18 Jokes, Stunts, And Interview Moments That Late-Night Hosts Got Called Out For

·11 min read

A lot of great interview moments have come out of late-night TV, but hosts from shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Late Show With James Corden have also become known for jokes and other antics that can range from uncomfortably awkward to highly controversial.

NBC / Via giphy.com

Here are 10 super-awkward jokes and celeb interactions from current late-night hosts:

1.While Quinta Brunson accepted her first Emmy, Jimmy Kimmel lay on the stage for the duration of her speech. He was widely criticized for taking attention away from her historic win.

Quinta accepting her award with Jimmy lying below her
Kevin Mazur / WireImage / Getty Images

He was lying on the floor because of a bit he'd done with Will Arnett beforehand.

Afterward, Quinta told Variety, "I know Jimmy Kimmel, and ... I felt like the bit didn't bother me that much. I don't know what the internet thinks, but, I don't know ... Tomorrow maybe I'll be mad at him. I'm going to be on his show on Wednesday, so I might punch him in the face ... We'll see what happens."

Quinta holding up her award right in front of Jimmy's face
Michael Buckner / Variety via Getty Images

She also said, "Jimmy gave me my first big late-night spot and was one of the first people to see Abbott. ... I think in that moment, I was just really happy that it was Jimmy up there. I kind of consider him one of the comedy godfathers, and I'm a huge fan of Will Arnett, so I was wrapped up in the moment."

When Quinta made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host apologized to her. He said, "It was a dumb comedy bit that we thought would be funny. I lost, and then I drank too much and I had to be dragged out on the stage. And then people got upset. They said that I stole your moment, and maybe I did. I'm very sorry if I did do that — I'm sorry I did do that, actually."

Quinta crouching down to talk to Jimmy, who's lying on the stage
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

He added, "And also, the last thing I would ever want to do is upset you because I think so much of you, and I think you know that — I hope you know that."

Watch Quinta's full acceptance speech here:

2.When Jimmy Fallon got lost during Dakota Johnson's story about getting sprayed by a skunk, he interrupted her — so she called him out on it.

Dakota talking to Jimmy: "Well, no, I sort of—"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Dakota with the caption, "They allow dogs at the hotel?"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Dakota saying, "Aren't you supposed to let people talk on the show?"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy covering his face with the caption "Laughter and applause"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy saying, "If they know what they're talking about, yes!"
NBC / Via youtube.com

Watch the full moment unfold here:

3.When Jimmy Fallon told Rami Malek he would've called him about Bohemian Rhapsody if he had his phone number, Rami caught him in a lie: Jimmy did have his contact info.

Jimmy saying to Rami, "Bohemian Rhapsody, because if I had your email"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy says "your phone number, I would have called you a gazillion times"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Rami with caption, "and said, 'Dude, you were unbelievable!'"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Rami saying, "You have my email and phone number"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy saying "That's true, but I decided to not call you"
NBC / Via youtube.com

Then, when Rami touched Jimmy's hand, he had no idea how to process it.

Rami touching Jimmy's hand with caption, "Please, stop, please, there's other ones"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Caption: No, no, no, that was something Freddie did every night"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Caption: No, no, no, that was something Freddie did every night"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Close-up of Jimmy's face
NBC / Via youtube.com

Watch the full interview here:

4.Similarly, Tyler Perry called out Jimmy Kimmel for ignoring his party invitation, and the host awkwardly tried to come up with an excuse.

Jimmy referring to the last time Tyler was there, right after he opened his big Atlanta studio, and Tyler says, "That you didn't come to! The big party I had"
ABC / Via youtube.com
Tyler saying Jimmy said he'd send a gift, and he still doesn't have it
ABC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy apologizing and saying "maybe COVID was happening," and Tyler saying it was before COVID
ABC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy saying he thought it must've been meant for Jimmy Fallon, and Tyler saying that it said "Jimmy Kimmel" and he did a special video saying "Please come"
ABC / Via youtube.com

Watch the full conversation here:

5.When Jimmy Fallon joked that Joaquin Phoenix's name was "too long," Joaquin called him out and said, "You can handle it."

Jimmy saying "But I call you Joaq" and Joaquin saying "Why?"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy: "Well, your name's Joaquin; I feel like that's too long for me"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Joaquin saying "You can handle it; I feel like you can handle it"
NBC / Via youtube.com

Watch the full clip here:

6.When Jimmy Kimmel showed a Joker outtake of Joaquin Phoenix getting frustrated with the crew for whispering on set and calling him "Cher," the actor was "a little embarrassed" because the moment "was supposed to be private."

