Ellen DeGeneres, Hasan Minhaj, More Talk-Show Hosts Share Thanksgiving Tips

Ellen DeGeneres Hasan Minhaj Jimmy Fallon Stephen Colbert Split - Publicity - H 2018
Photofest; Bennett Raglin/Comedy Central; NBC; CBS

"The key is to keep Grandpa eating the entire time. When his mouth is full, he can't talk about the caravan," suggested DeGeneres.

Thanksgiving may still be a few days away but Ellen DeGeneres, Hasan Minhaj, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert are already in the holiday spirit, sharing their tips for the holiday, and contentious family gatherings, on their respective talk shows. 

On Tuesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the host shared her foolproof table seating strategy. "One of the most stressful parts of the holidays — I think everyone can agree — is getting the family together for dinner and where people are gonna sit," she said. "Every year I like to prepare you for what to expect."

Producers wheeled out a table that featured six chairs and festive decorations. DeGeneres announced that the grandpa should sit at the head of the table. She pulled off the cloth covering the chair and revealed someone donning white facial hair and a Make America Great Again hat. "The key is to keep Grandpa eating the entire time," she said. "When his mouth is full, he can't talk about the caravan." She shoved mashed potatoes in his mouth before the conservative grandfather could speak about politics.

"Since nobody else wanted to sit next to him, that's where you put your friend from work who had nowhere else to go for Thanksgiving," she said before pulling a cloth off of the chair to reveal the aforementioned co-worker. "You've worked with her for six years, but you still don't know her name."

DeGeneres shared that the next spot of the table should go to your Aunt Melissa. "You didn't invite her, but she's here this year. She showed up anyway," said the host.

Next to Aunt Melissa sat Little Paulie, who wore a baseball cap and suspenders while he carelessly played on his iPad and prompted DeGeneres to break out into laughter.

"Next is Paulie's older brother, who's home from college," she said before revealing a blue-haired man smoking a Juul. "And by college, I mean he dropped out to become a DJ. He also made $3 billion in Bitcoin, but for some reason he's still on your cellphone plan."

The final Thanksgiving guest was Paulie's older brother's Tinder date. "You're hoping she's not some weird girl from college. But no, she's not that," DeGeneres said as she pulled off the cover and revealed that Chrissy Teigen was the mystery date.

Over on The Patriot Act, Minhaj shared some quick tips to survive the holiday season.

"Avoid politics at all costs. It's not worth it. It's like the Facebook comment section. It is a dark, dark place to go," he said in the clip.

"I use the BuzzFeed strategy for peace," he continued. Minhaj explained that when the topic turns to politics, show a photo of a kitten. While one partygoer may like dogs better, the conversation will quickly turn from a debate about the superior pet instead of politics. "That is a UN turkey day resolution."

Minhaj then shared that turkey is overrated. "Here's my pitch: chicken. Can we just do chicken? Can we make Thanksgiving the holiday of chicken?" he asked.

The host also suggested that viewers don’t try to cook anything fancy and instead bring cereal to the dinner. "A specific cereal. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. No one will say no to that," he said. "They might look at you weird and then the next day, what are you gonna have in the morning? Cinnamon Toast Crunch."

His last piece of advice was to avoid generic responses when you are inevitably asked what you're grateful for. "Say something that no one else knows or says," he suggested. "Say, 'You know what I'm grateful for? Worms. They're vital to the health and stability of our soil.' People will look at you weird and not talk to you for the rest of the night. You're welcome."

Fallon also spoke about Thanksgiving on Monday's episode of The Tonight Show.

"I'm so excited for the food, the relaxation, the seeing distant family, catching up about work, discussing politics," he said as dramatic music played and the camera slowly zoomed in on his face.

The Roots member Black Thought pulled Fallon out of his stress-induced panic. The host then asked if the musician was excited for the holiday.

"I'm super excited for the pie and the turkey. Travel coordination and the traffic," he said as the music picked up and the camera zoomed in. Fallon quickly returned to his previous state of panic.

Kamal Gray pulled the men out of their panic and stated his excitement for Thanksgiving. "Personally, I'm really excited for the stuffing, the mashed potatoes and the gravy and how there's only limited amounts of it," he said as the music began to play.

"But guys, at least the National Dog Show is on," said James Poyser as the three men zoned out. "We all love watching that." The mention of the show brought the men back to life and they all agreed that they were looking forward to watching it.

Over on The Late Show, Colbert recruited Fox News Channel anchor Chris Wallace to share tips for reconciliation in preparation for Thanksgiving.

"I'm Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. You may know me from your parents' TV when you go home to do laundry," he said in the prerecorded clip. "I'm used to moderating presidential debates and political roundtables, but there is nothing more combative than the Thanksgiving dinner table."

Wallace's first tip centered on the type of turkey that should be served. "If your family is fighting about whether to serve roasted turkey or fried turkey, just go ahead and serve them wild turkey until they're too drunk to argue," he said.

He added that fighting should not take place at the dinner table. "Make sure to set up a battle pit in the backyard and leave room for the kids battle pit," he said.

Wallace suggested that argumentative families baste the turkey with extra tryptophan. "They'll be napping on the couch before anyone can chant, 'Lock her up,'" he said.

"Do not let family leave the table without saying, 'Excuse me' or 'Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy,'" he continued.

He concluded his tips by sharing the proper way to decide who is responsible for cleaning up after dinner. "Do the smart thing. Just move," he said.