October 9, 2018

First lady Melania Trump is back in Washington, D.C., after a solo visit to Africa, and her five-day trip wasn't entirely uncontroversial — in Kenya she drew criticism for wearing a colonial-looking pith helmet on a safari. The helmet's connotations of European exploitation of Africans "is probably something someone should have mentioned to her before they put it on her head," Jimmy Kimmel suggested on Monday's Kimmel Live.

In Egypt, Trump said she wanted to talk about what she did in Africa, not what she wore, and Kimmel was a little less sympathetic here. "You can't go around Africa dressed like you're on the cover of the L.L. Bean catalog and then be surprised when someone mentions it," he said. "This is Melania's first solo trip overseas, and she really seemed to enjoy herself. In fact, just for the sake of comparison, we made a video using footage of Melania here and Melania there." The contrast in the clips they chose is pretty striking. "It's not scientific," Kimmel conceded, "but draw your own conclusions."

Kimmel also had some acerbic birthday wishes for celebrity feud partner Matt Damon, and you can watch that below. Peter Weber

October 4, 2018

On Wednesday afternoon, FEMA sent out its first presidential alert to all cellphones in America. The idea of President Trump being able to text everyone simulateously whenever he wants may have merit, but The Late Show considered the downside.

Seriously, "is there really an emergency so big that everyone in America — people in Hawaii, Florida, Maine, New Mexico — have to hear about it at the exact same time?" Stephen Colbert asked. "What is that big? Is it the death astroid? Is it Thanos?" Apparently it's more along the lines of a nuclear attack or a tsunami, he noted, unpersuaded. "Look, if there's a tsunami, Trump is the last person I want to get a text from. 'Huge wave! Very wet in terms of water. I'll be there with paper towels soon.'"

"But here's the truly frightening thing about this system: Unlike Amber and weather alerts, the presidential alert cannot be turned off," Colbert said. He had a sort of workaround for the iPhone — but don't try it at home.

Jimmy Kimmel Live was on the same page. "The idea of letting President Trump send a text message to every American whenever he wants to may sound like a bad idea, and it is a bad idea," Kimmel said on Wednesday's show. "But what do we do here in Hollywood when we have a bad idea? We make a major motion picture out of it." And you can watch the remarkably realistic trailer below. Peter Weber

October 3, 2018

He didn't have his magic board on Tuesday's Late Show, but NBC News national political correspondent and granular polling analyst Steve Kornacki brought his trademark energy and enthusiasm with him to discuss the 2018 midterms — now only five weeks away — with Stephen Colbert. "The momentum is at a point now, if you're a Democrat, you're going to be severely and I think justifiably disappointed if your party doesn't get back the House," Kornacki said. "I'm not saying this is something that's in the bag for them — they felt that way a couple of years ago, as you may remember — but this is one where, look, they've put everything they have into this, the opportunity's there, they could certainly blow it, but the opportunity's there."

When it comes to the Senate, though, Kornacki agreed with FiveThirtyEight that Democrats have a roughly 30 percent shot at taking the helm. While the Democrats need a net gain of only two seats, they are defending 10 seats in states President Trump won in 2016 — by as much as 42 percentage points, he explained. Kornacki and Colbert then discussed Kornacki's new book, The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism, and he makes a pretty compelling case that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich changed American politics forever — and only for the better if you are a huge fan of political polarization. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 1, 2018

President Trump does not want to talk about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Seth Meyers said on Monday's Late Night, and that's one reason why he held his latest surreal press conference earlier in the day.

Trump was focusing on the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, and when asked about Kavanaugh, he shot down the reporter and scolded her for the question. Meyers played a montage of all the different times Trump was rude to female reporters during the press conference, including when he accused one of "not thinking," leading Meyers to ask his own question. "How much of a sexist dick can you possibly be?" he said, as an image of Kavanaugh appeared on the screen next to him. "It's almost like he saw someone else getting attention for acting like a maniac on TV and thought, 'I could top that.'"

During another point in the press conference, Trump mused that one of his "only good traits" is the fact that he does not drink. "Can you imagine if I had what a mess I'd be?" he said. "I'd be the world's worst." Trump didn't get any argument from Meyers. "What's amazing about that joke is that inherent in the premise is Trump admitting that he already sucks," he said.

Meyers didn't just focus on the press conference, though — he had to poke at Trump for a statement he made during a rally in West Virginia over the weekend, when he said he "fell in love" with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un due to "beautiful letters" he sent. "Man, if you told me I would live to witness a Republican president telling a crowd in West Virginia that he was in love with a North Korean dictator, I would have said, 'I'm sorry buddy, I don't have a dollar and this is my stop.'" Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

September 27, 2018

If this whole late night hosting gig ever comes to an end, Seth Meyers has a future doing impressions of Republican senators.

On Thursday's Late Night, Meyers devoted one of his "Closer Look" segments to the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing and the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. It was a study in contrasts, he said, with Ford showing "grace and composure under unimaginable pressure" and Kavanaugh "angry" and "defiant."

