Photo: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube
It was another week for meta comedy about the concept of late night on late night this week. Joe Jonas tossed his hat in the ring to usurp James Corden as the host of The Late Late Show, and Chelsea Handler announced her bid to host another late-night show ASAP. It was the second most impactful announcement this week vis-à-vis running for stuff. EmRata made a good argument for TikTok and/or her podcast being more relevant than the late-night talksphere on Late Night With Seth Meyers. (#SethMeyersBitchEra.) Jonathan Majors gave Trevor Noah his flowers ahead of his imminent departure from the late-night sphere, which was thoughtful. And Jon Stewart touched base with former bae Stephen Colbert. (More on that later — specifically at No. 5 of this list.)
I have some qualms about what Jon Stewart says in later clips about how he wishes to address antisemitism and hate speech, but the AO3 tags speak for themselves, re: Stewart and Colbert’s deep abiding affection:
No one does Schadenfreude quite like Jimmy Kimmel. He may be the messiest host on late night, because even Andy Cohen usually likes to let others beef for his amusement rather than get in the muck himself. Last week, Kimmel told a fun anecdote about how much Dr. Oz hates Trump, and this week he told lots of jokes about how much Trump’s own family hates him. Choosing to tell the story of Tiffany’s midterm-marred wedding from the perspective of a guest was very chef’s kiss of Kimmel. It was exactly the level of dishy that we’ve come to expect.
When she pretended to be an overwhelmed and baffled head of communications for Twitter, The Daily Shows Desi Lydic was really all of us. RIP to Twitter, a place where absolute dipshits could say the stupidest things and it wouldn’t affect the world. Until those dipshits bought the platform. Lydic’s performance was that frazzled cog in the late-capitalist machine that has become a classic character on TikTok, the platform that will surely take over Twitter in relevancy some time next week. Again, RIP.
Again the penultimate spot on this list goes to a classic talk-show performance by a starlet. EmRata and Anya Taylor-Joy were both vying for this spot, but Taylor-Joy secured it with two points. One, she had a story about being saved from taking a tumble down the Met Gala steps by the host of the dang show, and two, she had an anecdote involving the Beach Boys. If there is one tie-breaking vote in this crazy business we call show, it belongs to Mike Love. I’m not sure why, ask John Stamos.
Tig Notaro entered The Late Show With Stephen Colbert stage with a rad-as-fuck cane, in part because she went hard in the paint on Colbert’s Pickled show. Her leg was already broken, apparently, but she was committed to the gig enough to further stress it with some vigorous pickleball. So she opened the Late Show appearance by using a rad alligator head cane. Then she asserted that “free speech” isn’t the cause célèbre that certain motherfuckers would have you believe. Then she went off about being the first “yes” on the pickleball show, and what does that mean for her career? Can she say “no” to a gig, or is there some mental block about that? It’s a perfect talk-show appearance because it’s topical, it’s funny, it’s dishy, and it has a cool gold-plated cane involved.