this week in late night

Late Night Makes Crisis Jokes for Crisis Times

Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. Photo: Comedy Central

It’s a shame that Donald Trump’s stupid and misguided stunt got in the way of two of Hollywood’s best stupid and misguided stunts: The Golden Globes and the cavalcade of thirsty dumb-dumbs that is any Bachelor premiere. What I wouldn’t give to be writing up the best tributes to the Fiji Water Girl! (Corden got her for a cameo, so he clearly won.) Busy Philipps started her Wednesday night show by talking about her period, possibly a late-night first. Andy Samberg guested on both NBC shows to plug Brooklyn Nine-Nine and it was fun as hell. But I can’t talk about any of that because the media caves to Trump’s stunts. And talk shows comment on the media, and I comment on talk shows. So we’re left with dreck. At least Colbert got real silly with it.

Beer puns are exactly what this moment in history deserves. Puns are extremely dumb, and this shutdown is extremely dumb. The country is locked in a stalemate because Trump can never let himself look vulnerable. Have you ever noticed that when he tries to correct his frequent flubs, he does it by saying “[wrong word] and [correct word],” never just admitting he misspoke? He can’t even admit he’s wrong in that small of a moment. Truly this is the month of men who refuse to apologize. On a totally unrelated note, Kevin Hart was continued his non-apology tour on Colbert and compared himself to Shrek, I think? Something about apologies being like an onion. Maybe he’s allergic to both. Point is, we need to stop giving dudes chance after chance to display growth and just move on to other matters.

For example, Kimmel is putting the rhetorical emphasis on how the shutdown affects normal people. There’s a certain amount of dissecting Trump’s speech, but every night Kimmel is also giving a different furloughed worker a job. A prison guard played the tambourine in Kimmel’s band, a firefighter stood in for Guillermo, and so forth. Kimmel often makes the best countermoves on late night. He spins brilliantly, and he could have had quite the career in PR.

The Daily Show zeroed in on what could happen if Trump actually declared a state of emergency: deploying the military within our borders, turning off the internet, and freezing bank accounts. As Trevor Noah pointed out, that would really mess up celebs’ Instagram sponsored posts. Also, the president can declare stuff emergencies whenever, for whatever? Noah said that Trump is like a black light, in that he’s showing America where the stains already were. It’s always nice when someone acknowledges that America’s problems didn’t start with this administration. (For example, how Andy Samberg did at the Golden Globes. But we’re not dissecting the Globes this week, we’re regurgitating Trump’s talking points and making fun of the way he talks while barely rebutting what he says.)

Fallon just dissected the president’s speech. There was no forwarding of the conversation. However, he was the only host I saw go after Trump’s very first flub of Tuesday’s address. In his first sentence, Trump added an extra syllable to “I’m speaking to you,” so that it either sounded like he said “I’m misspeaking to you,” or as Fallon thought, “I’m a-speakin’ to you,” à la everyone’s favorite plumbers Mario Mario and Luigi Mario. Jumping on the minutiae is tired at this point, but that one could have been clocked by more people. Also, it seems like Fallon took time over the break to hone his Trump impression. It’s more guttural than it used to be, more in the back of the throat. Hopefully Fallon will continue to hone his impression until Trump inevitably shuts down all communication using his emergency powers.

Late Night Makes Crisis Jokes for Crisis Times