Meyers really focused, though, on Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and how he got the hearing started, rambling for nearly 15 minutes and giving an "exhaustive monologue defending Kavanaugh and slamming Democrats." When he finally let Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) talk, she said she wanted to give Ford a proper introduction, which led Grassley to interrupt and say he was going to introduce her, but now that Feinstein was talking about it, she might as well.

"You said I didn't do it, but I'm gonna do it, and then you did it, and now I can't do it because it's done," Meyers said, mocking Grassley. "Dude, shut up. Your time is done. You don't get to pop up out of your coffin whenever you want like the Crypt Keeper." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

September 27, 2018

President Trump is insisting that the diplomats and world leaders gathered in New York for the United Nations General Assembly were laughing with him, not at him, when he used his global platform to claim he had accomplished more than any previous U.S. president. "What did you experience, as someone in the room?" Stephen Colbert asked New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday's Late Show. "Are you trying to create a diplomatic incident here, right now?" she asked, laughing. "Maybe I'm going to defuse one right now," Colbert replied.

The first laugh was "a spontaneous murmur amongst some people," Ardern said carefully, but after Trump said he hadn't expected that "little" laugh, "then people laughed with him." "That is very diplomatically stated," Colbert said. "No war between the United States and New Zealand, then." They went on to talk about how Ardern's partner nearly caused his own international incident while she was discussing steel tariffs with Trump, Colbert's obsession with Lord of the Rings, and the sometimes-awkward accessibility of New Zealand's head of government.

Also on Wednesday's show, Colbert grilled actress Candice Bergen about her date with Trump when both were about 18 years old. "I was home very early," she said, adding that Henry Kissinger had been a better date. You can watch that, and her preview of the Murphy Brown reboot and magical childhood, below. Peter Weber

September 20, 2018

Stephen Colbert interviewed Willie Nelson on Nelson's tour bus for Wednesday's Late Show, and after talking about why Willie doesn't like barber shops and other niceties, Colbert brought up politics. "You've been an activist for years, but you're doing your first free public concert for a candidate, and it's for Beto O'Rourke," the Democratic challenger to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Colbert said. Nelson corrected him, saying he's done free concerts for candidates for decades, naming Dennis Kucinich, Ross Perot, and singing cowboy Tex Ritter. "So you always back the winners," Colbert deadpanned.

Poor track record notwithstanding, not everyone is happy about Nelson's Beto concert, Colbert pointed out. "Some Texans were saying, Let's boycott Willie. A, I don't think that's real, I think that's just people talking. And B, I really like your response to those people." Nelson laughed at the photo of him flipping the bird in a Beto shirt, then said it doesn't really bother him when people threaten to boycott his music. "It's their prerogative," he said. "I may not like their music either, you know, so I don't hold any grudges against people."

Colbert brought up Nelson's new album, My Way, and asked why he wanted to do a Frank Sinatra album. "He's my favorite singer, and I read somewhere a couple of years ago that I was his favorite singer," Nelson said. Colbert had a clip from a commercial Nelson and Sinatra did in 1980, then he showed Nelson some photos of famous people and asked if he'd like to smoke weed with each of them. (The answer was yes.)

Nelson performed the Sinatra favorite "Summer Wind" on The Late Show, and you can watch that below. Peter Weber

September 13, 2018

Stephen Colbert interviewed Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) on Wednesday's Late Show, but first he caught viewers up on O'Rourke's nail-biter of a race against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The contest has gotten so close that Cruz has called in President Trump to campaign with him. "You know it's bad when you need backup from a man with a 36 percent approval rating," Colbert said. "Their backup plan to that is a celebrity endorsement from the herpes virus. Here's how scared Ted Cruz is of Beto O'Rourke — he bought ads on my show tonight to counter his interview."

Colbert looked at the various, often hilariously misguided angles of attack the Cruz campaign and Texas GOP have taken against O'Rourke, including mocking his days in a punk rock band and running an ad focusing on O'Rourke's use of the F-word. "Remember that: Beto is a dirty-minded potty mouth," Colbert deadpanned. "You must protect the values of Texas and vote for the man who likes threesome porn on Twitter."

Driving around to all 254 Texas counties is kind of like touring with a punk band, O'Rourke told Colbert. When Colbert asked about Trump's border wall, O'Rourke said "we don't need a wall" and Texas "should be able to lead" on fixing immigration laws. For example, he said, he and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) worked on "a bill to improve border security by investing in our ports of entry," creating "smart security solutions" that also facilitate "legitimate trade and travel."

"Trump says he will campaign for Cruz, despite the fact that they just despise each other," Colbert said. "Is it surreal to see enemies joining forces against you?" "Yeah, this is gonna be interesting," O'Rourke said. He endorsed citizenship for DREAMers and "universal, guaranteed, high-quality health care for everyone," but said "we're running not against anyone or anything or any other political party, we are running for this country." Watch below. Peter Weber

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