May 10, 2017

It was 2005 on The Late Show Tuesday night, and Stephen Colbert was reliving his last day on The Daily Show, packing up his mug, tangerine iBook, and other era-appropriate props. One by one, former costars Samantha Bee, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms, John Oliver (playing Steve Carrell, because 2005), and Jon Stewart appeared to make anachronistic jokes. "I can't believe you're leaving in the middle of the George W. Bush administration," Bee said. "There's never gonna be another president this good for comedy — I mean, this guy does something ridiculous, like, at least once a month. I know one thing for sure: There is no scenario in which I will ever say, 'God, I wish George W. Bush was president!'"

Stewart ended on a yogurt-infused sitcom-father speech, to cap off the nostalgia.

Colbert sat down with Stewart for a chat that ranged from Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey to Fox News and the FCC's investigation into what Stewart jokingly referred to as Colbert's "potty mouth." Stewart said he wasn't really surprised that Bill O'Reilly kept his job at Fox News for so long. "The place was being run by a guy who was doing the same thing," Roger Ailes, Stewart pointed out. "How could you call in someone who works for you and say, 'This sexual harassment stuff, and the money we're paying out, it's got to stop,' when you're paying out money for sexual harassment?"

He ended with a classic Jon Stewart moment on Colbert's fellatio joke about Trump and Russia. "The things that you say, even if they're crass, or even if they, in some ways, are not respectful enough to the office of the presidency, we can insult, he can injure," he said. "It's the difference between insult and injury, and I, for the life of me, I do not understand why, in this country, we try and hold comedians to a standard we do not hold leaders to. It's bizarre."

Then the gang got back together for a View-like walk down memory lane, with clips of the early Daily Show reports, including a harrowing tale Colbert told about escaping the Ku Klux Klan at a cross-burning.

Bee almost topped that with a story about a Florida politician who said homosexuality made him nauseated but then started planning a threesome, and Colbert closed things out with Stewart interviewing him as Rev. Al Sharpton in 2001. Peter Weber

May 9, 2017

Last week, Seth Meyers reminded House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) how much he complained about the Affordable Care Act being pushed through too quickly in 2009, only to change his tune in 2017 when it was his Republican Party trying to pass a health-care bill. This went over in Ryan's office about as well as expanding Medicaid to cover more poor people, and aides quickly dashed off an email to Late Night, refuting Meyers' points.

"Unlike Republicans and their health-care bill, we actually read the whole email," Meyers said Monday night, adding that he "genuinely appreciated" hearing from Ryan's team, and announced there is a standing offer for Ryan to appear on the show. That being said, Meyers did not agree with the statements made in the email, starting with Ryan's office claiming the bill was not rushed. "The bill has been online for a month, went through four House committees, and the only change this week was a simple three-page amendment," the office said. This was misleading for several reasons, Meyers said, not least because many lawmakers changed their mind on the bill because of the amendment. "A lot can happen in three pages," Meyers said. "That's like saying, 'I made you a cappuccino with hot water, sugar, espresso, and one other ingredient.' You would say, 'Well, what's the other ingredient, Mr. Cosby?'"

Ryan's office also had a problem with Meyers saying the bill takes from the poor to give to the rich by enacting tax cuts for the wealthy while cutting $880 billion from Medicaid, and declaring that the bill's new provision letting states waive ObamaCare's ban on pre-existing conditions makes it even worse than the previous version. You can find out how Meyers responded in the video below. Catherine Garcia

May 5, 2017

Video footage from 2009 is coming back to haunt House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and Seth Meyers was only too happy to share it on Thursday's Late Night.

Back when it was ObamaCare that was being voted on, Ryan shouted from the rooftops that the bill was being pushed through too quickly, it wasn't bipartisan, and it was "less about health-care policy and more about ideology." Funny story — that's exactly what's happening with the GOP's American Health Care Act today, Meyers said, with Ryan engaging in all of the things he called Democrats out for doing eight years ago. This revised bill has had no public hearings, studies, or a Congressional Budget Office score, and somehow manages to be more unpopular than the Republicans' previous bill. "To get the bill passed today, Republicans added new things that made it even worse," Meyers said. "They basically took an oatmeal raisin cookie and added cilantro."

