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‘That’s Not a Defense’
Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia this weekend found himself enmeshed in controversy — and then self-inflicted confusion. First, he apologized for appearing in a photo, on his medical-school yearbook page, showing someone in blackface and another person dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member. But he recanted a day later, saying he was sure he was not in the photograph.
Then things got weirder: In the process of issuing his denial, Northam said he remembered another moment in his youth when he did darken his face as part of a Michael Jackson costume. That, he suggested, helped to clear his name in this instance. Trevor Noah said Northam’s defense didn’t make much sense, and Seth Meyers said it wasn’t really a defense at all.
“It does make it more believable that it wasn’t him in the photo, because who would defend themselves by admitting to a different crime? Your honor, I couldn’t be the Boston Strangler, because I’m the Philadelphia Strangler! Go Eagles!’” — TREVOR NOAH
“That’s not a defense — that’s a confession. Try that the next time a cop pulls you over: ‘Officer, I’m totally sober. Usually when I drive drunk I swerve a lot more.’” — SETH MEYERS
On Sunday, the Patriots beat the Rams, 13-3, in what was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history. It might have been the most boring one, too. Conan O’Brien said he was surprised to find he took no joy from seeing his team win. “That was hard to watch — and I’m a Patriots fan!” he said.
“I found that to be — what is the opposite of a nail-biter? It was a nail-grower. I thought I was watching a baseball game.” — CONAN O’BRIEN
Jimmy Fallon took sharp aim at the Rams, whose three points on Sunday tied them for last place in Super Bowl history.
“Rams quarterback Jared Goff just couldn’t score. Americans said, ‘If we wanted to see a football player who couldn’t score, we’d watch Colton on ‘The Bachelor.’” — JIMMY FALLON
“I read that over 10 million workers called in sick to work today. That doesn’t include the 53 Rams who skipped work last night.” — JIMMY FALLON
The Punchiest Punchlines (Maroon 5 Edition)
“That’s right, Trump doesn’t want his son to have brain damage, which is strange because usually fathers want their children to follow in their footsteps.” — TREVOR NOAH, reacting to President Trump’s statement that he would have a “hard time” allowing his son Barron to play football for fears about his health
“On Tuesday, Donald Trump is giving his State of the Union address. So yesterday it was Maroon 5 — tomorrow, it’s Orange 1. Please, don’t take your shirt off, sir.” — STEPHEN COLBERT, referring to the Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine’s scantily clad performance at the Super Bowl halftime show
The Bits Worth Watching
Here are a few football agnostics in Los Angeles who thought the Rams had won the Super Bowl — or were willing to say so on camera, at least.
Seth Meyers focused his “Closer Look” segment on the Governor Northam scandal.
What We’re Excited About on Tuesday Night
Colbert will follow the State of the Union address with a live “Late Show” broadcast. His guests will include the TV journalists Gayle King and John Dickerson and the director Spike Lee.