Full Frontal With Samantha Bee announced its cancellation earlier this week, marking yet another big hole in the late-night ecosphere. Bee always brought so much heart to the news-commentary game, even working with COVID when it seemed clear Roe v. Wade was about to be overturned. Bee always let it be known she had skin in the game, and that intensity will be missed in TV.
Media mergers and a possible-maybe recession has caused late night to shrinkflate. Since I started on the late-night beat, I have seen all these shows come and go: Busy Tonight, The Break With Michelle Wolf, Lights Out With David Spade, A Little Late With Lilly Singh, Conan, Unapologetic With Aisha Tyler, Desus & Mero, and now Full Frontal. And The Wendy Williams Show, which was daytime, but still, the YouTube archive is gone, and that’s sad. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain … Time to rank the best clips from late night this week.
5. The Internet’s Boyfriends Were Here
NBC bookers were thirsty this week, because two of the internet’s current biggest crushes came to 30 Rock. And they represented two different flavors of boy: intense yet swole freak and secret teddy bear. Carmy and Eddie did their little charm-offensive routines for Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon, respectively. Quinn addressed the “Chrissy Wake Up” song and gave Fallon a Hellfire Club shirt, but he failed to address Steddie. That’s why these two are stuck at No. 5. Give the people what they want: queerbaiting!
4. A Meta “Back in My Day”
Late Night’s “Back in My Day” is a reliable joke machine, but it went above and beyond this week. Segment writer Ben Warheit forced Seth Meyers to read a plea to cast all the actors who died in Joker (a cohort that just happens to include Warheit) in the musical-sequel version. Wouldn’t it be fun and not confusing at all to bring back the Sondheim-singing stockbrokers? Meyers thinks so, and he wasn’t just reading that off a cue card.
3. Billy Porter Leaves ’Em Wanting More
There’s something very funny about singing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” then immediately going. It seemed like a normal guest appearance on a talk show: Plug the projects, demand people buy your book, talk about J.Lo. Normal stuff. But then Billy Porter ended his Tonight Show appearance with a completely random run of Jennifer Holliday, because why not? You’re only on TV a finite number of times, even if you’re a legend like Porter. Why not make the most of it?
2. Brett Gelman Makes an Entrance
If Billy Porter had the exit of the week, Brett Gelman had the entrance. He entered Late Show in head-to-toe Celine, then did a little scatting to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” Because, again, why not? The ice caps are melting! Time to mark some stuff off the bucket list. The rest of Gelman’s appearance was cute enough, with confessions of queso consumption and talk of all the hero shit he gets asked to do now that Murray is a karate master on Stranger Things. But what matters more is that entrance. There’s absolutely no reason not to be loosey-goosey at all times nowadays. In fact, it’s imperative.
1. Dulcé Sloan Hates the Nouveau Riche
Dulcé Sloan riffed on the $1 billion lottery winner we’re all waiting to resent. Sloan made a great point: They should just give 100 people $10 million apiece instead, because winning $1 billion is disrespectful to the people like Elon Musk and Bezos who had to scam and flam their way to that kind of money. She’s very worried this new rich person won’t even know to put a yacht inside of a yacht. That’s fucking critical to the process! The delivery on this tirade — with winning lotto numbers interspersed — is impeccable.
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