last night on late night
February 11, 2020

John Oliver recently became a U.S. citizen, and the test he had to pass first was "incredibly nerve-racking," he told Stephen Colbert on Monday's Late Show. "The first question she asked me was 'What is your phone number?' And I was so scared, I forgot," he said. "It was utterly petrifying. ... There was part of me, even the day of the ceremony, I kind of thought it was going to be a trap. There was a part of me that literally thought they'd open the door and there'd just be plastic sheeting on the ground, like in Goodfellas, and just Jared Kushner sitting there, swivel chair, stroking a hairless cat."

The actual naturalization ceremony was "incredibly moving," Oliver said. "It's odd, as a comedian, you're kind of slightly allergic to sincerity, but it was 150 people from 49 different countries, all of us have been waiting a long time for this — I've been waiting over a decade, there are people who have been waiting for 30 years. So it was a big deal, and there's something very inspiring about the idea of these people choosing America — not just choosing America, but choosing America now, when the country's not at its best."

"Choosing America now is like falling in love with someone who's vomiting all over themselves," Oliver elaborated. "Like, I'm taking a flyer there's a great human being under here. But that is the thing: It was very inspiring to watch people buy into the idea of America, which obviously outlasts any president."

Colbert and Oliver had a spirited, moderately censored discussion about the American "melting pot" model and Canada's immigration "mosaic," and Oliver explained the amazing season his favorite soccer team, Liverpool, is having in England. They also discussed their mutual disinterest in Prince Harry and Meghan Markel fleeing to America, and Oliver compared the pageantry of Britain's royal family to the Super Bowl halftime show. Watch below. Peter Weber

January 9, 2020

President Trump brought the United States to the "brink of a disastrous war with Iran," Seth Meyers said on Wednesday's Late Night, and now it's up to Congress to make sure he doesn't trigger another unnecessary conflict.

Despite what Trump and his allies are trying to say, the crisis between the U.S. and Iran "was completely Trump's doing," Meyers said. In response to Trump authorizing an airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran on Tuesday launched missiles at Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops. As Americans watched footage of the missiles streaking through the sky, waiting to see how Trump would react, "you think, 'God, I hope we have smart and steady leadership,'" Meyers said. "Then you say, 'Oh no.'"

On Wednesday, Trump gave an "incoherent" speech claiming "credit for ending a crisis he started." He made threats, then offered peace, all while making sure to absurdly and falsely blame former President Barack Obama for the current tense state of affairs. Presidents of both parties have been accumulating unconstitutional war powers, Meyers said, but Trump sees himself as being above the law, and that's why now is the time for lawmakers to step up.

Congress has to stop Trump from unilaterally waging a war or triggering another conflict like this again, and can "pass a war powers resolution, block war funding, and repeal both Bush-era authorizations for the use of military force," Meyers said. "They can even keep Trump distracted by tying a chicken nugget to a Roomba and letting it loose in the White House." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

December 11, 2019

House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — and as Seth Meyers sees it, that's letting Trump off easy.

"Remember, the guy also obstructed justice in the Mueller probe, violated the Constitution by enriching himself, inflicted human rights abuses on migrant children, and directed an illegal scheme to pay hush money to cover up an affair," Meyers said on Tuesday's Late Night. "It's not even hard to find the crimes with this guy. It's like a Where's Waldo? where Waldo is right in the middle of the map with a giant bag of cash in one hand and giving you the finger with the other one."

Republicans aren't rebutting any of the evidence brought forward by Democrats, Meyers said, and that's because "all Trump and his allies have left is one thing: lying about the investigations and claiming there's some sort of treasonous, deep state witch hunt to overthrow him." Meyers ran clips showing several Republicans trying to defend Trump while casting a shadow on Democrats, including one White House spokesman declaring that the impeachment doesn't "do anything to put food on the tables of the American people."

"Oh, now you're worried about putting food on people's tables," an incredulous Meyers said. "Last week you guys kicked 700,000 people off food stamps by imposing awful new work requirements. Think about how cruel that is. Work requirements from a guy who never works." This is the "kind of cruelty Republicans have committed themselves to defending, and they're fine with doing it," Meyers continued. "Today, Democrats at least put down a marker and said there will he consequences for Trump's behavior." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

Editor's note: This article previously misstated the articles of impeachment leveled against President Trump. It has since been updated.

November 20, 2019

Washington was consumed with Day 3 of the impeachment hearings on Tuesday, but "there's an even bigger scandal rocking D.C. today, and — just a warning — if you have small children at home, you should probably bring them over to the TV to watch this," Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show. "This" was a clip of Rep. Eric Swalwell's (D-Calif.) Monday night interview on MSNBC's Hardball being interrupted by what sounded an awful lot like very loud flatulence.

"That was a fart on live TV, and it was a loud fart, too," Noah cringed. He played it again. "Yeah, that was unmistakably a giant fart," he said, adding that to be fair to Swalwell, "it could have been the host, Chris Matthews. In fact, this is the viral argument that everyone has been talking about online: Who let it rip?" MSNBC blamed it on a mug scraping across the desk and Swalwell claimed "TOTAL EXONERATION!" Correspondent Desi Lydic didn't buy it. Along with his body language, "Swalwell's quick denial is the biggest tell of all," she said. "Might I remind you, Trevor, that the law says: 'He who denied it, supplied it.' It's right there in the Constitution."

Stephen Colbert had the same joke on The Late Show.

Though that joke apparently never made it out of rehearsal.

