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.
Trump’s Surprising ‘Bypass’
With President Trump expected to sign a compromise bill to keep the federal government open, and then declare a national emergency to build his border wall, James Corden mused on what would be an unprecedented action in the name of border security.
“At this point in Trump’s term, what’s one more constitutional crisis? Like, we can deal with this.” — JAMES CORDEN
“He’s bypassing Congress. Now, I knew that Trump might get a bypass — but honestly, I thought it would be from too much KFC.” — JAMES CORDEN
Then Corden looked back to 2014, using one of Trump’s old tweets against him.
“Going around Congress in this way is a very serious situation, and Trump immediately was blasted on Twitter, with one prominent Washington insider saying that we cannot allow the president to, quote, ‘subvert the Constitution of the United States for his own benefit and because he is unable to negotiate with Congress.’ Oh no, wait, hang on, sorry — that was Trump talking about President Obama in 2014.” — JAMES CORDEN
‘The Security Guard in Every Heist Movie’
Trump has been fending off investigations from the new Democratic-controlled House. Seth Meyers cited a tweet in which the president argues that the rash of inquiries is preventing him from governing.
“‘No time left to run the government?’ You don’t run the government now! You’re basically the security guard in every heist movie. ‘Murph, wake up!’ ‘Duhh, I was just resting my eyes!’” — SETH MEYERS
Jimmy Isn’t Excited About Joe
With Democrats throwing their hats into the ring for president at a rapid clip, Jimmy Kimmel said he was surprised to hear that former Vice President Joe Biden was still weighing whether to run.
“Joe Biden is reportedly still, still deciding whether or not to run in 2020. According to The Washington Post, he’s been eenie-meenie-miney-moeing for months now. And here’s the thing: By 2020, Joe Biden’s going to be 78 years old. The only thing he should be deciding is whether or not to stay up watching ‘NCIS’ at that age. If Biden doesn’t run, and this is interesting, they’re saying that he and Bernie Sanders, who’s also still deliberating, if they do not run, will spend the rest of their lives in a balcony heckling the Muppets.” — JIMMY KIMMEL
The Punchiest Punchlines (Ranch Edition)
“Wow, that’s a serious walk-back. ‘Honey, I know you wanted a diamond engagement ring, but what about this candy necklace that says, ‘Hot and horny’? You can eat it!” — STEPHEN COLBERT, noting that Congress passed a bill that doesn’t include funding for a border wall, despite Trump’s insistence on $5.7 billion
“Hidden Valley has just released a new version of their famous ranch dressing. They’re calling it their Blasted Ranch-Dipped Pizza Flavored Ranch. Yeah, you can look for it at your local supermarket in the aisle marked ‘She’s Never Coming Back, Is She?’” — JAMES CORDEN
The Bits Worth Watching
The viral clip of the day was of Kenny G. serenading Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West for Valentine’s Day.
One year after the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., Trevor Noah took stock of the progress that had been made by gun-control advocates — and looked at the road ahead.