The CBO found that the first bill would raise premiums for older, poor Americans while giving the wealthiest a huge tax cut, and Meyers believes President Trump "won't be able to hide from the ramifications." After mocking Republicans for acting "absolutely giddy" at a quickly arranged event celebrating step one of a much-larger operation, Meyers had a warning. "Everything that Paul Ryan claimed to hate about the ObamaCare process in 2009, he's doing now," he said. "Republicans are lying through their teeth about the impact of the bill on premiums and pre-existing conditions, and hoping no one will catch them because there's no CBO score, and until last night, there was no text. Americans are being conned, and there will be consequences for the people doing the conning." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

May 3, 2017

During a congressional hearing on Tuesday, lawmakers grilled airline executives on what is going on in their industry and ways they can change following several terrible events in recent weeks — people being dragged off planes, flight attendants and passengers getting into brawls, every single meal served on every single flight.

On Tuesday's Late Night, Seth Meyers examined what 40 years of government deregulation has done to the airline industry, and it's not pretty. Air travel was once exclusively for the wealthy and privileged, Meyers said, but after former President Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act in 1978, it removed government control of prices and routes, and tickets were no longer artificially high. This was good for travelers who didn't have a lot of money and needed to get places fast, but the cheaper fares also made it so the airlines had to come up with ways to make up for lost income — the seats became smaller, for example, and the food became inedible or nonexistent. "Remember the Mile High Club?" Meyers asked. "There was a time where people actually wanted to have sex in an airplane bathroom."

Experts say that now, companies don't have any fear of repercussion, and Meyers agreed. "Let's be honest," he said. "The main reason airline travel is so awful is that we the customers are okay with it being awful, as long as the ticket prices are low enough. If there was an airline that offered $50 round-trip tickets to any destination in America as long as the pilot could open-hand slap one passenger of his choosing in the face, that airline would never have an empty seat." The solution to out-of-control airlines will likely have to come from the government, Meyers said, but don't expect anything soon; President Trump told U.S. airline executives he will "roll back burdensome regulations" and also promised to privatize air traffic control, and has already paused a proposal that would require more disclosure on passenger fees. Find out more about deregulation and how the skies became so unfriendly in the video below. Catherine Garcia

April 28, 2017

"Obama's back, and so are the haters," Trevor Noah said on Thursday's Daily Show. The former president is taking a lot of heat for giving a speech to Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald for a fat paycheck, but Noah wasn't buying the outrage. "Obama's getting $400,000 to be a keynote speaker," he said. "He's probably going to give a very important policy speech entitled 'The Four Boats I'm Going to Buy.' Now look, I know that people may say that it weakens public trust when politicians cash in immediately after leaving office, but at least Obama waited until he left office, unlike [President Trump], who's using the White House like an ATM machine. And yeah, don't get me wrong — I agree that the system must change, but it doesn't change with Obama. People are like 'Why doesn't he not accept the money?' No, f— that!"

"So the first black president must also be the first one to not take money afterwards?" Noah asked. "No, no, no, no, no, my friend. He can't be the first of everything. F— that, and f— you." Go ahead, he added, "make that money, Obama." Noah did start to make a broader point: "Instead of focusing on how Obama can make so much money from Wall Street for a speech, maybe we should be asking why Wall Street has so much money to give people for a speech: the loose regulations, the intensive lobbying and favorable — you know, the truth is, we can't get into all of this, there's too much, there's too much else that's going on that we have to talk about today."

