this week in late night

James Corden, Auteur Director, Won Late Night This Week

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Another week, another senseless shooting. The fed-up energy is mounting, in the general public and in late-night hosts. What I found interesting about this time was the divide in how the hosts expressed that resentment. Seth Meyers discussed how the job of making jokes during a national tragedy changed after he had kids, while Jimmy Kimmel made an appeal to the feelings of Senate obstructionists like Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell. Kimmel believes there is a shred of humanity in those guys that actually feels bad about these shootings. Now, Kimmel has played basketball with Cruz. Maybe he knows a more personable … person, a more humane human under the shitty beard. Samantha Bee specifically said these bitches don’t care; we cannot speak to the hearts of people we don’t know, we can only comment on their actions. Anyway …

5. Samantha Bee Notices a New Pattern

What made Full Frontal’s coverage of the latest school shooting useful (besides the cathartic anger) was the identification of a new pat phrase that folks on the right have started using. “Thoughts and prayers” is out; “horrified and heartbroken” is in. Make a note of it.

4. Drew Barrymore Leaves a Voice Memo

Drew Barrymore is the GOAT of late-night chaos. She face-planted the first time she was on Carson, she got ’em out for Dave Letterman, and she sent a chaotic voice message to Seth Meyers when she had to cancel on him. Some time earlier this month, Barrymore was scheduled for an appearance on Late Night. Alas, Drew came down with bronchitis and had to beg off. But she felt the only classy way to do so was to leave a raspy, arch voice message. Meyers played a snippet and it was … a lot. Like she was the stereotypical woman from Thinner who curses the guy to get thinner. Still chaos after all these years, just a different varietal.

3. Ziwe Takes Fracking Broad City to Task

Ziwe season two has been so fun. The sketch material has leaned more into a confrontational, Wonder Showzen space, which has helped the interviews feel more a part of the proceedings. Everyone is angry, everyone is high fashion. The final product is so much more united. Ilana Glazer was an appropriate amount of contrite in her interview, making specific apologies for the memefication of “yas queen” and pushing back on Ziwe’s narrative when she felt it was appropriate. Also, Ziwe is 100 percent right that we all get a chance to invoke Stupid Rights whenever we want to be too oblivious to be stressed out about any given problem. Your personal anxiety attack won’t single-handedly solve anything. Just get dumb for a sec!

3. Desus & Mero & Jerrod

Everybody just respects one another so much in this clip. More than anything else, this interview gives greenroom energy, the vibe when all the bon vivants are performing for each other, overlapping jokes and trying to one-up the other. Another way it’s like most comedy greenrooms is how the conversation devolves into porn crit, but done in a respectful way. Finally, on this last week of Ellen DeGeneres having a show, you should watch this clip to hear the joke that got cut from daytime TV. Save that shit for late night.

1. James Corden and Harry Styles Make Movie Magic

I truly hope some kid sees this and falls in love with the art of filmmaking. James Corden took Harry Styles to a random apartment in Brooklyn and made a music video on the fly. Do I believe this whole setup was completely organic, and that no moment of this video shoot was preplanned? I do not. But music videos are the only good format of video art (sorry, Matthew Barney), and Making the Video was a pinnacle of Western culture. If you show me a peek behind the curtain, I am yours. And if that peek has James Corden asking Harry Styles to do Old Jagger and Young Jagger in the same clip, especially on the week that Mick Jagger was so salty about the comparisons between the two frontmen, you win the week.

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James Corden, Auteur Director, Won Late Night This Week