Late night was not as festive as it could have been this week. First Halloween “post”-COVID? There should have been ghosts and ghoulies aplenty. But late night kept most of its scares in the headlines as the Build Back Better bill became a zombie of its former self. Full Frontal did do an entire themed episode on the American funeral business, which should be saluted as useful information and a fun way to get into the creepy-crawly spirit. But more shows this week were interested in doing extended-warranty jokes about the lost hiker that ignored calls from rescuers because he didn’t recognize the number. Some news stories seem designed as monologue fodder. Stephen Colbert did a warranty joke during “Meanwhile,” and Seth Meyers did one during his Tuesday night monologue. Desus and Mero addressed the story but insisted that if anyone is trying to call you, they’re actually either bill collectors or the killer from Scream. A spooky twist! Here’s who made us laugh most during this most frightening of weeks.
5. Dulcé Sloan Sits in on Headlines
Daily Show correspondent Dulcé Sloan joined Trevor Noah to cover the headlines Wednesday night. It was nice seeing someone join Noah in the studio. The show still doesn’t have an audience, and the correspondents have been mostly filing remote segments away from the studio. The Daily Show works best when the crew is a unified front of fake news-getters. Noah and Sloan covered the annual “people want to give your kids drugs” stories, Joe Manchin trying to reframe paying taxes as patriotic, and the jerk surgeon general of Florida who refused to wear a mask when talking to a state Senator undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Noah would tell his prepared jokes, then Sloan would pop off. It’s a good format, and they should do it again.
4. Drew Barrymore Loves Questlove’s Glasses
Drew Barrymore played a fun (slightly Halloweeny) game on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The show created tableaux vivants, which only one participant could see at a time. They then had to explain the tableau to the other person without saying certain words. You know, catchphrase rules. Barrymore was extremely Barrymore throughout, reacting wonderfully to both the guessing and beholding of these incredible vignettes. But the best part was when she first complimented Questlove on the color of his glasses, then explained that she notices color more than most people because she has a cosmetics company. She’s always noticing opacity, apparently? Wonderful.
3. The Late Late Show Plugs Hornytees.biz
I beat this drum every dang week, but The Late Late Show is pure chaos. It’s like they’re trying to get pulled from the air. On Wednesday night, James Corden checked in with writer Nate Fernald about his side hustle, hornytees.biz. The website sells shirts with various generic T-shirt sayings but with a twist — a key word is replaced in each phrase with the word horny. Corden worried advertising would get on his ass for plugging an apparel line that didn’t go through ad sales, but not to worry: Fernald reported on Thursday night that after his business was given a national platform, he’d only sold stuff to three people, one of whom turned out to be in Reggie Watts’s band. The reach? She’s not great. But the laughs, they’re doing just fine.
2. The Kid Mero Is a Mathematician
It is so good to have Desus & Mero back. This warm-up session was in many ways a typical outing. The boys demanded slashfic of themselves from their audience and discussed Pablo Escobar’s cocaine hippos — a normal day at the office. But Mero was just so charming. He insisted the fic be true to life, a.k.a. “very hairy,” and had trouble remembering how many days are in a year. Winking at the camera, he sarcastically called himself a mathematician after thinking a year is approximately 100 days. We need this rambunctious energy in late night all 100 days of the year.
1. Bill Murray Brings His Own Translators
Bill Murray was in full sicko mode on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday night. He Zoomed in from … somewhere with his legs in some sort of compression machine. He had two translators on either side of him to translate Kimmel’s questions into languages neither he nor Kimmel speak in order to make the show more “international.” And he kinda sorta confirmed that he’s in the next Ant-Man movie. “They’re making a movie. Paul Rudd plays Ant-Man; Evangeline Lilly plays the Wasp; Michael Douglas, I forget his name in the movie, and Michelle Pfeiffer — they’re all in the movie,” he said. “But I am not at liberty to talk about it.” It’s comforting to know that no matter how old Murray gets, he will always be a little shit.
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