Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. If you’re interested in hearing from The Times regularly about great TV, sign up for our Watching newsletter and get recommendations straight to your inbox.
The Big Day Arrives
Stephen Colbert has been waiting for this moment since Robert Mueller took over as special counsel almost two years ago: Attorney General William P. Barr is expected to make Mueller’s report public on Thursday.
Colbert has been fixated on Mueller’s investigation since 2017, and he’s already been burned a few times — particularly when Barr released a letter saying Mueller’s report stated clearly that Trump had not conspired with Russia.
On Wednesday, Colbert slyly poked fun at himself for all the hope (and airtime) he’s invested in Mueller.
“Now, the comedy duo of Barr and Rosenstein have scheduled a 9:30 a.m. press conference to release the report tomorrow, O.K.? Which will undoubtedly blow the lid off of Donald Trump’s corruption. And until then, I will pass the time [holds up a carton of eggs] counting my chickens, which I will safely place in one basket [dumps eggs into a basket].” — STEPHEN COLBERT
Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers both pointed out that the report was likely to have considerable redactions, so there’s no telling how revealing it will be.
“The Mueller report is coming. Tomorrow we finally get to see the highly anticipated and heavily redacted release. How much of it will be hidden we do not know. Political analysts are going to try to read through these redactions like teenage boys trying to watch scrambled porn on cable in 1985.” — JIMMY KIMMEL
“A redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is expected to be released tomorrow morning. Right now we don’t know what’s in it, but tomorrow … won’t be any different.” — SETH MEYERS, showing an image of an entirely redacted page
This Isn’t Miss Universe
Although Conan O’Brien joked that there are “over 800 Democratic candidates for president” in 2020, President Trump made it clear that the ones on his mind are the white, heterosexual, male ones over the age of 70. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists.”
“Classic Trump, literally ignoring every woman,” James Corden pointed out.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel poked fun at Trump’s nicknames for Biden and Sanders, saying they don’t get his point across very clearly.
“He was heckled by an anti-gay protester. Yeah, Buttigieg handled it like a pro, and said, ‘Settle down, Mr. Vice President.’” — CONAN O’BRIEN, discussing a recent rally by the Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
“Carl’s Jr. is testing out a CBD-infused burger. So far it’s working, ’cause customers eat the burger, walk outside, look up and say, ‘Sweet! Carl’s Jr.!’ and then walk back inside.” — JIMMY FALLON
“Easter is this Sunday. ‘He is risen!’ said the White House staff around 11 a.m.” — SETH MEYERS
“A university professor in Japan is under investigation after he taught his science class how to make the drug ecstasy. To be fair, teaching your students how to make ecstasy seems like a great idea — when you are on ecstasy.” — JAMES CORDEN
The Bits Worth Watching
Conan O’Brien visited Australia and tried to guess at the country’s slang terms. He made a lot of blues (mistakes, that is).
Wherein Jimmy Fallon runs his fingers through a mound of worms.
What We’re Excited About on Thursday Night
Samantha Bee will sit down on Thursday with Stephen Colbert, her former “Daily Show” colleague.
Also, Check This Out