's claims that Trump said his son Donald Jr. had "the worst judgment of anyone in the world." Fallon added, "In response, Don Jr. was like, 'Dad talked about me?'"

  • Fallon Recruits Tina Fey, Ben Stiller for 'Larry Sanders'-Inspired Show

    Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

    The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon continued to celebrate its fifth anniversary by paying tribute to The Larry Sanders Show and its star, the late comedian Garry Shandling. 

    Sporting a "hashtag panda" get-up, Ben Stiller sees Fallon in the hallway. "I was going to surprise you for your big anniversary show, but I guess now I can just go f— myself."

    One by one, all the guests remark to Fallon, "You're lucky I'm even here!"

    Guest Tina Fey spoke about her upcoming Netflix film Wine Country and Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" music video. Throwing back to The Larry Sanders Show, the interviews were intercut with behind-the-scenes bits of the guests, which usually ended in them expressing disappointment, jokingly, in host Fallon. 

  • Lady Gaga Addresses Bradley Cooper Romance Rumors

    ABC/Randy Holmes

    Lady Gaga, fresh off her best original song Oscar win for A Star Is Born's "Shallow," stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to chat about the encore release of the movie, and the romance rumors between her and Bradley Cooper.

    In one of the Oscar's most talked-about moments, Gaga and director and co-star Cooper performed the hit song, with many viewers taking to social media to note the chemistry between the two. Of the performance, Kimmel said, "It caused this big controversy because you had such a connection with Bradley, that instantly, and I guess this is a compliment, people started saying, 'Oh, well they must be in love.'"

    Gaga, after rolling her eyes, responded, "First of all, social media quite frankly is the toilet of the internet and what it has done to pop culture is abysmal. And people saw love, and guess what, that's what we wanted you to see. This is a love song, the movie is a love story."

    "From a performance perspective it was so important to both of us that we were connected the entire time. I mean, look, I've had my arm around Tony Bennett for three years touring the world. When you're singing love songs, that's what you want people to feel," she said.

    When Kimmel asked if she'd ever seen the movie at the theater with a real audience, she said that she had, but, "I sneak out [with 30 minutes to go] because the ending of the movie is so sad I can't take it," she said. 

  • Weezer, Fallon Perform "Take On Me" With Classroom Instruments

    Weezer, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots joined forces to give A-ha's hit "Take On Me" the classroom-instrument treatment on Thursday's Tonight Show.

    The clip opened with the two bands and Fallon in a filter that made them appear as black-and-white pencil-sketch animations, a callback to the song's 1985 music video. Fallon and the band members all donned '80s-style clothes for the performance. Weezer's frontman Rivers Cuomo sported New Wave a hairstyle that featured blonde-streaked bangs.

    Cuomo took charge and sang the song's vocals as Fallon played the wood block. The filter used in the beginning of the clip was used sporadically throughout the performance to pay homage to the song's music video.

  • Late-Night Lineup: March 3-9

    Monday, March 4
    Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson, stops by the ABC show ahead of her movie's debut. 

    The Late Late Show With James Corden: The CBS host kicks off a "Jonas Brothers week" with Nick, Joe and Kevin stopping by, with a Carpool Karaoke planned for later in the week. 

    Tuesday, March 5
    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: Kit Harington joins Colbert to talk about Game of Thrones' return and Jon Snow's chances of the throne.