Late Night Last Week: The Reign of Jiminy Glick

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Late Night Last Week: The Reign of Jiminy Glick

Late Night Last Week is a column highlighting some of the more notable segments from the previous week of late night television. Today’s installment features clips from the week of June 24-30.

We are in the dog days of Late Night Summer. NBC gave Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers the week off. Over on CBS, Stephen Colbert and Taylor Tomlinson were also presumably on a beach somewhere. John Oliver won’t be back until July 21. 

Thankfully, 2.5 comedy legends were around to keep us entertained as the United States came one step closer to collapse: Martin Short and Jon Stewart.

Glick, Glick, and More Glick

Jimmy Kimmell was off last week. To guest host, ABC got one of the best two-for-one specials in comedy: Martin Short and Jiminy Glick, who shared hosting duties. While Short was the better of the hosts, especially when it came to delivering the traditional late night monologue, his pal Jiminy performed ably when called on for bits and, naturally, when it came to interviewing the stars of his beloved Tinseltown. 

“I know what you’re all thinking,” he said on his second night hosting. “Martin Short is way too famous to be doing this.” Kind of true. While Short was a predictably effective host, there were some tired throughlines to the whole ordeal. Plugs are obviously king in late night. So it is no surprise that Short’s interviewees included his co-stars on the also-Disney-owned Only Murders in the Building: Steve Martin, Selena Gomez, and Jane Lynch. Cross-promotion accomplished. 

And some might say that having Glick on every night was the classic example of “too much of a good thing.” It certainly felt like that at times. Yet there were three arenas for Glick to work in that made for an entertaining experience nonetheless. Plus, we will always have the clips. The first is the classic “Out and About” segment, a highly edited interview with punch after punch after punch. Glick came out swinging with Sean Hayes: “What makes Jon Voight so angry?!”

We also saw Glick on the couch with Nick Kroll and Melissa McCarthy, who all fed off one another to great effect. Unlike Bill Maher two weeks ago, they seemed comfortable with Glick, willing to follow him in whatever direction he leads them. “If we didn’t have poor people,” Glick asked, “how would you ever get people to do crowd scenes?” 

Glick performed less ably in the monologue. He ended with a musical tribute to … Donald Trump, sung in the style of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” The tired Trump jokes aside, it did not help that the episode aired after the disaster of a presidential debate. A big loss for America, and a bigger one for pre-recorded television. 

Jon Stewart Goes Live After That Thing Called a Debate

So about that debate. While some late night shows stuck to the plan, thankfully, The Daily Show opted for a live broadcast with John Stewart behind the desk. Comedy Central, our guiding light. Jon Stewart, a captain talking us through the absolute mess we all saw and heard. 

As pundits on cable news took on the surprised Pikachu face, Stewart, graciously, refrained from taking a victory lap. Instead, he helped us process. Joe Biden’s historically awful showing. Donald Trump’s countless lies and all-around horrible energy. The grotesque CNN hype-machine in the lead up to the debate and the network’s horrible rules for moderation. All of it was just, well, hilariously bad. 

For decades, Stewart has shown that he is the best at balancing, to borrow a phrase from the man himself, the weather and the climate. While the weather was bad, it was not surprising if you paid attention to the climate. All of Stewart’s monologue is worth watching in full. 

Will DiGravio is a Brooklyn-based critic and researcher, who first contributed to Paste in 2022. He is an assistant editor at Cineaste, a GALECA member, and since 2019 has hosted The Video Essay Podcast. You can follow and/or unfollow him on Twitter and learn more about him via his website.

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