Follow Us

Late Night TV returns, hits Trump early and often

Late night is back

Published: October 3, 2023 11:03pm

Late-night comedians returned to duty Monday, and they picked up where they left off when the writers strike started May 2.

Trump, Trump Trump.

Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers all lambasted former President Donald Trump during the first series of shows since the strike ended late last month, after 146 days.

In between, they squeezed in gags surrounding the “diarrhea plane,” Taylor Swift and Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s “Beetlejuice” imbroglio.

President Joe Biden didn’t get name checked by Colbert, Fallon or Kimmel during their extended monologues.

Nor did the trio mention Vice President Kamala Harris, first son Hunter Biden or a Democrat candidate for the Virginia legislature caught performing sex acts for video voyeurs.

The closest they came to the 46th president was noting how the First Dog bit even more people during the strike and someone found cocaine in the White House earlier this summer.

Colbert delivered a double-sized “Late Show” monologue, the crowd at the Ed Sullivan Theater cheering every time the host mentioned a Trump indictment. Which he did early and often.

The CBS host regretted not being on the air to report on Trump’s legal woes, so he made up for lost time. He did mention a president’s son along the way, but it was a scatological gag aimed at Eric Trump, not Hunter Biden.

The latter has been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent months, yet Colbert didn’t reflect on the first son’s whirlwind summer or his legal woes involving tax evasion and abuse of existing gun laws.

“Now that the ‘strike’ is over, the talentless, low rated CREEPS of Late Night Television are back," Trump said Tuesday morning on Truth Social. "I knew there was a reason I didn’t want to see it settled – True LOSERS!!!"

Trump, a frequent critic of late-night television, added later, "Remember when I told you that the poorly rated and not at all funny Late Night Talk Shows are nothing less than a major Campaign Contribution to the Radical Left Democrat Party."

Kimmel welcomed Arnold Schwarzenegger as his ABC show’s first guest following the strike. The two appeared in a therapist sketch, with the “Terminator” star assuring his patient that he’d be “ba-ack” on late night soon.

During the opening monologue, Kimmel shared a note asking him not to obsess over President Trump in his first show back in months, a request he gleefully denied.

"Trump is now facing 91 felony counts  – 91 felony counts. It's like all of Melania's birthday wishes came true at once. Every time something Trump happened in the news, I would get texts asking me if I was bummed we didn't have a show that night, and mostly, I was fine. But the one that really got me was when they booked Trump in Georgia, and he self-reported his weight at 215 pounds. I almost crossed the picket line for that."

Fallon focused more on pop culture musings than Trump, but he still took time to mock the GOP frontrunner as well as Boebert’s sexualized behavior at a Denver performance of the “Beetlejuice” musical.

“I am so excited to be here," he said. "I am so excited. Seriously. I’m more excited than a guy seeing Beetlejuice with Lauren Boebert. 

Fallon didn’t bring up allegations that surfaced several weeks ago regarding “The Tonight Show’s” toxic work environment.

A Rolling Stone investigation featuring current and former staffers suggested show employees would retreat to “crying rooms” due to the intense stress levers. 

Some of the staffers said their mental health worsened during their time on the show, where they alleged Fallon could lash out under pressure. 

“Late Night with Seth Meyers” eschewed the traditional guest format for an extended “Closer Look” segment.

The approach let the former “Saturday Night Live” player, like his peers, skewer all things Trump. He also brought up the Biden impeachment inquiry, but only to suggest its “political interference” and lacking evidence to push the case forward.

The various monologues overlapped more than once.

Several comedians recalled how Trump declared his weight to be 215, a dubious number given recent presidential weigh-ins.

Several noted how the real estate mogul began selling T-shirts with his mug shot declaring “never surrender,” a portrait taken while he surrendered to law enforcement.

The right-leaning “Gutfeld!” which switched Fox News time slots over the summer from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST, never stopped producing live episodes during the strike. Its writers don’t belong to the Writers Guild of America.

Just the News Spotlight