×
last night on late night
October 19, 2018

The presumed murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudis is probably the big story of the week, Stephen Colbert told Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Thursday's Late Show. "What do you make of the president's response so far?" "Pathetic," said Brzezinski. "A complete embarrassment," Scarborough concurred. "We now are basically selling out our interests nationwide, our values, and who we are as a nation, for money."

"Listen, we need nothing from Saudi Arabia," Scarborough said, not their money, not their oil. "These people took a Washington Post columnist, a Virginia resident who has two American children, and sawed him up while he was alive for criticizing a Saudi leader in The Washington Post." The U.S. has aligned itself with some problematic regimes, and "we had to turn a blind eye to some things that we shouldn't have turned a blind eye to. It always catches up to us in the end," Scarborough said. "We can do better," and that requires voting. Regardless of your party affiliation, he argued, "you have to agree that Donald Trump needs to be checked."

Colbert switched to a different election. Scarborough and Brzezinski listed Joe Biden, John Kerry, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as "reasonable" Democratic hopefuls for 2020, and when Colbert asked if any Republican will primary Trump, Scarborough said yes they would, but the won't have to. "I don't think Donald Trump's going to run for re-election," he predicted. "He's gonna cash out."

"I think that would be a smart thing for him to do," Colbert said, seriously, but "I don't want it to happen" because "it's important that the voters of America have an opportunity to say, 'Oops, my bad, we made a mistake there,' and correct themselves, and if Donald Trump doesn't run, he takes away that corrective action of history and therefore his presidency is whole and unjudged." Watch below. Peter Weber

October 19, 2018

Stephen Colbert spent a good two minutes discussing the new self-lubricating condoms on Thursday's Late Show before gracefully pivoting to the latest development with white supremacy. "White supremacists are chugging milk because they want to draw attention to a genetic trait known to be more common in white people than others — the ability to digest lactose as adults," he explained. "Because for white supremacists, lactose is their only form of tolerance."

"Now, I know what you're saying — you're saying, 'Stephen, no one is stupid enough to be proud of drinking milk,'" Colbert said, but the pictures don't lie. And yes, he had pictures. "Pretty exciting stuff, but please move over milk, because toxic masculinity has a new favorite drink, and it's grape juice," he said, drawing attention to Welch's new ad campaign. "That's right: Men! Grape juice is no longer just a reward for kids sitting through a religious ceremony," Colbert joked. "Well, Welch's isn't the only company looking to seem more macho. We also got a sneak peek at an ad campaign for another childhood favorite that just got manned up." The fake ad features a very manly Scott Adsit (30 Rock).

The Late Show also circled back to Colbert's mincing of televangelst Pat Robertson for saying one grisly murder by the Saudi government isn't worth blowing up lucrative American arms sales. And you can watch that update of The Ten Commandments below. Peter Weber

October 18, 2018

Voter suppression is an issue across the United States, but the most egregious example is in Georgia, and Trevor Noah on Thursday's Daily Show made a suggestion that might just turn things around.

The governor's race in the state is extremely close, between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. Kemp happens to be the secretary of state, overseeing elections and voter registration, and Georgia has a law where voter registrations must match exactly to DMV and Social Security information. If not, the registration is put on hold. "It's funny how this happens with voting, but it never stops the IRS," Noah said. "The IRS is never like, 'Oh we have 'Trevok Noah,' I guess you don't have to pay taxes this year.' No, they'd be like, 'Hey, Trevor Noah, you misspelled your name dumbass, and you owe us $20,000.'"

Georgia's population is approximately 32 percent black, and a list of voter registrations on hold is nearly 70 percent black. "Well, well, well, my old friend racism, I've been expecting you," Noah said. You don't have to say who you're targeting to target someone, he added, "you just have to know which rules are likely to hit them the most." If he wanted to block white people from voting, he said, all he'd have to do is say "no pumpkin spice lattes in the voting booth."

In order to ensure that they can vote, Noah suggests that every black person in the United States register as a Republican. "Just say you're gonna vote red," he said, but do whatever you want once you've got a ballot. "I guarantee you, if the GOP thinks that black people are voting for them, they will make sure that your vote counts. They're going to be waving Trayvons into the voting booth like a third base coach." Watch the video — which uses Kanye West's love of the MAGA hat to prove Noah's point — below. Catherine Garcia

October 17, 2018

Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson just "went on a podcast and explained how the real victim of our divided nation is his dining options," Stephen Colbert said, unsympathetically, on Tuesday's Late Show, playing the audio of Carlson complaining about people yelling obscenities at him when he goes out to eat. "Come on, somebody yelling 'f--- you!' doesn't ruin a meal. In fact, I think it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it." But "good news, there's still one establishment Tucker frequents," Colbert said. "Naturally, I thought it was Extremely White Castle, but I was wrong. Turns out, it's a restaurant that caters just to him." The Late Show has the commercial.

