Best of Late Night: Biden Hopes Trump’s Presidency Will Be the ‘Exception’ in U.S. History


Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. What do you think of it? What else are you interested in? Let us know:

Biden Critiques Trump and Demurs on 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden appeared on “The Late Show” on Monday for the first time since President Trump took office. Speaking to Stephen Colbert, Mr. Biden said he hoped Mr. Trump’s presidency would be remembered as an outlier.

STEPHEN COLBERT: One of the things that many people said when President Trump was elected: that we have to hold on to certain standards, and we can’t normalize the behavior that got President Trump elected. But on another level, whoever is the president is, you know, de facto presidential. What do you think has changed about the presidency with him being president? Or how will this influence future presidencies?

JOE BIDEN: I think, God willing, it will go down as the single exception in American history. [Applause] Look, I think that a lot of the folks in the audience, my guess is, when the president was elected and the political people he gathered around him came into play, you kind of thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s amusing, or a little bit embarrassing sometimes.’ But it didn’t go to the heart of who we were. But I’ll lay you eight-to-five, and I’m speaking to a large crowd — a Republican audience — out in Thousand Oaks, California, and I asked the same question. I said, ‘How many of you are now worried about the stability of the republic? How many of you are now worried about this new phony nationalism that’s us against them? How many are worried about this populism that is designed to essentially undermine the essence of the Bill of Rights, which is, there are certain inalienable rights that nobody, no matter what the majority is, they cannot overrule? I mean, I just think there’s an attack on a system. And I think people are worried.”

CreditVideo by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Mr. Biden was on the show to promote a new memoir, “Promise Me, Dad,” which tells of how he dealt with the death of his son Beau. Mr. Biden is already the subject of rumors about a possible presidential run in 2020, and he did not dispel those rumors while explaining the “promise” that gave the book its name.

“That was the promise: ‘Promise me, Dad, you’re going to stay engaged. It wasn’t, ‘Promise me, Dad, you’re going to run for president,’” Mr. Biden said, adding: “He did want me to run for president, but that wasn’t the promise. Barack asked me — the president asked me at lunch one day when Beau was sick, he said, ‘What do you want to do with the rest of your life?’ And I said, ‘I want to do what I’ve done — the same answer I would have given you when I was 29, when I was 39, and my age right now. I want to make a difference, and I think I can.”

‘Thou Shalt Not Be Gross’

CreditVideo by The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

Most late-night hosts spent a solid chunk of their shows attacking Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate from Alabama who has now been accused of sexual misconduct by five women. Trevor Noah zeroed in on Mr. Moore’s identity as a conservative Christian.

“So, Roy Moore defines himself completely by the Bible — except for the parts about ‘Thou shalt not be gross.’” — TREVOR NOAH

CreditVideo by Late Night With Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers made fun of how difficult it seemed to be for Mr. Moore to give a straight answer during an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News.

“That whole time Sean Hannity gives him so many chances to defend himself, and he just cannot answer a yes-or-no question. ‘O.K., but you never stole a bus full of 16-year-olds and brought them to a secret lair, right?’ ‘Well, it certainly doesn’t sound like something I would do. I mean, I don’t remember being on a bus but, you know, if somebody said I did then that might be a case of, you know, two different memories. I remember, uh, a bus-like vehicle.’” — SETH MEYERS

Trump’s Twitter Feud With Kim Jong-un Continues

CreditVideo by The Late Late Show With James Corden

James Corden criticized Mr. Trump for the way he responded to North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, who called him “old” in a public statement over the weekend.

“So in order to prove he’s not old, Trump reacted like a third grader. I mean right now we are this close to Kim Jong-un and Trump doing ‘yo momma’ jokes on Twitter. ‘Yo momma so stupid she couldn’t get into Trump University!’” — JAMES CORDEN

Kimmel Celebrates His 50th Birthday

CreditVideo by Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Jimmy Kimmel turned 50 on Monday, and the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” team celebrated by showering him with gifts and guests.

“The show tonight will be almost a complete surprise to me,” Mr. Kimmel said. “My co-workers have been planning this and plotting for months. They keep giggling and whispering behind my back. It made me think, this must be what it’s like to be Donald Trump at the White House.”

Perhaps the most memorable surprise: Ben Affleck and J. J. Abrams teamed up with an abundant cast of stars to create a movie trailer based on a comic book that Mr. Kimmel made as a young boy.

Fallon Pays Tribute to His Mother

CreditVideo by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

On “The Tonight Show,” Jimmy Fallon had a more sorrowful bit of personal news to share. His mother, Gloria Fallon, died on Nov. 4, and he took last week off to spend with his family. He paid tribute to her from his desk on Monday, saying she was “the one I was always trying to make laugh.” He said, “Mom, I’ll never stop trying to make you laugh. I love you.”

The Punchiest Punchlines (Drive-Through Edition)

CreditVideo by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

“The first drive-through marijuana store is open in Nevada, which is super convenient — except for the eight hours it takes for you to drive home.” — SETH MEYERS

“It came out that Donald Trump Jr. was in direct contact with WikiLeaks during last year’s election. You can tell that Don Jr.’s in trouble because his dad just demoted him to Eric.” — JIMMY FALLON

The Bits Worth Watching

Jordan Klepper traveled to Puerto Rico to report on the island’s recovery from Hurricane Maria. He decided that when Mr. Trump said the government’s response to the disaster deserved “a 10,” he must have actually been referring to the way Puerto Ricans were taking things into their own hands.

CreditVideo by Comedy Central

“The Late Show” spotted a recent trend in Hollywood — movies with “bad” in the title — and took it to another level. If you think things are hitting rock bottom at “Terrible Notary,” think again.

CreditVideo by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

What We’re Excited About on Tuesday Night

CreditVideo by Comedy Central

Anthony Atamanuik, the Trump-impersonating comedian who hosts “The President Show,” will talk to Mr. Colbert on “The Late Show” on Tuesday.

Also, Check This Out

CreditPatricia Wall/The New York Times

Our critic writes that Mr. Biden’s memoir, “Promise Me, Dad,” offers a revealing look into how he dealt with crushing grief while fulfilling his duties as vice president. It also mingles the personal with the political to a degree that some readers will find disconcerting, she says.

Justice Dept. to Weigh Inquiry Into Clinton Foundation

  • Officials are looking into whether a special counsel should investigate reports of misconduct at the foundation, as well as the Obama administration’s uranium deal with Russia.
  • It raises questions about whether President Trump is trying to use the Justice Department to investigate his political rivals and distract from the investigation into his presidential campaign.

Moore Faces Fifth Accuser; McConnell Asks Him to Quit

  • Another woman has accused Roy S. Moore, the Senate candidate in Alabama, of sexual misconduct, saying he assaulted her when she was 16.
  • Hours earlier, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, joined other senior Republicans in calling for him to leave the race. “I believe the women,” he said.

Protesters jeered as the Trump administration promoted coal at a United Nations conference on climate change.

The Trump administration’s debut at the United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany, was met with heckling, noisy protest and harsh questions.

Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the N.S.A. to Its Core

A serial leak of the agency’s cyberweapons has damaged morale, slowed intelligence operations and resulted in hacking attacks on businesses and civilians worldwide.

Here is a list of men who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal, a number of high-profile men have resigned, been fired or experienced other fallout after claims of sexual misconduct.

Digital Pill Approval Leads to Worries of Ingesting Big Brother

  • The Food and Drug Administration has approved an antipsychotic drug that has a sensor that will show doctors whether and when patients are taking it. Other medicines will follow, experts say.
  • The approval marks a significant advance in the growing field of digital devices designed to monitor adherence.


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