Late-night TV hosts on Monday night took aim at President Trump’s controversial travel ban for Syrian refugees and citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries and the backlash it sparked during the past weekend.
James Corden, host of CBS’ “The Late Late Show,” filmed a special cold open for Monday’s episode chronicling Corden’s movement through Los Angeles International Airport earlier in the day. The video, which showed Corden moving the security check, ordering a grilled cheese sandwich and boarding a flight, ended with a black slate noting that this week’s episodes were pre-taped as Corden left Los Angeles on Monday.
“Freedom of movement should be this easy for all legal immigrants. Not just the white and Christian ones,” the slate read. LAX was among several major airports where protesters have gathered in recent days. Corden filmed the video himself on his smartphone in a last-minute effort to make sure the show addressed the growing outrage over the policy decision.
ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” TBS’ “Conan,” NBC’s “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” all delivered segments related to the travel ban, as did Viceland’s “Desus and Mero.”
Fallon did his in full Trump impersonation mode, noting the irony that Trump’s wife Melania is an immigrant from Slovenia. “When it comes to immigrants, you have either two choices: either get out of here or marry me,” Fallon said.
TBS’ Conan O’Brien noted that Trump indulged in a perk of the office during the weekend by holding his first movie screening at the White House, the Disney/Pixar hit “Finding Dory.” “In this version Dory couldn’t be found because she was being detained at the airport,” O’Brien said.
CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” also had a video cold open that was a reaction to Trump senior advisor Steve Bannon saying in an interview with the New York Times that journalists should “keep their mouths shut” for a period during the new administration. The video showed “Face the Nation” anchor John Dickerson and frequent panelists on CBS’ Sunday morning public affairs show, including Bob Woodward and Peggy Noonan, sitting around a table with their lips tight.
Colbert, who was back with new episodes after taking last week off, said the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty has been revised to read: “Don’t let it hit ya where the good lord split ya.”
Colbert and Meyers both zeroed in on the fact that only true outrage could drive people to go the airport without travel plans.
“Do you have any idea how angry people have to be to voluntarily go to JFK?” Colbert joked. “If you can spend more than two hours at JFK without losing your s—, you should get automatic citizenship,” Meyers observed.
Viceland’s “Desus and Mero” focused on the backlash against ride-sharing service Uber after the company sought to capitalize on the hourlong taxi strike mounted on Saturday as the crowds of protestors grew at JFK. The two hosts riffed about the “Delete Uber” hashtag that trended throughout the weekend and their dismay at having to stop using the service in protest.
“We’re complaining about car-sharing services and they’re like ripping apart families,” Desus said.
Noah summed up the events of the weekend by asserting: “No matter how bad the situation you’re in, Donald Trump can always make it worse.”
Watch a sampling of late-night hosts on Trump below: