last night on late night
September 17, 2019

Ric Ocasek, frontman for The Cars, died at age 75 on Sunday. On Monday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert paid tribute to one of his favorite artists. "1978 — Ric Ocasek was already 34 years old when their first album came out," Colbert said. "He wrote everything for The Cars, and his music was the soundtrack of my high school." He said he "couldn't believe it when Ric Ocasek came on The Colbert Report — I got to meet one of my greatest musical heroes, and then he started doing bits on the show." He showed one from 2006.

Conan O'Brien posted a full video clip from 2005 in which Ocasek — who apparently pronounced his last name Ok-caw-sik — agreed to practice a Grammys presentation with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. You can watch a true rock 'n' roll legend gamely shrug off insults from a dog puppet below. Peter Weber

September 16, 2019

Last week, Vice President Mike Pence claimed that Triple Crown-winning racehorse and unlikely member of the Resistance American Pharoah bit him on the arm so hard that he nearly collapsed. Seth Meyers has no idea if this actually happened — American Pharoah's manager said this was all news to him — but he's hoping if it is true, the horse might be able to keep the U.S. out of war with Iran.

On Monday's Late Night, Meyers discussed President Trump's weekend tweets about the drone attacks on a Saudi Arabian oil facility and his backpedaling on overtures he made to Iran. Saudi Arabia and Iran are longtime foes, and the Saudis say Iran was behind the attack. Meyers said Trump is rewriting history because the Saudis want the U.S. to join them in a new conflict, and he's especially concerned over Trump tweeting that the U.S. is "locked and loaded" and "waiting to hear from [Saudi Arabia] as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!"

"Think about how insane this is," Meyers said. "The president of the United States, the guy who spent the entire campaign falsely claiming he wanted to stay out of the Middle East and would put America first, just threatened a war with Iran on Twitter and said he was waiting for Saudi Arabia to tell him what to do. I never thought I'd say this, but someone needs to let American Pharoah loose in the Oval Office. He doesn't even need to bite Trump, just chase him around for awhile, keep him distracted."

For more on Trump's possible personal financial motivations to help Saudi Arabia, and the possibility that Trump and Saudi King Salman switched bodies Freaky Friday-style while touching that weird orb in 2017, watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

September 11, 2019

New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey won a Pulitzer Prize for their giant-toppling reporting on Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct, one of the #MeToo lodestars they detail in their new book, She Said. "When you went to publish that original article, did you know what was coming in its wake?" Stephen Colbert asked them on Tuesday's Late Show. "We had no idea," Twohey said.

Kantor explained they decided to write their book because "a lot of what originally happened in this investigation was off the record, so we needed to go back and find a way to share those secrets" and let people witness "the final confrontations with Harvey Weinstein." Colbert asked for details, and Twohey ran through some of the threats and bounties, ending when Weinstein, in the 11th hour, "basically barged into The New York Times himself."

Colbert asked about criticisms that the #MeToo movement has sometimes gone too far. "What we've seen in our reporting is that there's a kind of mounting sense of unfairness on both sides, and actually, I don't think anybody feels that our system works for the accused or the accusers," Kantor said. She laid out the three big questions she sees as unresolved: What kind of behavior merits #MeToo sanctions, how do you discern the truth of what happened, and what's the just punishment? "And the answers to all three are..." Colbert asked. "Clearly, we're going to settle this right here and right now," Kantor deadpanned.

The #MeToo movement has felt like "a nonviolent revolution," Colbert said. "Why hasn't that revolution swept up in any way a man who's been accused 17 times, credibly, of sexual assault, Donald Trump? Why is he untouched by any of this?"

"Jodi and I have spent a lot of time wondering about why certain stories stick and why they don't," Twohey said, "and what we've found is, time and again, when these allegations push into the political realm — whether it's a Democrat, whether it's a Republican, whether it's Trump over the years — they quickly descend into holy war, and oftentimes the women basically are almost forgotten as both political sides go to war against each other." Watch below. Peter Weber

September 6, 2019

Stephen Colbert introduced Graham Norton, host of the BBC's Graham Norton Show, on Thursday's Late Show as a man who "does what I do but with a charming accent." After exchanging pleasantries and pouring drinks, Colbert got down to brass tacks. "You live in the U.K.," he said to Norton, who is Irish but resides in London. "Can you explain what the hell is going on over there? Because we've all be watching, like, questions to the prime minister, we've all be watching Parliament for the last few days. It's absolute chaos."

"It's nuts, isn't it?" Norton agreed. He didn't exactly explain how Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Parliament are going to negotiate Britain's exit from the European Union, but he offered a theory for the "absolute bedlam" engulfing his home country: "I think, in a sweet way, it's as if the United Kingdom was embarrassed for America, felt like you're all alone out in the world stage, so we found our own angry Cabbage Patch Kid and made him the leader. It's incredible." He described the recent G-7 summit as "a play date" for Johnson and President Trump.

"Boris Johnson looks like such a cheap knockoff of Donald Trump that he looks like someone in Times Square pretending to be Donald Trump that you have your photo with," Colbert observed, and Norton agreed. Colbert tried again to get some answers, asking how Johnson is still prime minister if he lost his parliamentary majority. "What he cleverly did was he said 'If anyone votes against me in my party, I will fire you,'" Norton half-explained. "So they did vote against him, so he fired them, but as he fires them, his majority gets less and less and less. So it's like he's drilling holes in his own ship, out of spite." They gave up and turned to difficult guests. Norton had a doozy. Watch below. Peter Weber

Editor's note: This story originally misstated Norton's nationality and has since been corrected. We regret the error.

September 5, 2019

On Tuesday night, The Late Show poked fun at former Vice President Joe Biden and his many, many gaffes.

On Wednesday night's show, Stephen Colbert asked Biden about his gaffes in person, recounting some and asking him, for the record, "Are you going nuts?" "Look, the reason I came on the Jimmy Kimmel show is I'm not," Biden shot back playfully, earning a laugh from Colbert. "Fine," he said. "That's going to make the rest of this easier." Biden said "it's fair to go after a political figure for anything," including his own gaffes, but he drew a distinction between substantive gaffes and the kind he said he makes, about, say, the "essence" of other people's valor.

Colbert asked him about his assertion to NPR that "the details are irrelevant" about a story he tells about pinning medals on a reluctant service member. "Those details are irrelevant when the point I was making is absolutely accurate," Biden said, but details do matter "if the details that you're talking about would affect the outcome of something that is about to happen or should happen."

Earlier, Biden explained why he is running for president — President Trump's reaction to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, and to "restore the soul of this country" — and why he thinks he's doing so well on this his third run for the top job: "My dad used to have an expression, he'd say, 'Joey, don't compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative.'" He also gave his analysis of where the U.S. is a country, how it got here, and where it needs to go next.

In the "lightening round," Biden defended his policies, said he last talked to former President Barack Obama in August, and agreed to put him on the Supreme Court, though he speculated Obama would say no. Watch below. Peter Weber

September 3, 2019

A lot of people laughed at President Trump's efforts to buy Greenland on behalf of the Unites States, at least at first, but Conan O'Brien finagled it into a travel opportunity. On the pretense of going to make sure the deal goes through, O'Brien announced on his late-night show that he would travel to Greenland — and he did, to the surprise of the people of Greenland, he told Anderson Cooper on CNN Monday night. Because of YouTube, "they knew that I said I was going to come," he explained. "What's amazing is how surprised they were that I actually came."

The fruits of that visit, Conan in Greenland, will air on TBS Tuesday night, and Cooper had a hard time keeping a straight face as Conan deadpanned his way through their interview. In particular, Cooper nearly started choking while playing a clip of O'Brien trying to read the local weather report in Nuuk, Greenland's capital.

O'Brien did more than just read the weather in hackneyed Greenlandic. He also took a tour of some lovely icebergs and mingled with some local residents, discovering that some of the children have unpronounceable names but will laugh at anything he said. You can watch Conan's full weather report fiasco below. Peter Weber

August 22, 2019

It turns out that President Trump was actually very serious about buying Greenland from Denmark, and he was so offended when Denmark's prime minister called the idea "absurd," he called off a forthcoming visit, angering Denmark, which saw it as a slight to their queen, and that reaction made Trump even madder, so he called the prime minister "nasty," Conan O'Brien recapped on Wednesday night's Conan. "So now the whole thing is a big f---ing mess."

"Everyone's mad at everybody over this initial idea," O'Brien said, but "President Trump knows real estate, if he knows anything," and "all this angry back-and-forth is just classic haggling over a real estate purchase — this is what people do. Every side plays hard to get, right?" To help ease the deal through, O'Brien reiterated, he is traveling to Greenland to "kick the tires on this deal, and I'm gonna get this deal done."

Still, "buying a property the size of Greenland is a huge, huge undertaking, there's a lot of money involved, and I wanted to make sure I'm getting the U.S. a good deal," O'Brien said. "That's why tonight I'm going to get advice on buying Greenland from a top real estate team," HGTV "Property Brothers" Drew and Jonathan Scott. And they had some... ideas. Watch below. Peter Weber

August 20, 2019

President Trump is apparently at least half-serious about purchasing Greenland, and Conan O'Brien is all in. "What if we, the United States, did buy Greenland?" he asked on Monday's Conan. "It might just be a good idea, it seriously might. And as the elder statesman of late night, what if I negotiated the deal? Seriously, what if I handled this historic negotiation? I have as much, if not more, negotiation experience as Trump."

Greenland and its colonial overlord, Denmark, both insist the semiautonomous island territory is not for sale. "But if there's anything I've learned from watching hundreds of hours of Property Brothers, saying 'It's not for sale' is the classic opening gambit — that means you're ready to go, yeah?" O'Brien said. "Greenland is definitely for sale. And ladies and gentlemen, if we don't move fast, some other country is going to overpay for it."

"So all right, Denmark, you want to play hardball?" O'Brien asked. "I'm ready to sweeten the deal. There's a couple of ways we could do it. First, we could do a straight trade: Greenland for Florida, okay? Trust me, this is our best state — and please do not google 'Florida.' Not convinced yet? How about this, Greenland? Once you're part of the United States, you'll be enrolled in the U.S. health care system. Also, please do not google 'U.S. health care system.'" He listed some other perks of joining the U.S.

"And here's the best part: To make sure this purchase goes through, I, Conan O'Brien, am going to personally travel to Greenland," becoming "the first American host to visit Greenland since Arsenio Hall did a week of shows there in 1989," he joked. Andy Richter pretended to remember those fictional shows. And Conan laid out some pretty high stakes for his negotiation. Watch below. Peter Weber

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