this week in late night

Nick Kroll Negging Seth Meyers Won Late Night This Week

Photo: Late Night with Seth Meyers/YouTube

Another one bites the dust. This week in late night was definitely tinged by yet another announcement that a late-night host will be making their exit. This time it’s The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, who is stepping away from his Comedy Central show to spend more time with his Dua Lipa. No timeline is in place yet, and reports say even his staff was surprised by his announcement. So it’s premature to start a petition to have Jon Stewart or Sam Bee return to their old stomping ground.

In other once and future late-night-host news, David Letterman joined Jimmy Kimmel for one of his Brooklyn shows. It was mostly Howard Stern shade. Apparently, Letterman used to fear Stern in his shock-jock days, but now he mostly admires his watercolors? Life is short, but it is wide. Here’s who made their time on TV count this week, however much longer they’ve got.

5. Trevor Noah Gets the Scoop From Amanpour

Christiane Amanpour has interviewed every president of Iran since 1995, and without her head covered. In the wake of the murder of Mahsa Amini and the ensuing protests, Iran president Ebrahim Raisi decided that now was the time to change that tradition. Amanpour refused to wear a headscarf after that request was sprung on her very close to interview time. She went on The Daily Show to discuss that decision, which felt like a get in the late-night world. Noah is often the first late-night host (besides sometimes John Oliver) to comment on international affairs, and I’m already lamenting the loss of that perspective from the news-comedy ecosphere.

4. Podcast Energy on The Late Late Show

I’ve figured out what I like about the loosey-goosey monologues on The Late Late Show With James Corden. It’s not just looseness, it’s a discursiveness that only comes from constant contact. It’s a vibe you only get from podcasts, especially podcasts where the hosts are still on good terms. When Ian Karmel says Corden is lying to his friend right now, it’s warm. Remember, late-night comedy originally was TV designed to gently nod off to. It’s comfort TV, something warm and semi-engaging. With the format’s YouTube era, we lose some of that purpose, and it has been replaced with podcasts. But — and I say this as a compliment — The Late Late Show is still soporific.

3. Kate Berlant and Billy Eichner Play Catchphrase on WWHL

Kate Berlant and Billy Eichner shared a lovely little mind meld on WWHL Tuesday night. Berlant was asked to essentially play catchphrase with gay icons, and Eichner guessed. Surprise, surprise: Berlant went hyperspecific with her clues. Andy Cohen was incredulous when her hint for Meryl Streep was Adaptation, but Eichner got it right away. That’s how you play the game, folks.

2. Shana Tova, James Corden

In theory, the couch situation on The Late Late Show should set up the guests to talk to each other, possibly even excluding host James Corden. But this rarely happens. People are on their promo grind, and they are sticking to the vetted anecdotes, thankyouverymuch. But Mayim Bialik and Max Greenfield had some leftover Rosh Hashanah spirit on September 28, and they expressed it with each other. Bialik was talking about her personal shofar, and Greenfield genuinely geeked out at how cool it is for her to play it. They left poor Corden in the dust as they bonded over blasting that thing all high holiday.

1. Nick Kroll Loves Everyone’s Children’s Book (Except Seth Meyers’s)

Nick Kroll stopped by Late Night With Seth Meyers, and he came prepared. He had Venice Film Festival goss, which goes over gangbusters, as well as a cute lil’ styled forelock of hair. But his story of ruining Brendan Fraser’s standing ovation at Venice had two highlights. One: a Natasha Lyonne impression that was deeper than Kroll’s normal speaking voice and managed to ham-fistedly reference Lou Reed. And two: praise for every late-night host’s children’s book … except Seth Meyers’s, whose show he was on. I find the late-night host kids’-book thing super-weird, and it was nice to feel less alone for one second, as Kroll listed off all the guys who have one. Toddlers have enough going on — they don’t need things cross-promoted to them. Kroll’s story was dishy, mean only to Meyers and his own baby, and fun.

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Nick Kroll Negging Seth Meyers Won Late Night This Week