this week in late night

Tooning Out the News Won Late Night This Week

Tooning Out the News. Photo: YouTube

Blame it on all the hosts getting vaxxed, or possibly Aries season, but everybody was dropping some harsh truths on late night this week. During one of John Oliver’s regular appearances on Late Night With Seth Meyers on April 12, the two hosts joked about how Broadway Video head Lorne Michaels 100 percent doesn’t watch the show. Stephen Colbert copped to having never said Trump’s name on the show now that he’s out of office, even making a game out of it. And Andy Cohen let Kenan Thompson steer WWHL, where Thompson made sure Nicole Byer talked about her crazy wallpaper. There was a real spirit of saying the quiet part loud this week on late night. Let’s see who said it loudest.

5. Steve Colbert Gets Power Played

On April 14, Late Show writer Eliana Kwartler did a talking-head segment on the show to discuss the Johnson & Johnson side effects. The segment made many of the same points every late-night show made this week: The percentage of J&J patients with blood clots is way less than for hormonal birth control, not getting a vaccine is still more dangerous, etc. But what really made this segment stand out was that Kwartler called Stephen Colbert “Steve” over and over and over. It was such a power move, and Colbert did not go off script to address it. I think she’s technically the host now, so congrats to Eliana Kwartler.

4. James Corden Reenacts The Crown 

In another extremely loosey-goosey monologue on April 13 from The Late Late Show, James Corden cast his whole crew as members of the royal family. I guess he positioned himself as Prince Charles, because he then went into an extended bit with executive producer Rob Crabbe as Diana, begging James/Charles to be nicer to sponsors: “James, no. You cannot make those jokes about Carl’s Jr., they’ve just made a big integration with the show.” Noted anti-capitalist Reggie Watts was cackling as Corden said (as Princess Crabbe), “I know you think you’re making a show, you’re not. You’re just selling junk food.” What will we do when shows get audiences again, and hosts are no longer doing bits just for their bandleaders?

3. Slide Whistle!

In another writer spotlight moment this week, Conan writer Skyler Higley pitched himself on April 12 as the new Duke of Hastings on Bridgerton. And despite having no British accent or previous TV credits, he’s got my vote. Why? He brought a slide whistle, which are always funny. Like a word that starts with a K, slide whistles add comedy wherever they are found. Higley said he would go on Bridgerton to “make everyone horny with humor,” and a slide whistle — when well slid — can do just that.

2. Desus & Mero Deconstruct Cheaters

On April 11, Desus and Mero went back to their roots and just went off on a viral-video clip. Showtime may be able to do more segments and pull bigger guests than Vice ever did, but the Bodega Boys can still make comedy out of nothing. This time, it was a clip of Cheaters, where host Peter Gunz got attacked by a fella that (in Desus and Mero’s words) looks like Inspector Gadget. “Do you wanna know how Hollywood has ruined me, and my everyday life experience?” asked Desus. “I’m watching these people cheat and I was like, Wow, that’s convenient none of them are wearing any clothing that has logos that can’t be shown on camera. Desus, are you telling us that Cheaters may have some elements of pre-planning? If Cheaters is fake, then what even is real?

1. Tooning Out the News Calls It Like It Sees It

This was a tiny moment in a tiny clip of Tooning Out the News, but I can’t stop thinking about it. Just a nice little moment of actually calling America a “militarized racist police state.” That’s something that maybe only cartoon hosts can get away with. Whether it’s the remove of animation or the freedom that primarily living on streaming provides, Tooning Out the News says the harshest truth in the bluntest way every week.

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Tooning Out the News Won Late Night This Week