He spent the next four minutes on quick takes of two events: Ann Coulter vs. Berkeley ("they should just let her speak, because you realize she doesn't actually want to speak, she wants to be stopped from speaking") and the odd all-Senate White House field trip to be briefed on North Korea, which turned out to be a mostly substance-free dog-and-pony show. "Donald Trump just called them there," Noah said, laughing, "and I wouldn't be surprised if just brought them to be, like: 'Did you guys know there are two Koreas? It's a lot more complicated than we thought, folks, a lot more complicated, a lot more.'" There's some slightly NSFW language. If that doesn't bother you, watch below. Peter Weber

April 27, 2017

On Tuesday night, Pope Francis gave a surprise TED Talk to the annual TED conference in Vancouver, Skyping it in from Rome. "I think it is impressive for an 80-year-old to set up his own webcam," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "It's not like he can get help from his grandkids." After ribbing the pope a bit more, Colbert teed up the main feature. "A lot of people were surprised that the pope decided to do this, but the truth is, religious figures actually have a long history of giving TED Talks," he said.

What followed was a pitch-perfect TED Talk from "Jesus of Nazareth, Carpenter/Savior." "I come here today as a simple carpenter, who also happens to be the son of God," Jesus began. "But I didn't get here today through nepotism." Unlike Pope Francis, Jesus has visual aids and cool party tricks/miracles. "First up, we've all been there, right?" he said. "All you've got are a few loaves and couple fishes, and you have to feed a crowd of thousands. But what if I told you that you can do it! Now, I know what you're thinking: Geez, me? No, Geez-us." Just wait until he gets to the bottled water. Peter Weber

April 21, 2017

The marketing people at Starbucks have apparently decided that no publicity is bad publicity, judging by the product they rolled out Wednesday. "Starbucks has introduced a new drink called the Unicorn Frappuccino," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show, "because the name Sugary Affront to God was taken." The colorful new concoction is made with pink powder, mango syrup, and a sour blue drizzle, and it changes color and flavor as you mix it around. It also seems tailor-made for mockery.

"This was Starbucks' attempt to take over social media, they say, with a drink that's made to be Instagrammed," Colbert said. "Well, I wanted to know how it actually tastes, so we went and got one." He brought it on stage. "Mmmm, oh, I wish I was dead," he said. "Tastes like I French kissed Tinkerbell." There was nothing wrong with kissing Tinkerbell, he assured everyone, though maybe that was the Frappuccino talking.

On Thursday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel called the drink an "abomination" and "the first Frappuccino that looks like a windbreaker from the '80s." But he did more than just spitball. "It's only available through April 23, or until someone dies from drinking it, whichever comes first," he said. "And if the Unicorn Frappuccino doesn't strike your fancy — and you would think it would — Starbucks has another new item designed specifically to suit our troubled time." After watching his fake Starbucks ad, a rainbow of fruit flavors may not sound so bad. Watch below. Peter Weber

April 19, 2017

"When I saw your Donald Trump for the first time," Stephen Colbert told Alec Baldwin on Tuesday's Late Show, "I think, like a lot of people, when I saw your Trump I went 'Oh, thank God — somebody has cracked that nut.' Do you like doing it?" Baldwin didn't really answer directly. "Well, it's amazing," he said. "It's kind of eerie, actually. More than anything I've ever done, people come up to me and say something on the streets," usually "thank you." His 3-year-old daughter keeps his ego in check, he assured Colbert.

"What's your hook-in?" Colbert asked. "Like, what's the thing that you have to do? Is it your face? Is it the hair? Is it the hands? Is it the voice?" Baldwin said it's the face, crediting the people at Saturday Night Live with helping him get into character, after soliciting his participation, which only happened because a movie fell through. "It's totally a caricature," he explained. "You know, you just pick a few things," like cocking an eyebrow and contorting your face "like you're trying to suck the chrome off the fender of a car." He demonstrated, to the delight of the audience.

"Now, Trump isn't your first sort of questionable president you have experience with," Colbert said. He brought out a letter Richard Nixon had written to Baldwin upon his loss for George Washington University student body president, and after both comedians trotted out their Nixon impersonations, Colbert asked Baldwin if he would run for office again. Baldwin said no. "Entertainers can be presidents now," Colbert reminded him, to no avail. "Trump, it's not going to swing back," Baldwin said. "It's not going to open the door for nontraditional candidates." The pattern is crazy, safe, crazy, safe, he said, so the next president will probably be a governor. Watch below. Peter Weber

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