The Late Show also had a theory on what happened to a rabid raccoon that was terrorizing Washington. And you can watch that below. Peter Weber

October 9, 2018

First lady Melania Trump is back in Washington, D.C., after a solo visit to Africa, and her five-day trip wasn't entirely uncontroversial — in Kenya she drew criticism for wearing a colonial-looking pith helmet on a safari. The helmet's connotations of European exploitation of Africans "is probably something someone should have mentioned to her before they put it on her head," Jimmy Kimmel suggested on Monday's Kimmel Live.

In Egypt, Trump said she wanted to talk about what she did in Africa, not what she wore, and Kimmel was a little less sympathetic here. "You can't go around Africa dressed like you're on the cover of the L.L. Bean catalog and then be surprised when someone mentions it," he said. "This is Melania's first solo trip overseas, and she really seemed to enjoy herself. In fact, just for the sake of comparison, we made a video using footage of Melania here and Melania there." The contrast in the clips they chose is pretty striking. "It's not scientific," Kimmel conceded, "but draw your own conclusions."

Kimmel also had some acerbic birthday wishes for celebrity feud partner Matt Damon, and you can watch that below. Peter Weber

October 4, 2018

On Wednesday afternoon, FEMA sent out its first presidential alert to all cellphones in America. The idea of President Trump being able to text everyone simulateously whenever he wants may have merit, but The Late Show considered the downside.

Seriously, "is there really an emergency so big that everyone in America — people in Hawaii, Florida, Maine, New Mexico — have to hear about it at the exact same time?" Stephen Colbert asked. "What is that big? Is it the death astroid? Is it Thanos?" Apparently it's more along the lines of a nuclear attack or a tsunami, he noted, unpersuaded. "Look, if there's a tsunami, Trump is the last person I want to get a text from. 'Huge wave! Very wet in terms of water. I'll be there with paper towels soon.'"

"But here's the truly frightening thing about this system: Unlike Amber and weather alerts, the presidential alert cannot be turned off," Colbert said. He had a sort of workaround for the iPhone — but don't try it at home.

Jimmy Kimmel Live was on the same page. "The idea of letting President Trump send a text message to every American whenever he wants to may sound like a bad idea, and it is a bad idea," Kimmel said on Wednesday's show. "But what do we do here in Hollywood when we have a bad idea? We make a major motion picture out of it." And you can watch the remarkably realistic trailer below. Peter Weber

October 3, 2018

He didn't have his magic board on Tuesday's Late Show, but NBC News national political correspondent and granular polling analyst Steve Kornacki brought his trademark energy and enthusiasm with him to discuss the 2018 midterms — now only five weeks away — with Stephen Colbert. "The momentum is at a point now, if you're a Democrat, you're going to be severely and I think justifiably disappointed if your party doesn't get back the House," Kornacki said. "I'm not saying this is something that's in the bag for them — they felt that way a couple of years ago, as you may remember — but this is one where, look, they've put everything they have into this, the opportunity's there, they could certainly blow it, but the opportunity's there."

When it comes to the Senate, though, Kornacki agreed with FiveThirtyEight that Democrats have a roughly 30 percent shot at taking the helm. While the Democrats need a net gain of only two seats, they are defending 10 seats in states President Trump won in 2016 — by as much as 42 percentage points, he explained. Kornacki and Colbert then discussed Kornacki's new book, The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism, and he makes a pretty compelling case that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich changed American politics forever — and only for the better if you are a huge fan of political polarization. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 1, 2018

President Trump does not want to talk about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Seth Meyers said on Monday's Late Night, and that's one reason why he held his latest surreal press conference earlier in the day.

Trump was focusing on the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, and when asked about Kavanaugh, he shot down the reporter and scolded her for the question. Meyers played a montage of all the different times Trump was rude to female reporters during the press conference, including when he accused one of "not thinking," leading Meyers to ask his own question. "How much of a sexist dick can you possibly be?" he said, as an image of Kavanaugh appeared on the screen next to him. "It's almost like he saw someone else getting attention for acting like a maniac on TV and thought, 'I could top that.'"

During another point in the press conference, Trump mused that one of his "only good traits" is the fact that he does not drink. "Can you imagine if I had what a mess I'd be?" he said. "I'd be the world's worst." Trump didn't get any argument from Meyers. "What's amazing about that joke is that inherent in the premise is Trump admitting that he already sucks," he said.

Meyers didn't just focus on the press conference, though — he had to poke at Trump for a statement he made during a rally in West Virginia over the weekend, when he said he "fell in love" with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un due to "beautiful letters" he sent. "Man, if you told me I would live to witness a Republican president telling a crowd in West Virginia that he was in love with a North Korean dictator, I would have said, 'I'm sorry buddy, I don't have a dollar and this is my stop.'" Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads