Late Night Lately: Ron Burgundy's Takeover, Hosts' Mass Shootings Response, Leslie Jones' Announcement

8:00 AM 8/10/2019

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.

Courtesy of Networks

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: Will Ferrell managed to stop by six late-night shows on the same night as each host's "special guest" in order to promote the new season of the Ron Burgundy Podcast. Elsewhere, Melissa McCarthy shared some Gilmore Girls stories and Leslie Jones made a big stand-up announcement. And the hosts got serious as they responded to the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, calling for Congress and the president to make changes. 

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman 

  • Will Ferrell Stages Late-Night Takeover as Ron Burgundy

    Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

    In a big move for late night, Will Ferrell was the "surprise guest" for no fewer than six late-night shows, reprising his role as Anchorman's Ron Burgundy to promote the second season of his Ron Burgundy Podcast. 

    The fictional newscaster's routine for each appearance included a bit of stand-up followed by an interview with each host. 

    During his appearance on The Late Show, he revealed that he once golfed with Donald Trump, where he witnessed the president shoot "90 under par." Calling Trump a "riverboat gambler," the comedian also shared that he did invest in some of the president’s properties, including Trump University. "I wrote the check and got three degrees," he shared. 

    Discussing the biggest story of 2019, the guest said it had to be the Ferris Bueller Report. "No collusion, definitely obstruction," Ferrell's Burgundy said. "And the fact that you select a fictional movie character to investigate the president is way beyond my pay grade."

    Over at The Late Late Show, James Corden asked what he thought of Trump's infamous "fake news," which Ferrell's Burgundy described as a "real bugaboo." "I remember back in my day, I prematurely announced that we had won the Vietnam War. That was eight years before it ended. I got some flack and I wasn't a big enough man to correct my mistake on the air." 

    Later on, he joked that his "dream guest" would be Abraham, Chris Pine or Chris Pratt. "That would be a killer podcast; All the Chris's in one room with our shirts off wrestling."

    Corden and Ferrell's Burgundy were later joined by an animal handler from the San Diego Zoo. As soon as a skunk was brought onstage, Ferrell's Burgundy ran to hide by the couch. "I'm just going to take a knee down over here. It's the only animal that keeps me up at night."

    Ferrell's Burgundy also appeared on The Tonight Show, where he and Jimmy Fallon bantered about a variety of topics such as his love for Kylie Minogue. After the late-night host asked him who his favorite guest on his podcast has been, Ferrell's Burgundy quickly answered: "Two words: Kylie Minogue. You never want to meet your heroes and boy, Kylie and I, from the moment she came into the studio, we just looked at each other and it was on. She just bit me right in the ass." 

    Fallon also asked rapid-fire questions where Ferrell revealed that Pop-Tarts are his favorite food, a meerkat is his favorite animal, brass knuckles are his favorite item of clothing and a belt sander is his favorite kitchen item. 

    Ferrell's Burgundy also stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where he performed stand-up for the audience, who erupted into applause when he took the microphone. "Wow, standing ovation! Get out of town. Much deserved. Much deserved," he quipped. 

    Speaking about his podcast, Ferrell's Burgundy said that they are making some "big changes" such as "releasing a lot of the podcast in Braille." He shared that his "dream guest" would be himself, but also the Pope and Kimmel. 

    On Conan, Ferrell's Burgundy shared that he initially assumed he was doing a talk show versus being "in a padded room with a microphone." As for what listeners can expect for the second season? Ferrell's Burgundy shared that while the first held exciting reveals such as Ted Cruz being the infamous zodiac killer, the second season will "be a bit of a letdown." 

    Meanwhile, on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Ferrell's Burgundy tried his hand at ventriloquism with a hipster dummy named J.J. He quickly became frustrated with J.J.'s unwillingness to cooperate during the comedy set, made worse by the dummy telling him the audience was "nervous because you're not funny and have no talent." 

    Meyers invited Ferrell's Burgundy to come over for the interview portion of his appearance, seeing as J.J. couldn't perform anymore. The two discussed upcoming guests for Burgundy's podcast, most notably "the ghost of former president Gerald Ford."

    "What's compelling about interviewing a ghost is you can't see them," Ferrell's Burgundy explained. "You'll just feel a cold breath on the back of your neck and that's when you'll assume they are there."

  • Hosts Demand Urgency After Mass Shootings

    Comedy Central

    After two deadly mass shootings took place in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, hosts dedicated their Monday monologues to urging Congress to do more in making changes to gun laws. 

    Seth Meyers took "A Closer Look" at the recent mass shootings. "This was a heartbreaking weekend of unspeakable tragedy and yet one that disturbingly feels all too familiar," he began. He went on to explain that the shootings weren't all "just about guns" but rather a result of "domestic terrorism" and a "white supremacist."

    "This is a moment that demands moral clarity and urgency from our political leaders," he said. 

    He finished by urging Congress to act. "This was a horrific weekend of tragedy and heartbreak that no one should ever have to bear. All decent people everywhere should set themselves to the task of stopping this and expressing solidarity with and support for the oppressed, marginalized communities targeted by this hatred and violence. And as for our political leaders, the ones who are supposed to be protecting us, all we say is, they need to get their shit together." 

    Trevor Noah argued that it's important for the country to try to improve gun laws and fight for better safety measures. "America tries, man. It's not about perfect. It's about trying to be more perfect. That’s all I don't understand about how people argue the guns thing. Not saying get rid of guns; you're saying try to minimize the chances of this happening. Try to make it as hard as possible for people to own a gun, because you only want people who are willing to work hard to own a gun to own a gun."

    He further argued: "You only want people who respect the gun to own a gun. That's all it is."

    Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel discussed the "horrible, senseless tragedies" and how congressional leaders are failing to do more than simply offer "thoughts and their prayers."  

