this week in late night

Bernie Sanders and His AirPods Won Late Night This Week

Senator Sanders rocking air pods. Photo: Youtube

Did you hear that? That was me sighing heavily, crossing off yet another day on the quarantine calendar. As we hurtle towards toward Easter Sunday with no end in sight, late night continues to be a solid source of both news and entertainment. In a once divisive industry, it’s heartwarming to see late-night hosts work together, whether its appearing on each other’s programs, or joining forces to produce One World: Together at Home, a three-network, star-studded COVID-19 relief special hosted by Stephen Colbert and the Jimmys Fallon and Kimmel, airing Saturday, April 18. It’s dark days, for sure, but as Winnie and Franny as my witness, we will get to the other side of this. With that, here are the top late-night clips of the week.

5. Taraji P. Henson Has Technical Difficulties on The Tonight Show: At Home Edition

This is, without a doubt, the most honest Zoom call I’ve seen on television to date. Empire star Taraji P. Henson joined Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show: At Home Edition, and the connection was … spotty at best. Everything started out fine with Henson chatting about Empire reaching 100 episodes, her line of hair-care products, and her dog K-Ball before things began to fall apart. While explaining to Fallon how she stays calm while under quarantine, Henson broke out her Tibetan bowls and the connection grew worse. “I got blue balls,” a blurry Henson said showing off her blue meditating balls as the sound begins to cut in and out. Eventually, the screen froze on Henson mid-sentence, hilariously waving her blue balls in the air with Fallon laughing in the background. As someone whose Zooms always freeze at the most inopportune, least flattering times, I really felt for her in that moment. Henson had no idea that she was frozen and never got to finish her sentence. Blue balls, indeed.

4. Tracy Morgan Describes Foreplay Under Quarantine

You don’t name fish. I learned this during perennial funnyman and The Last O.G. star Tracy Morgan’s interview with fellow former SNL cast member Seth Meyers on Late Night. Morgan, a connoisseur of marine biology due to his great-great-grandfather “Jacques Cousteau-Morgan,” was truly unhinged in the best possible way during the interview. He described how he and his wife role-play as a scientist and a young maiden in the age of COVID-19 (masks on for intercourse, masks off for foreplay, if you were wondering). A bewildered Meyers asked Morgan if he plays the piano, referencing a grand piano just behind Morgan. Morgan’s reply? “Do I look like the son of the bass player from Earth, Wind & Fire? That’s for looks, brother.” At some point, Tracy just flat-out ignored Meyers’s questions and said whatever he wanted, shouting at the camera like your dad on his first Zoom call. At one point, Tracy claimed that he has four kids on the way because he’s “old school” and has had sex once a week under quarantine. Congrats to the scientist and the young maiden!

3. Desus and Mero Refuse to Open a Zoom Megachurch

Have you ever listened to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and thought, Well, this is nice, but I wish it had more Jesus in it? Well, Desus & Mero has got you covered. On Thursday, the duo rightfully took churches to task for staying open amid the global pandemic. “God’s not answering your prayers if you’re praying while wearing flip-flops,” said Desus, backed up by an insane collection of red sneakers, adding to his authority on the subject of footwear. “God said ‘If I can see your toe hairs you will be banished to purgatory forever,’” adds Mero. Look it up, it’s in the Bible. They then went on to accurately read a reverend for having big youth-pastor energy and broke into a Jesus-friendly version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps.” “Wait / Jesus loves you like I love you,” riffed Desus. If they had played that song at my church growing up, maybe I would have paid more attention in Sunday school and I’d actually know what “Palm Sunday” is.

2. John Oliver Owns OAN

With coronavirus posing an invisible threat, it’s nice to have something concrete to hate during these anxiety-ridden times filled with existential dread. Thankfully, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver provided us with a very real, very visible source to focus some of our anger: One America News Network. OAN Network is a far-right news network that, among other things, is beloved by the president and has recently tried to compare deaths by COVID-19 to women getting abortions. Not on John Oliver’s watch. As usual, Oliver used his wit to succinctly point out the utter ridiculousness of comparing the two. “If only one of them is growing exponentially every single day, that should probably be the one that we focus on right the fuck now,” said Oliver. “But, by all means, come back to that question once abortions become involuntary and wildly contagious.” I’ve gotta say, it’s incredibly refreshing — almost, dare I say, inspiring to have a new enemy at a time like this.

Bernie Sanders and His AirPods Chat With Stephen Colbert

Oh, Bernard, we hardly knew ye. Okay, that’s actually not true. We absolutely knew him and many loved him, which is why Bernie’s announcement this week that he was suspending his presidential campaign was a tough blow. That’s why his interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show was so important this week: It reminded the nation that although Sanders is no longer in the running to be America’s Next Top Democratic Presidential Candidate, he’s still staunchly devoted to enacting the policies that would help create a better, more equitable America.

“We have asked the American people a simple question: Why?” said Sanders. “Why do we have so much income and wealth inequality? Why do we have three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of America and a half a million people sleeping out on the streets tonight? Why are we the only major country not to guarantee health care as a human right?” During the interview, Sanders cheekily avoided endorsing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden (although he did say he would do everything in his power to stop Trump from getting elected, so … that’s a start). The best part of the whole thing? Sanders adorably rocking AirPods the entire time like the trendy millennial he is at heart.

Bernie Sanders and His AirPods Won Late Night This Week