this week in late night

Paul Rudd’s Late Night Charm Offensive

This week’s late-night star. Photo: YouTube

Remember when Ron Burgundy appeared on all the straight white late-night shows? That was weird, right? Paul Rudd didn’t run the bases like Will Ferrell, but his appearances on Conan and The Late Late Show With James Corden came shortly after he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! To beat Ferrell/Burgundy’s record, he has to do a basement session with Desus & Mero, and maybe a shotski with Andy Cohen. Rudd’s segments stood out this week not only for their fun, but their genre-breaking. It’s Paul Rudd’s world, everyone else is living in it.

Here’s a roundup of this week’s late-night highlights — which includes, of course, a lot of Paul Rudd.

5. Samantha Bee Explains the Ukraine Conspiracy

As impeachment proceedings ramp up, a lot of late night is focused on the here and now. And rightly so; there’s a lot going on. But Full Frontal took time to explain how the Hunter Biden conspiracy even got started. Peter Schweizer writes insane books that, among other things, claim that Donald Duck is gay and that the Clinton Foundation was influenced by foreign money. Legit outlets give his prattle airtime so they seem unbiased, which is exactly what Schweizer and his news dad Steve Bannon want. While not the hardest hitting, joke-wise, this piece did explain parts of this scandal that even the real news outlets failed to cover properly.

4. Amber Ruffin Explains Lynching to Donald Trump

Amber Ruffin Hive, sound off! When Trump complained that impeachment was akin to lynching, Late Night fans should have known that Ruffin was going to have something to say about it. What Seth Meyers does so brilliantly on his show is cede power to his writers. Everybody gets some shine, and that makes him look even better. Not only does Ruffin get a chance to take a racist to task, Jenny Hagel got to make some fun bloop-blorp noises. Even the camera operators got their moment, racking focus like champs as different people popped in and out of frame.

3. Jimmy Kimmel and the Canoe Boys

When Jimmy Kimmel wanted to hint at Bill Murray being his special paddling buddy on the East River, he mentioned The Life Aquatic. But Murray is a river boy from way back. This isn’t even the first time he’s traversed the waterways of New York. On No Reservations, Murray joined Anthony Bourdain on a jaunt down the Hudson. While this trip with the North Brooklyn Boat Club didn’t have as many references to hard-working sous-chefs, it did have more tequila. So it’s got that going for it.

2. Paul Rudd’s Salute to Underground Cinema

If you’ve ever watched Andy Warhol’s Sleep and thought, I wish this had less dong and more Paul Rudd, then do I have a late-night segment for you! Rather than put Rudd through the rigmarole of a huge choreographed “Plant Man” sketch, James Corden let him take a little nap. Only thing is, the content mill needs something, so they decided to just shoot the nap. The slow TV movement seems to have fallen off since 2016, but I’d still watch hours of Paul Rudd sleeping his ageless sleep.

1. Paul Rudd’s Other Salute to Underground Cinema

Of course Mac and Me was going to be the best clip of the week. It cannot be anything else. McDonald’s paid for an E.T. ripoff, and now Conan O’Brien must suffer eternally for it. As we previously reported, this bit has been going since 2004 and will only get funnier with every repetition. After you binge Living With Yourself, go ahead and watch the MST3K version of Mac and Me, then every time Rudd pranked O’Brien with this evergreen content.

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Paul Rudd’s Late Night Charm Offensive