Best Late-Night Moments of the Year So Far

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With several hosts riding a post-election wave of popularity, 2017 is already turning into a banner year for late night television. As programs like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Saturday Night Live shift focus from all-around comedy to biting political satire, the late night world has enjoyed a surge of renewed interest from viewers.

However, that’s not to say the entertainers who haven’t gone all in on the Trump administration haven’t also had some hilarious bits. From James Corden’s Crosswalk the Musical to Jimmy Fallon’s dance battles, late night is still providing plenty of classic laughs.

Here are TIME’s pick for the top 10 late night moments of the year to date.


Melissa McCarthy debuts her Sean Spicer impression

No Saturday Night Live sketch in recent memory has paid off more than Melissa McCarthy’s inaugural turn as the angst-ridden, gum-chewing White House Press Secretary. Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump impression has generated headlines for months, but McCarthy’s explosive portrayal of Spicer gave new life to the show’s take on the current administration.

The parody even garnered a response from Spicer himself, who suggested she “dial it back” — a request that seems to have gone unheeded.

MORE: Watch How the Real Sean Spicer Compares to Saturday Night Live‘s Parody

The Daily Show crowns the top Trump tweet

The Daily Show‘s month-long March Madness-esque tournament to determine Donald Trump’s “greatest” tweet of all time culminated in correspondents Hasan Minhaj and Roy Wood Jr.’s hilarious reveal of the winner: “Are you allowed to impeach a president for gross incompetence?”

The 2014 Obama-era musing has become a recent favorite of critics of the current president, garnering over 181 thousand retweets and 150 thousand likes to date. “It may not be the meanest or the most racist,” the correspondents noted. “But it will be the one tweet we will get the answer to in the next four years.”

MORE: ‘This Tweet Didn’t Age Well.’ 22 Tweets That Came Back to Haunt President Trump


Jimmy Fallon gets served by Jennifer Lopez

Unsurprisingly, Fallon did not come out on top in this ill-advised dance-off against the one and only J.Lo. But he certainly brought his A game to his battle with the pop star, who executed hilarious interpretations of moves such as “Washing Machine on Spin Cycle” and “Hot Cowboy.”

But all was not lost for Fallon, as Lopez ended the competition by graciously allowing him to join her for a duet of “Seeing Yourself on the Jumbotron” — despite his inability to Dab in the right direction.

Jimmy Kimmel tears up over his newborn son

In a rare moment of candor, Kimmel delivered an emotional monologue in which he tearfully revealed his newborn son — William “Billy” Kimmel — underwent open heart surgery at just three days old. The Live! host capped off his family’s story with an impassioned plea for universal health care coverage — an appeal that earned words of support from political figures such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as numerous celebrities.

MORE: Everything You Need to Know About the Jimmy Kimmel-Matt Damon Feud

Seth Meyers takes a closer look at Trump’s inauguration

On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States, Meyers took one of his patented closer looks at what the ceremony would hold for “the least popular incoming president in modern history.”

The Late Night host masterfully covered a wide swath of material in the 10-minute sketch, including Trump’s lackluster performance lineup and alleged unconstitutional business conflicts. Meyers also poked fun at a potential “schedule” for the day: “Noon swearing-in, 3 p.m. inaugural parade, 6 p.m. impeachment hearing.”

MORE: Seth Meyers on His Simple Trick for Interviewing Kellyanne Conway

James Corden gets creative with Beauty and the Beast

Forget Carpool Karaoke — this is Crosswalk the Musical. After recruiting Beauty and the Beast stars Dan Stevens, Josh Gad and Luke Evans to reprise their roles, Corden — who played Belle — executed an inspired adaptation of Disney’s live-action reboot in the middle of a traffic-packed Los Angeles intersection.

“Daniel Day Lewis played Abraham Lincoln, Meryl Streep played Margaret Thatcher, James Corden played Belle,” the Late, Late Show host mused. “I think in many ways those three will always be regarded as similar – if not the same.”

Stephen Colbert bids farewell to Bill O’Reilly

Following O’Reilly’s dismissal from Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations, the Late Show host brought back his conservative Colbert Report character for a tongue-in-cheek defense of the former anchor. “Hello nation, and shame on you. You failed him. You failed Bill O’Reilly,” Colbert deadpanned as his alter-ego. “All he ever did was have your back. And if you’re a woman, you know, have a go at the front too.”

The takedown was a rare deviation from Colbert’s recent Trump-bashing monologues — a post-election trend that has positioned him as the reigning king of late night.

MORE: The Complete History of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart’s Legendary Friendship

Leslie Jones asks the hard-hitting Hidden Figures questions

In one of her regular “Weekend Update” appearances on Saturday Night Live, Jones praised the movie Hidden Figures for highlighting the kinds of role models that Hollywood often overlooks:

“[The movie] taught me something I never knew — black women helped astronauts go to space. Why didn’t they teach me that in school,” she wondered. “Here’s my issue. We cram all of black history into just month. All we have time for is George Washington Carver and all his peanut stuff. We should learn all black history all the year round and teach it to everybody.”

John Oliver teaches Trump about health care

Leading up to the March shelving of a vote on the American Health Care Act — which has since passed in the House of Representatives — Oliver delivered a blistering takedown of the GOP attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare.

After breaking down the negative impact the legislation would have on millions of Americans, the host concluded the segment by revealing Last Week Tonight had purchased ad time during Fox & Friends in the hopes of educating Donald Trump on the issue. “Who better to tell Trump what this bill will do than someone who stands to be hurt by it,” Oliver said of the show’s “Catheter Cowboy” parody spot. “Someone in his early 60s, in rural America, with an unspecified medical problem that requires constant treatment?”


Samantha Bee skewers Paul Ryan

In shining her comedic spotlight on Ryan, Bee brought her signature biting satire to the world of politics. After dubbing Ryan Donald Trump’s “faithful husky,” the Full Frontal host proceeded to rip into the Speaker of the House over his backtracking on criticism of the president during the late stages of the 2016 election.

“Watching Ryan play moral watchdog was like watching Taylor Swift pretend to be surprised at an award show: bland and fake, but weirdly compelling,” Bee memorably riffed.


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