Late night was caught between events this week. The Late Late Show With James Corden spent most of its week in the post–Super Bowl L.A. Rams glory, giving special time to Von Miller and Aaron Donald. And also on Corden, BAFTA and Oscar campaigning season began with late-night appearances by Adam McKay and Rebecca Hall. Meanwhile, NBC was dark for Olympics coverage. Stephen Colbert gave his fellow Daily Show alum John Oliver his standard-issue Last Week Tonight pre-season-premiere interview as well. It was also a big week for people being suspended from the ceiling. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, new announcer Lou Wilson was suspended upside down, 50 Cent–style, and Louis Weymouth got his prosthetic balls out over the audience as Cupid. All in all, it was a liminal and/or uncanny week in late night. Maybe that’s why the week’s best clips are so weird.
5. Andy Cohen’s Pillow Talk
For someone who doesn’t watch Summer House, this WWHL segment is borderline incomprehensible. Yet it is elevated by Andy Cohen’s completely unhinged delivery of his gossipy questions. He whispers, he intimates, he makes the most upsetting front-facing camera eye contact since that one screengrab of Lenny from The Simpsons. The false intimacy he generates with Ciara Miller is, let’s go ahead and say it, camp.
4. A Father-Son Funk-Off
The chronically online will already know the story of FireCityFunk, a dad’s long-lost funk demo that his son discovered and blasted on TikTok. A youth discovered his dad’s old tape and, through the magic of algorithms, got it played on Spotify almost half a million times. Jimmy Kimmel, fully in his viral-video-capitalizing bag, had FireCityFunk on the show February 16. This is what Kimmel’s show does best: giving randos their 15 minutes.
3. Samantha Bee Argues for Harm Reduction
Apparently the War on Drugs is back? Could’ve sworn drugs recently won that conflict, but oh well. If war with Russia is imminent, why not Reagan’s other most beloved policy failure? Full Frontal reminded us all that the “Just Say No” model of dealing with drugs leads to death and despair across the country — and is also really racist. With D.A.R.E. weighing in on Euphoria, it’s high time someone remind America that harm-reduction models are actually more effective than any abstinence program. Plus Bee got to show off come classic anti-drug PSAs that have only gotten weirder with the passage of time.
2. Jon Batiste Is Puzzled by Paramount
No clip more accurately depicts being in the 2020s content mines than this. Stephen Colbert had the privilege of telling his bandleader Jon Batiste that their parent company has a new name, and Batiste truly didn’t know how to feel. He hadn’t been told that ViacomCBS was Paramount Global now, nor that the change occurred days after everyone at The Late Show finally had their corporate email addresses changed. In the ever-swirling mire of acquisitions and corporate buyouts, it’s the bandleaders who suffer the most.
1. Robert Pattinson Really Robert Pattinsons Out on Kimmel
There’s one other thing that Kimmel does better than anyone else on TV besides give everyday folks a moment on broadcast TV, and that’s give Robert Pattinson space to lie his ass off. Pattinson is a cheeky little fucker who has said so many questionable statements to various press outlets that I was actually able to make a dadaist cut-and-paste poem of all of them. On Kimmel, Pattinson has claimed to live under an arch, be a former hand model, and have jerked off a dog on the set of Good Time. It’s not necessarily that he’s lying, but that his sense of humor is so dry it’s indistinguishable from lying. In this appearance, he claimed that he wanted to wear full drag as Batman, to have tried on every bat suit, and that Tom Holland wore a full Spider-Man suit on the set of a non-Spider-Man movie. Never change, Robert. You a freak.
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