this week in late night

Paris Hilton Won Late Night This Week, But Not for the Clip You Think

Photo: Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen

Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, the Paris Hilton–Jimmy Fallon NFT thing was very weird. The environmental impact of blockchain nonsense has been widely discussed as has the fact that the woman who drew these dang apes was paid a “definitely not ideal” rate. But the Fallon and Hilton NFT moment broke out of the late-night bubble for sheer cringe factor, something that usually only happens to James Corden when he’s in a silly costume. This moment between Hilton and Fallon was awkward, but was it unusually awkward for a late-night host setting up a preapproved talking point? Meh.

Late night used to die when the sun came up. The misses were lost to time, and the hits were recycled in Time Life VHS tapes. The first thing I did when Peacock dropped was watch a Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson episode from the ’70s during which Truman Capote goes into great detail describing a murder he’d heard about. It was bone-chilling and uncanny, like that moment in American Gods when Lucy Ricardo asks Shadow if he wants to see her tits. The sloppy setup of Hilton’s NFT ape is resoundingly mid in comparison. But some of late night hit this week! Let’s take a look.

5. Ike Barinholtz lists his credits

Jimmy Kimmel Live! utilizes its location better than any other show. As new announcer Lou Wilson told Vulture, Hollywood Boulevard is always a story. Next door to the Kimmel studios is a swirling vortex of souvenir malarkey. Kimmel’s cousin Sal pulled an unsuspecting newcomer to L.A. into that weird store and made her search for Kristen Bell and Ike Barinholtz in a televised game of hide and seek. Bell, she had heard of. Barinholtz, not so much. Barinholtz made his displeasure known by listing off his credits once he was found. Ever heard of Neighbors? What about Neighbors 2? Ring any bells?!

4. Samantha Bee faces the future

Fuck, man. You know? Midterms are coming up, and that sucks for the makers and consumers of political comedy. There are going to be so many numbers to care about and debates about which polls are representative of what the fuck ever, and as voting rights get eroded, the coverage is just going to get more and more depressing. Sam Bee said what we’re all thinking: This is going to suck. The Succession parody was about a week late (we’ve moved on to slut-shaming the Euphoria teens), but the noise as all the Full Frontal staffers had a tantrum about the midterms was very satisfying and very true to lived experience.

3. Seth Meyers bullies his guest

Seth Meyers is a hoot and a half when he’s got a guest he knows personally. For the entirety of The Good Place creator Mike Schur’s spot, Meyers approached his former SNL co-worker with what can only be described as the energy of a girl teasing the guy she has a crush on. He claimed to have never watched his show because he doesn’t get NBC. He also brought up all their sports rivalries. A sassy good time was had by all.

2. Jackie Kashian explains pronouns

Jackie Kashian has been in the stand-up trenches for God knows how long. She is a road gal and an early adopter of the podcast format, and she displayed her whole deal perfectly on The Late Late Show Monday night. Kashian likes to riff on a theme. Her jokes are full of sentence fragments building to a greater point. This time, the greater point was that nonbinary is a pretty cool nongender to have (or not have, depending on how you enby).

1. Kathy Hilton can’t game

This clip with Andy Cohen, Kathy Hilton, and Paris Hilton somehow had the energy of Seth Meyers and Michael Schur and Truman Capote describing a murder. Cohen explained that past Watch What Happens Live guest Lukas Gage snuck into Paris’s wedding reception, something that stressed out mother and daughter terribly. But they had to act like it was a funny anecdote and not a total violation of what little privacy they have allowed themselves. Then Kathy messed up a WWHL party game so much it seemed like Cohen was going to hit her with a flip-flop. It was weird and funny and secondhand embarrassing in a way only live TV can be. The interaction of late-night host and guest is alchemy. Hilton + Fallon was nothing. Hilton + Hilton + Cohen + Gottmik? That was almost too much.

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Paris Hilton Won Late Night This Week, But Not for the NFTs