The Tonight Show's Jimmy Fallon ran with it, a little sheepishly. "The other big political story is that the hashtag #Fartgate was trending yesterday after people thought Rep. Eric Swalwell may have passed gas on live TV," he said. "I guess we finally know who the whistleblower is." He showed other poorly timed TV farts and managed to work in Baby Yoda. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 8, 2019

From the venerable Hole in the Wall to the sloppy pavement of Dirty 6th, the august campus of the University of Texas, and the Darrell K. Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium, Jimmy Fallon played all the hits to kick off his Tonight Show from Austin, Texas. Mostly, he sang an Austin-specific version of "Thank God I'm A Country Boy," a song made famous by one-time Texas resident John Denver.

Fallon shamelessly wore a Longhorns shirt, insulted the University of Oklahoma, praised Texas barbecue, paid homage to Daniel Johnston, raised the Hook 'em Horns salute, and sang about the "hot-ass weather" — though it was 45 degrees in Austin on Thursday night, only slightly warmer than New York City. The crowd of UT students in Bass Concert Hall ate up every word.

"I am so pumped to bring The Tonight Show to UT," Fallon said in his monologue. "Because if you saw my grades in high school, you'd know this was the only way I was getting into UT." So many students wanted to attend the show, "we had to do a lottery for tickets," he said. "But if you wanted to come somewhere that's easy to get into, y'all would be at Texas A&M right now."

"I wanted to let you all know that there will be no political jokes tonight," Fallon said. "I also want to note that your school colors are white and burnt orange, so you're making it pretty hard." That was accompanied by a photo of the vice president and president, naturally.

Actor and newly minted UT professor Matthew McConaughey then laid out for Fallon what he sees at Austin's values in his role as the official Texas minister of culture.

McConaughey also tried and gave up on teaching Fallon his script class, but he did help Fallon perform "The Eyes of Texas," the UT reconfiguration of "I've Been Working On the Railroad," with some vaguely creepy imagery about an all-seeing eye. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 7, 2019

Stephen Colbert had Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Ian McKellen as guests on Wednesday's Late Show, and he asked if they'd do him a favor. "You're trying to, you know, Brexit ... Britain exiting the European Union," Colbert told his British guests. "We're trying to get Trump to exit the Oval Office — we're attempting a Trexit over here."

"Donald Trump, you may have heard, released a transcript of him essentially extorting the Ukrainian president," Colbert said. "Now, he says it's a 'perfect' phone call, perfectly innocent, and he wants to read it on air in a fireside chat, and he thinks when he reads it out loud, it will suddenly seem so innocent that you won't want him removed from office. And since I have two of the greatest living actors right here, I was wondering if ... " And he handed out their scripts.

It was actually just one line from Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but it's a memorable one. Colbert had Mirren and McKellen act out the line in different tones, but it made no difference, Mirren said. "There's no way of saying that any other way except for guiltily. Because it's a guilty phrase."

Mirren and McKellen also discussed their new film, The Good Liar, and tried out their own lying chops on Colbert. You can watch that below. Peter Weber

November 4, 2019

It took winning the Electoral College to dislodge Donald Trump from New York, and when he was inaugurated as America's 45th president, the song he chose for his first dance was the Frank Sinatra hit "My Way." And now, it turns out, the end really was near for his life as a New Yorker, because last week he figuratively followed other septuagenarian New Yorkers down I-95 to Florida, his new official home.

Some New Yorkers are undoubtedly sad to see the Queens-born Manhattanite depart the Big Apple (at least for tax purposes), but Stephen Colbert isn't among them, and his Late Show repurposed another late-Sinatra hit to bid him farewell on Monday's show.

Trump and Sinatra do have some things in common: They both grew up in the shadow of Manhattan, crossed the river to make their fortunes in the big city, became Republicans late in life, had reputed mob ties, and married multiple times. But Sinatra was not a Trump fan. And while they still proudly play "New York, New York" at Yankees games, Trump can't even attend a UFC mixed martial arts fight at Madison Square Garden without getting booed. As Sinatra sang, that's life. Peter Weber

November 1, 2019

Nancy Pelosi is the first woman elected House speaker, and "her latest project is impeaching the president of the United States," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show, introducing his main guest. Pelosi was a little less glib. "This is a sad thing for our country," she said, adding later: "We don't want to impeach a president, we don't want the reality that a president has done something that is in violation of the Constitution."

It is a solemn thing, but "the reason why people do get happy, why you hear the applause sometimes," Colbert said, pointing to his audiences, "is because people want to know that actions have consequences, and there have been so few consequences for this president." Before news broke of President Trump's infamous call with Ukraine's president, "I had not been, shall we say, enthusiastic" about impeachment, but "this was something that you could not ignore," Pelosi said. While Trump probably violated his oath of office and the Constitution, she added, she will reserve judgment until he has the chance to defend himself to the House.

"It seems like it's an investigation truly in reverse," Colbert said, "in that we found the guy with the bloody knife in his hand and the dead body, now the investigation is to find if enough people care."

Pelosi said she doesn't get why no Republicans backed Thursday's vote on the procedures for impeachment, since "it gave them more rights than we ever received in any of the other impeachment proceedings." She also chided Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for calling himself "the Grim Reaper, that everything we send over there will die in the Senate. And then in the next breath he says 'All they do is impeach.' Well, we've sent him scores of bills," many of them really popular among the public.

Assuming the House impeaches Trump, "are you prepared for how rough it's going to get?" Colbert asked Pelosi. "Because you know the guy's not going to go easy." Pelosi recounted some advice she gives, that sometimes in politics you have to "throw a punch — for the children." Watch below. Peter Weber

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