this week in late night

We Truly Needed This Puppy-Filled Week in Late Night

Glenn Close on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Photo: NBC

Have you ever seen Glenn Close covered in puppies? It’s joyous yet jarring — maybe because she had to pretend to hate dogs as Cruella de Vil in the live-action 101 Dalmations. She alternates between cooing sweet nothings to the animals and cackling like an evil witch. She even murmured to her l’il doggo charges that they would make an excellent fur coat. Close knows how to do a callback.

Close joined Finn Wolfhard on The Tonight Show this week in a game of “Pup Quiz.” For every dog-related question answered correctly, Wolfhard or Close got a Goldendoodle puppy with a ludicrous full name. “They’re all newscaster puppies,” said Jimmy Fallon as an NBC page passed yet another puppy to Wolfhard. “So that was Rhonda Jiparski and Chip Gibbons.” Almost as good as seeing Glenn Close covered in puppies is seeing puppies taken away from Finn Wolfhard. “I’m sorry!!!” he screamed at Chip Gibbons but also probably at God.

Dog stunts abounded on late night this week. On Late Night With Seth Meyers, Taylor Schilling showed off her French bulldog that can maybe talk. Apparently whatever you say to Tank, the puppy of Piper, she attempts to repeat it like some sort of canine Yak Bak. Schilling even brought a video.

And on The Late Late Show, James Corden explored the inner life of dogs with sunglasses. “Lemme talk to you about this guy,” he said as he held up a picture of a dog in sunglasses and a leopard print hat. “This guy hasn’t seen a decent Met Ball since 1999.”

Bill Hader once said that right before he went onstage for his first Vincent Price sketch, Lorne Michaels looked at him and asked, “I like this, but why now?” It is a question I ask myself often. Why do a Vincent Price sketch decades after the man’s death? Why a week of Quality Dog Content? In the case of Bill Hader, the time had come for a sketch that acts as a Hollywood Babylon companion, reintroducing the children to the drunk/pill-addled stars of yore. Olds like to think their culture was classier than the TMZ era, but celebrities have always been horror shows. They just used to be better at covering it up.

But this week with the dogs, I can’t fully explain. Trump is on vacation, but there have still been plenty of tweets to dissect. Everyone got a “wonderful son” joke in, and we’re all very proud. And many of the Cabinet underlings are releasing pet projects. Sessions has his Religious Liberty Task Force (which Colbert covered), the new EPA head is continuing to roll back regulations on coal (which Seth Meyers checked in on), and Pence unveiled the Space Force (which Full Frontal wrote an anthem for).

There was also the news that we may have missed our last chance to stop the final catastrophic descent into global warming. Kimmel did a fun bit about trying to convince Trump to give even one shit about the planet. But it’s hard to get anyone to give a shit about the planet. Notoriously hard. When faced with forces one cannot easily surmount, it’s easier to just look at a cute dog. A pupper, a doggo, a thing that will always smile at us because we control its food.

The world is tonally confusing. It’s that episode of Orange Is the New Black where they go swimming, or the lawn mower episode of Mad Men. Stuff just happens, bad stuff crammed right next to the good. We had a bunch of cute dogs because we needed a bunch of cute dogs, and because Alyssa Milano’s son thinks that Trump banned unicorns for being too free. Alyssa Milano talked about her dogs with Seth Meyers, by the way. And the fact that her 3-year-old daughter has been to enough protests to do the “this is what democracy looks like” chant. Cool. But can we get back to the dogs?

We Truly Needed This Puppy-Filled Week in Late Night