    "Both parties say we are too divided. This is something we hear a lot, that we need to find something we can agree on. Well, here's something we agree on. Too many people are being shot with high-powered weapons. I think we can agree on that." 

    He also went after Trump, who, once again, placed blame on the media for contributing to the built-up rage existing in this country. "He blamed the fake news — and later, he and some other Republicans blamed video games," Kimmel said. "Of course, there are zero studies that link video games to gun violence, and they play video games all over the world. This is the only place where this happens regularly. Video games have not been linked to gun violence, but you know what is linked to gun violence? Guns are linked to gun violence! The problem isn’t fake news. It’s real guns."

    Stephen Colbert also fired back at Republican congressional leaders: "America's gun culture is melting down, but the Republicans in Congress would rather maintain their power than save lives," he said. 

    Colbert took a jab at McConnell, who he said would be the "centerfold of Corruption Monthly." He emphasized that McConnell receives large sums in NRA contributions. "You can't put a price on human life, but you can't stop Mitch from trying," he said. 

    After Trump urged that the country needs to "condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy" in his address to the nation, Colbert fired back: "I try every night, but you're still in office." 

    Jimmy Fallon said that "these are the hardest nights to do a show like this" before he directly addressed the tragedies. 

    "To anyone whose background has made them a target of prejudice or hate or violence, or anyone who feels like they may not be welcome in this country, know that you are welcome," Fallon continued. "We support you and we love you, and the cycle of hate needs to stop."

    James Corden also addressed the shootings. The segment opened with clips of the host talking about other mass shootings that took place over the years. "Here we are again," Corden said. "Since we started this show almost four and a half years ago, there have been 1,601 mass shootings, 1,820 deaths and 6,890 people wounded in those incidents in America."

    "Until we really confront this issue and have politicians with the moral courage to face the gun epidemic, the only thing that's going to change is the location of the next mass shooting and the number of causalities," he said. "I hope so much we never have to witness such unnecessary devastation again, because no matter who you are or where you are, we all want to come home to our loved ones at the end of the day."

  • Leslie Jones Announces Netflix Stand-Up Special

    ABC/Randy Holmes

    While visiting Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday, Leslie Jones announced that she will host a stand-up special for Netflix, set to launch in 2020. "So ya'll finally get to see what I really do."

    She went on to explain that despite being an actress, she considers stand-up her main profession. "I mean, it's great to be an actress but I'm actually a stand-up, hardcore. That's what pay the bills." 

    Jones also announced that she will be performing the stand-up in Washington D.C. on Sept. 10 because "D.C. got one of the best comic crowds." 

    After Kimmel inquired whether President Donald Trump would be in attendance, Jones quickly answered, "Hell no!" Adding, "I hope you show up so I can talk bad about your ass! Don't you show up. You are banned from the show. You are banned period. You are banned from my life." 

  • 'Daily Show' Creates Gun Control Legislation Video Game

    Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

    In response to the recent mass shootings in the U.S. and several politicians blaming violent video games, Trevor Noah introduced a new video game created by The Daily Show team created a video game to encourage politicos through the gun control legislative process. 

    Noah described The Legislator: License to Bill as a game "to try and get gun control through Congress, and Mitch McConnell is the final boss." 

    The real game begins with letting the player choose levels: Functioning Democracy (easy), Filibuster-Proof Majority (Medium) or Actual Congress (impossible). Then players have to face things like turning down NRA money and distracting McConnell in order to successfully get the bill passed. 

    Noah concluded: "Who knows, maybe it'll even inspire some people in Congress to go out there and actually write some laws."

  • Melissa McCarthy Shares 'Gilmore Girls' Gag Gone Wrong

    Terence Patrick/CBS

    The Kitchen stars Melissa McCarthy and Elisabeth Moss spoke about Gilmore Girls when they stopped by The Late Late Show on Tuesday.

    McCarthy, who played Sookie St. James on the show, shared a bit that she would do during downtime on the Warner Bros. lot in which she would smoke a cigarette, punch her character's fake pregnant stomach and dramatically exhale smoke. However, the bit was perceived negatively by fans who witnessed it during a studio tour.

    "People were laughing and then I did it again and the second time I did it, everyone's like, 'No, that's not OK,'" she recalled. McCarthy realized after repeating the bit that a studio tour had stopped behind her. "There's 45 people standing behind me on tour of Warner Bros. and I was like, 'It's not a real belly!'" 

    Moss later revealed that she is a fan of Gilmore Girls, though she didn't watch it until she started working on The Handmaid's Tale, which also stars Alexis Bledel, who starred alongside McCarthy on Gilmore Girls.

    She explained that she was friends with Bledel before The Handmaid's Tale. "I knew her outside of Gilmore Girls and I knew her from working on Handmaid's Tale and I loved her and we get along really well and I have such respect for her," said Moss. "Then I started watching Gilmore Girls and I felt really different around her because now she was just Rory Gilmore to me," she said. "Every time I'd see her, we'd be really serious on the show and we'd be doing a serious scene and talking about serious stuff. Inside I'd just be like, 'Rory Gilmore is talking to me.'"

  • Late-Night Lineup: August 11-17

    Monday, August 12
    Late Night With Seth Meyers: The NBC host welcomes the unlikely duo of Kathy Griffin and George Takei to kick off the week. 

    Wednesday, August 14
    Late Night With Seth Meyers: "Weekend Update's" Michael Che stops by to talk with the fellow SNL veteran ahead of the show's 45th season debut. 

    The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Another unlikely duo, Bill de Blasio and Jada Pinkett Smith, stop by Comedy Central. 

    Thursday, August 15
    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: John Travolta, starring next in The Fanatic, a film directed by Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst, is set to stop by the NBC show.