April 18, 2018

On Tuesday's Daily Show, Trevor Noah returned to Sean Hannity's newly uncovered relationship with President Trump's lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen, and he focused on Hannity's confusing and improbable explanation for why he isn't Cohen's law client, despite Cohen's assertion to the contrary.

Whatever legal advice he solicited from Cohen, "why didn't Hannity get it from his regular attorney, instead of turning to a guy who's specifically known for paying off mistresses?" Noah asked. Hannity insisted it's not what it looks like, but he fudged a bit. "Wow, he really slipped in the 'almost' there," he said. "He was, like, 'All my questions to Michael Cohen were exclusively almost real estate.' ... You can't say 'exclusively almost.' 'Exclusively almost' is the kind of phrase that makes people ask more questions. If someone tells you that they 'exclusively almost' have sex with adults, you're not hiring them to babysit your kids."

Hannity offered a slightly different explanation on his radio show, but what really got Noah is "how casually Hannity is trying to minimize his connection to Michael Cohen, like it means nothing — especially when every other day of the year, he's the guy who can bake a conspiracy cake out of nothing more than an egg and the word 'Hillary.'" He presented his own theory "to bust this whole Hannity-Michael Cohen story wide open," then illustrated Hannity's dilemma with a deleted scene "exclusively almost" from Star Wars.

Jordan Klepper had his own theory at The Opposition. Yes, Cohen is "the Atticus Finch of getting women to shut up about affairs — allegedly," he said, but if you listen to Hannity, it's clear "this isn't some tawdry woman-silencing hush deal. Hannity was just talking to Cohen about real estate. So everyone should just relax, because it's obvious what happened: Sean Hannity f---ed a house. He f---ed a house and had Michael Cohen pay it to keep quiet." He elaborated on that theory, and you can watch below. Peter Weber

October 27, 2017

"The Trump administration seems permanently inundated by scandal and constantly under siege," so "many on the right seem to want to live in an alternate reality where Trump actually isn't president," Seth Meyers said on Thursday's Late Night. Who is president, then? Well, on Fox News, it's Hillary Clinton, he said. "And in particular, they've tried to dredge up a series of debunked and overblown stories to muddy the waters and make it look like it was actually Hillary who colluded with Russia," constantly repeating that the "real Russia scandal" involves Clinton, not President Trump.

Meyers briefly discussed reports that the Clinton campaign helped finance the research on Trump and Russia commingling that a former British spy, Christopher Steele, compiled into a now-famous dossier. He then showed the "new entry to one of our favorite montages" — Sean Hannity trying to defend Trump by repeating the most salacious claim from the dossier. But if "Fox News would much rather talk about Hillary than Donald Trump," they're not alone, Meyers said. "The right, in the Trump era, doesn't have coherent principles or an ideology, it just has enemies. Which is why they prefer to inhabit an alternate reality where Hillary Clinton is president. And what little you do hear about Trump won't be negative."

Meyers looked at some of Fox News' sycophantic interviews with Trump — 18 since he was president — comparing Fox News hosts to "dance moms quietly doing the routine in the background so their kids won't mess up." He also feigned sympathy for Trump: "To be fair, you might also have an inflated ego if there was a whole TV channel dedicated to showering you with praise." You can watch that and more below. Peter Weber

October 25, 2017

The revelation that former Fox News star Bill O'Reilly paid $32 million to settle a sixth sexual harassment case likely means the end of his TV career, "and yesterday, Bill told us exactly who he blames for all of his bad decisions," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "Could this be true? Is God really to blame for this whole scandal?" "God" appeared on the Late Show ceiling and asked Colbert to keep his name out of this.

One reason, the Late Show God said, is that he has his own spotty record with women. "There was that time I got somebody pregnant and totally bailed," he said. "Kid shows up on my doorstep 33 years later — turns out, nice guy!" But God eventually confessed his blame for the O'Reilly mess, to Colbert's surprise. "Yeah, I gave him that free will, and look what he did with it!" God said. "It's like letting a toddler drive a car, which I've also done." He kind of apologized, but ended with a wicked roast joke. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 24, 2017

"We are, sadly, in the midst of a flurry of sexual assault and harassment allegations against some pretty big names in show biz — producers like Harvey Weinstein, directors like James Toback, even former reality show hosts," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. But he wanted to talk about Bill O'Reilly and his sixth reported payout to settle sexual harassment claims, this one for $32 million. "Which is exactly the sort of thing you do when you're innocent," Colbert said, getting some comedic mileage out of the fact that O'Reilly's latest accuser, Liz Wiehl, appeared on an O'Reilly Factor segment called "Is It Legal?"

Colbert found O'Reilly's explanation for why he sent gay pornography to Wiehl a little suspect, and explained why. "But there's a twist," he added, noting that Fox News knew O'Reilly reached a settlement in January then gave him a raise in February, agreeing to a four-year, $25 million annual contract. "He got a $25 million payout?" Colbert asked. "What did Bill O'Reilly do to Bill O'Reilly?" He suggested that maybe Fox extended O'Reilly's contract because it meant that while he was on camera, "that was one hour a day they knew he's not groping somebody." Colbert wasn't much more impressed with Fox's actual reasoning, and you can watch his "fool me once..." takedown below. Peter Weber

April 21, 2017

If you thought Stephen Colbert was done celebrating Bill O'Reilly's departure from Fox News, maybe you forgot the amount of time Colbert spent immersing himself in a character based on O'Reilly. But with time comes a bit of sobriety, so on Thursday's Late Show, Colbert engaged in a little happy dancing but also pleaded for his life. "It's hard to believe he's leaving," Colbert said of O'Reilly. "I mean, as the sign outside Fox News says, 'Nobody Moves This Man.' Nobody! Except for the janitor who scraped him down this morning."

"But remember, Bill still has his books, he still has his rage, and his Fox News payout worth a reported $25 million," Colbert said, looking on O'Reilly's bright side momentarily. "If you do the math, that is twice as much as they paid his accusers— Oh my god, you know what that means? Bill O'Reilly sexually harassed himself." As Colbert looked ahead to a life without The O'Reilly Factor, he wondered what O'Reilly was going to do.

To figure that out, Colbert turned to O'Reilly's 1998 novel, Those Who Trespass, which he actually dedicated to the women in his life — "or as they're affectionately known, the plaintiffs," Colbert joked. The book features a brash TV journalist, Shannon Michaels, who was fired from his network news job. When Michaels had his job taken away from him, Colbert read, he found solace in "planning and carrying out the executions of those people who had humiliated him." Seriously, if you were Colbert, you might be a little nervous reading that, too. Watch below. Peter Weber

April 20, 2017

Late night comedians went all in on Wednesday's ouster of Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, the toppling of a TV giant. But Jimmy Kimmel left the punch line to his sidekick, Guillermo Rodriguez. "Fox News decided to extend Bill's vacation to forever," Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. "I tell you, of all the jobs President Trump promised to create, you wouldn't think Bill O'Reilly's would have been one of them. But it is. So O'Reilly's out, and tonight Fox News released an exclusive preview of his soon-to-be replacement." He wasn't talking about Tucker Carlson Tonight, but rather The Guillerm O'Factor, and you can watch the sneak preview below. It's a contender. Peter Weber

April 20, 2017

On Wednesday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert did a little jig on the grave of Bill O'Reilly's Fox News career, but he also said he's "not going to sit here and publicly gloat" about the downfall of a TV personality whose microwave he once stole. In the second part of his monologue, he explained why. "Here's the thing, I owe a lot to Bill O'Reilly," he said. "I spent over nine years playing a character based largely on him — and then 12 months in therapy to de-bloviate myself. So tonight, we at The Late Show are proud to issue a statement from Bill O'Reilly's biggest fan, conservative pundit Stephen Colbert."

He cut to his Colbert Report alter ego, "live" from the cabin in the woods he shares with Jon Stewart. "Hello nation, and shame on you," that Colbert said. "You failed him. You failed Bill O'Reilly. You didn't deserve this great man." After railing against the decline of America, to where you can't even sexually harass anybody anymore, he invited O'Reilly to join him and Stewart in the woods. Then Late Show Colbert took over again. "In case you're a fan of sexual harassers who are on TV all the time, you still have Donald Trump," he said, moving on to the New England Patriots visiting the White House and Tuesday's special election in Georgia. Watch below. Peter Weber

April 20, 2017

During Bill O'Reilly's heyday — which, in some respects, lasted until he went on "vacation" and then was fired Wednesday — Jon Stewart's Daily Show and Stephen Colbert's Colbert Report poked at the Fox News star on a regular basis. Now Colbert hosts The Late Show, and Trevor Noah helms The Daily Show, but both O'Reilly-punching institutions got in their final licks on Wednesday night.

"Now, Bill and I did not see eye-to-eye on anything," Colbert said. "But he's been a guest on this show, and I take no pleasure in his downfall, okay? I'm not going to sit here and publicly gloat — Jimmy, can you take the camera off me for just a second?" After the camera came back, Colbert said the news isn't so surprising. "We all saw this coming at us," he said, "like an old man cornering an intern in the break room."

But then he reconsidered. "O'Reilly's suddenly off the air," Colbert said. "This is huge. It's like looking at your front yard and the big oak tree is just gone. And sure, the oak tree said some disturbing things about young black men — what with their rap music and their neck tattoos — but damnit, the tree had been there forever, and your grandpa liked to just sit there and stare at it." Fox News issued a brief statement "celebrating O'Reilly's career, saying, 'By ratings standards, Bill O'Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news,'" Colbert noted. "By ratings standards, he is. By moral standards, he was a self-righteous landfill of angry garbage."

Noah focused on O'Reilly's greatest hits (or misses, depending). "Here at The Daily Show, we want to give O'Reilly the sendoff that he deserves," he said. "Because, let's be honest, he's not going to get it on Fox," where everybody will probably pretend nothing is amiss. O'Reilly really was "the biggest figure in the history of cable news," Noah said. "At one point, no one even came close — because they were afraid he might sexually harass him."

Noah recapped O'Reilly's career, from an early on-set breakdown at Inside Edition to years of complaints about cultural oppression of white men and Christians. "Here's what I don't understand: If white people don't have it good in the U.S., then which race does?" he asked. He focused for a bit on O'Reilly's beef with black people, then noted that in the end, "O'Reilly wasn't just a famous newsman. You know all that anger and victimhood you hear from Trump voters? A lot of that started with him." So The Daily Show bid a half-serious, occasionally NSFW farewell to its "extremely old friend," and let O'Reilly play his career out, with a lot of jazz. Watch below. Peter Weber