Late-Night Hosts Tackle Matt Lauer Sexual Harassment Claims
Across the dial, the recently ousted 'Today' anchor was a subject of discussion.
Late-night hosts dug into the sexual harassment allegations against former Today show anchor, Matt Lauer, on Wednesday night.
Lauer was terminated from his Today position Wednesday morning ahead of a damning report from multiple women claiming years of sexual misconduct and harassment from the anchor, which included giving a sex toy as a present, which came with a note of how he wanted to use it on his colleague, and exposing himself to another female employee in his office.
On the Daily Show, host Trevor Noah lamented that the entire situation of sexual harassment currently surrounding so many in media is "so shit for women, because no matter how it happens, you're losing. Either it's happening to you, or it's your show that's affected." Noah showed footage of Today hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announcing the news of Lauer's termination on the NBC program that morning. "They just found out, and then they had to report it ...The stage manager was just like, 'Three, two, we fired Matt Lauer, and we're live.' "
The Comedy Central host went on to question just how many figures in news media had been accused of sexual harassment, citing Bill O'Reilly, Charlie Rose and Mark Halperin. "Soon, they'll have enough to start their own perv news network," Noah quipped, while a graphic showed a logo for PNN.
Stephen Colbert mocked President Donald Trump’s Twitter response to the Lauer allegations on The Late Show. Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, "Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!"
Colbert responded, citing a fact-check report from The Washington Post: "By ‘fake news’ do you mean ‘more than a dozen women accusing Trump of improper conduct or sexual assault?’ Is that what you mean?"
“Listen up, you don’t get to comment,” Colbert continued toward Trump. "That’s the pot calling the kettle at 3 a.m. and asking what she’s wearing.”
Colbert also commented on a claim from an anonymous woman that Lauer gifted a sex toy to a colleague along with a detailed note on how he wanted to use it. "It’s bad enough that he gave her a sex toy, but he also gave instructions? He found a way to mansplain sexual harassment!"
ABC's Jimmy Kimmel similarly addressed Trump's tweets, saying,"If anyone knows about inappropriate behavior in the workspace at NBC, it’s Donald Trump," the host quipped. "Is he aware he’s him?" Kimmel then asked.
Turning his attention to Lauer, Kimmel commented, "Does Matt Lauer have to do an emotional sit-down interview with himself?"
Over on TBS, Conan O'Brien addressed Lauer and poked fun at the Today show Rockefeller Plaza crowds in his opening monologue, saying, "Longtime Today show anchor Matt Lauer was fired because he was caught engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior. Afterwards, Lauer said, 'Maybe having all those people looking in the windows wasn’t such a great idea after all.' "
After Jimmy Fallon opened his monologue on The Tonight Show noting the recent lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, he added, "Also getting lit tonight, the HR rep over at the Today show. If you’re wondering where in the world is Matt Lauer. He’s probably at a bar with Charlie Rose."
NBC's Late Night host, Seth Meyers, tweeted earlier on Wednesday afternoon that his show for that night had been taped the day before due to the Christmas tree lighting in front of his studio at 30 Rockefeller Center, therefore he would be unable to comment on the Lauer story until Thursday when he addressed it it in his Closer Look segment. He commented that when Lauer interviewed Bill O'Reilly after his firing he "could've easily just been talking to a mirror" and added, "As a general rule, if you’re giving someone a dildo at work, you’re the dildo at work.”
Meyers also commented on the report that Lauer would identify the female co-hosts he would like to sleep with while playing the quiz game "Fuck, Marry, Kill" Meyers said, "I don’t know who you said you’d marry in those conversations, but I do know you killed your career and fucked yourself."
Meyers joked about the report of a secret button in Lauer's office that allowed him to lock his door.
"Let me address anyone who works in the button installing business if I may. Nobody wants a button under their desk for a non-evil reason. No one’s ever said I need a button under my desk that will release kittens for when my interns are feeling blue," said Meyers. "If someone asks you to install a button under their desk just nod and then report it to the police."
"Where are men getting this idea that just standing there in your underwear is irresistible to the ladies?" he added about the buildup of ongoing sexual harassment claims. "Remember in seventh grade gym when you were terrified to be seen in your underwear because you looked ridiculous? That was the right way to feel about that. So everybody please put your pants on. We’re in enough trouble without half the government Porky pigging it."
Over at Comedy Central’s The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, the host was quick to comment on Charlie Rose and Mark Halperin’s “new cellmate,” as Klepper called it. Klepper played a video of Andy Cohen interviewing Katie Couric, where she admitted that Lauer’s most annoying habit is that he “pinches” her on her rear.
“Did you catch that? It’s subtle,” Klepper said. “Granted, a little pitch on the ass was just a high-five in the 1950 2013s.” Klepper also called Lauer’s alleged acts of gifting sex-toys as “inappropriate,” then joking that Lauer asked Amazon’s Alexa to return the “back massagers.”
Speaking with blogger Niccole Thurman, Klepper and Thurman joked that Lauer’s firing is coincidental, for it occurred one day after North Korea fired a missile. “This is his escape plan,” Klepper joked. Adding that if sexual predators were to escape, it would be disheartening to “Imagine a post-apocalyptic future where the world is run entirely by sexual predators."