this week in late night

The Biggest and Quirkiest Personalities in Late Night This Week

Kesha on Late Night. Photo: YouTube

The first post-Roe reversal week of late night is in the books, and — shock of all shocks — it was a huge bummer. A lot of people I know feel emotionally tapped out. Whether they’re getting through this time by dissociating, or raging, or that one guy DIY-ing a guillotine Mythbusters style, we’re seeing a wide array of coping behaviors. These behaviors were on full display on late night. Jimmy Kimmel Live! guest host Chelsea Handler seemed brimming with almost uncontainable rage during her opening monologues. Stephen Colbert’s commentary was the most granular, coming to grips with the text in a way others did not. Seth Meyers gave the floor to three of his women staffers and the CEO of Planned Parenthood. And Trevor Noah called for a more nuanced conversation. Again, shocking, I know.

But beyond the attempts to joke through yet another week of shock and national mourning, the guests were on one. Capitalism doesn’t stop, so projects needed to be plugged. Maybe it was the stress of the week or the frivolity of their late-night appearances butting up against the reality we all share, but a lot of the guests this week were extra quirky. But the quirk was welcome. I needed Vin Diesel this week in a way I didn’t know I would. This week, I want to thank the celebs for their service.

5. Atsuko Okatsuka Drops It

Chelsea Handler brought Atsuko Okatsuka on Jimmy Kimmel Live! for one reason and one reason only: to make Guillermo drop it. Okatsuka, who has done stand-up on late night before, was perfectly at home in the guest chair (with the best outfit of any guest all week). She and Handler talked Pike Place Fish Market, Handler’s disdain for her grandmother, and of course, Okatsuka’s Drop It Challenge on TikTok. Guillermo had a flourish to his drops that should be studied.

4. Brandi Glanville Can’t Help It

To a non Bravo-head, WWHL can sometimes be quite opaque. The world of Bravolebrity is closed and full of internecine conflict, like the Masons. But even without knowing anything about some of the Housewives discussed, you can tell that Brandi Glanville is being shady in this clip. She and Jill Zarin were essentially asked to give shady superlatives to their fellow Housewives, and Glanville kept giving the shadiest ones to Zarin — yeah, the woman sitting right next to her. It was flagrant pot-stirring, and something that only really happens on WWHL.

3. AOC Stays on Message

Stephen Colbert’s frustration with the current administration has been peeking out now and again on The Late Show. He floated abolishing the Senate to Elizabeth Warren, and asked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run a primary against Biden in 2024. There’s a reason Kimmel got Biden’s first in-person interview as president, is all I’m saying. AOC batted away the presidential run, saying that she’s more focused on keeping democracy around long enough for there to be another election. But the rest of her time on the couch was well used citing historical precedent for challenging the Supreme Court on their bullshit (Lincoln and FDR did!) and only subliminally plugging the Green New Deal.

2. Vin Diesel Works the Room

Just absolutely unhinged energy coming off Vin Diesel here. He’s hugging Late Late Show staffers like they’re in the Fast Family, claiming that James Corden has conquered America, and hinting at secret 3 a.m. songs he and Corden recorded in his home studio. When is new music coming, Vin? “Feel Like I Do” can’t be the song of the summer three years in a row. The booking for Late Late London has been phenomenal, by the way. Only the chummiest folks for the big live audience: raconteuse Minnie Driver, amiable talking bear David Harbour, and America’s uncle, Vin Diesel.

1. Kesha Discusses Hole

It’s giving Drew Barrymore on Letterman. Kesha starts the appearance off right by telling Seth Meyers to reel her back in if she goes on a weird tangent. She then goes on several weird tangents: about showing hole, about ghost buttholes, about Whitney Cummings thinking she’s met a trans ghost but really it was a demon. Meyers yes and’s her at every step, and he’s as delighted as the viewing audience. This gives one hope, either in another life beyond the one we know, or at least a brain-meltingly silly ghost show.

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The Biggest, Quirkiest Personalities in Late Night This Week