this week in late night

Quinta Brunson’s Super Bowl Beef Won Late Night This Week

Photo: CBS

We’re deep into Academy Award jockeying season this week in late night. Whether they’re fictional laundromat men or real-ass Társ, the girlies are campaigning. Beyond that, much of the headline space was occupied by the alleged UFOs that the government shot down. Many news outlets conjectured that the random UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena) were car-dealership balloons run amok. Which at least Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Late Show equated with inflatable dancing things. But inflatable dancing things are (1) not balloons, since they are literally attached to a fan that inflates them; and (2) as old a reference as 2006’s “Blue Harvest” episode of Family Guy. It’s not the hoary old Propecia joke, but it still isn’t great. You know what was great? The following segments!

5. Dave Franco Knows Dicks

Look, sometimes you know you have a dynamite talk-show anecdote: a moment that is too weird and too anomalous that the only way to process it is retelling it to an audience. I recently met a step-aunt who had 15 bottles of half-and-half in her fridge and not much else. Also multiple ice trays of frozen lemon juice. I’ve been coming to terms with it ever since. Dave Franco had to process sending someone else’s dick pic to his wife–co-producer. Sometimes the only way you can transcend the “???” is to make it into entertainment, which Franco admirably does in this clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live!

4. A Mismatched WWHL

Paul Rudd, Liam Neeson, and Liam Neeson’s nepo baby does not feel like a real Watch What Happens Live lineup. Rather, it feels like a B-plot on The Other Two. Picture it your mind’s ear right now: “Sorry you couldn’t bartend on WWHL, Liam Neeson was the guest and he really wanted his son in the mix.” This specific iteration of “Pillow Talk” was really elevated by the round-robin format it took. Rudd asked Neeson what his biggest tearjerker movie was, and Neeson replied The Greatest Story Ever Told, which, famously, is about Jesus and all his struggles. A distinctly non-juicy answer. Rudd took it in stride, but did Neeson extend a similar kindness to Rudd when he was tossed the question “What three words do you hope your kids would use to describe you as a dad?” No. When Rudd, admittedly gave the answer “Present, supportive, and loving,” Neeson muttered, “Boring.” Then he more loudly proclaimed “Bo-ring!” Liam Neeson is a messy bitch and he lives for drama.

3. John Oliver Is Sixth

Apparently John Oliver is No. 6 in Stephen Colbert’s Top John Ranking — which, we cannot stress enough, does not include former Colbert boss Jon Stewart nor former Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste, since those boys don’t have an h in their name. John “I Am Not a Number, I Am a Free Man” Oliver came out middle fingers blazing — the only way someone can enter a space after being called No. 6 in anyone’s book. This was a week for petty drama, and the Oliver-Colbert duo delivered.

2. Seth Meyers Experiences Schtick

This week, Late Night With Seth Meyers revived a bit from December 2020. The show reprised the rarely remembered and even more rarely requested “Popsicle Schtick” segment. It’s the closest the actual linearly broadcast version of Late Night ever gets to the gloriously, needlessly combative energy of its weekly “Corrections” segment. This digital-exclusive exercise in futility really exhibits Seth Meyers in his true form: a guy who is kind of in love with his staff, but is even more in love with his own exasperation at said staff. He’s the Jack Benny of late night, and I’m not afraid of looking old by saying it.

1. Quinta Brunson Will See You After the Taping

The Late Late Show was already playing with fire by having three guests on the couch after the Super Bowl. They were doubly playing with fire by having one of those guests be Cara “Why Are You Being Like That Near Megan Thee Stallion” Delevingne. But she wasn’t even the problem in this clip! The issue arose when die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan Quinta Brunson met semi-casual Kansas City fan Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher predicted that the C****s would win the Super Bowl from a cold and logical place. Brunson, who exists in a hot and illogical Philly position, took issue with that. And Kutcher was uncomfortable with that. For a guy who had a prank show, Kutcher was especially antsy when things got heated. And that’s very funny. The Eagles didn’t win the Super Bowl, but an Eagles fan won late night with her die-hard fandom stance. Go birds!

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Quinta Brunson’s Super Bowl Beef Won Late Night This Week