Joaquin in character with caption saying "I know you started the [bleeped] Cher thing, Larry" and "You guys [bleeped] funny, making fun of me? Like I'm a [bleeped] diva? it's not even an insult"
Warner Bros. Pictures / Via youtube.com
Jimmy asking, "Now, what happened there? Who's Larry?"
ABC / Via youtube.com
Joaquin saying, "Um. Larry's the cinematographer; um, this is so embarrassing"
ABC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy: "And did he call you 'Cher'"?
ABC / Via youtube.com
Joaquin saying that sometimes movies get intense because it's a lot of people in a small space
ABC / Via youtube.com
Joaquin saying that was supposed to be private and he's a little embarrassed and "sorry you guys had to see that"
ABC / Via youtube.com

Watch the full interview here:

7.While playfully arguing with his producers about the ideal length for a shower, James Corden admitted that he only washes his hair "about every two months."

James saying "I use soap! I don't wash my hair; I wash it about every two months"
CBS / Via youtube.com
Person wearing a mask and saying "Nah, that's not cool; you guys are dirty!"
CBS / Via youtube.com

8.After a 2019 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, then–17-year-old Billie Eilish faced backlash over saying she didn't know who Van Halen was, but two years later, she called out Jimmy for making her look "a little stupid."

Billie asking if he remembers the last time she was there and he made her look a little stupid
ABC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy saying he didn't do it on purpose and Billie saying "I was playing along, and then everybody actually thought I was serious and didn't know anything"
ABC / Via youtube.com

Watch the full video — and the Gen Z trivia quiz Billie gave Jimmy for revenge! — here:

9.While hosting the 2020 Emmys, Jimmy Kimmel decided to light the winner's envelope on fire to burn "all the germs off." The flames got a little out of control, causing co-presenter Jennifer Aniston to activate firefighter mode.

Jimmy lighting the fire onstage
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The flames starting
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Jen holding a fire extinguisher
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Jen bending down with the extinguisher
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Jen putting out the fire
ABC / Via youtube.com

Watch the full clip here:

10.While hosting the CNN New Year's Eve broadcast with Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen took a few too many tequila shots and ranted against former New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, Mark Zuckerberg, and Ryan Seacrest.

Anderson telling Andy not to go on a rant
Andy talking about de Blasio doing his "victory lap" dance after four years of the crappiest term as mayor of the city and Anderson asking if that's he he wants to start the new year
Andy: "The only things Democrats and Republicans can agree on is what a horrible mayor he has been! So, sayonara, suckah!"

Watch the full clip here:

CNN debunked rumors that he'd been fired over the incident, telling BuzzFeed News that the network stands by Andy and looks forward to welcoming him back.

Andy and Anderson smiling
Taylor Hill / FilmMagic / Getty Images

On The Howard Stern Show, Andy said, "Listen, I will not be shamed for having fun on New Year’s Eve. That’s why I’m there. That’s why they bring me there."

Andy smiling on the set of his show
Bravo / Bravo via Getty Images

He continued, "It’s a four-and-a-half-hour show. The booze started kicking in at around 11:30, so everyone is focusing on kind of the last 45 minutes or hour that we were on the air."

And now, here are eight controversial or problematic jokes and moments from late-night hosts:

11.In 2013, Jimmy Kimmel was called out over a segment in which he asked 5- and 6-year-olds, "America owes China a lot of money, $1.3 trillion. How should we pay them back?" One of the children answered, "Shoot cannons all the way over and kill everyone in China" — to which Jimmy replied, "OK, that’s an interesting idea."

Jimmy smiling
Randy Holmes / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

After it aired, ABC released a statement that said the network "would never purposefully broadcast anything to upset the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent or any community at large" and promised "swift action to minimize the distribution of the skit by removing it from all platforms and editing it out of any future airings of the show."

Jimmy sitting at his desk on the show
Randy Holmes / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Jimmy also made an on-air apology. He said, "I thought it was obvious that I didn’t agree with that statement, but apparently it wasn’t. So I just want to say I am sorry. I apologize. It was certainly not my intent to upset anyone. I’m here to turn frowns upside down."

Jimmy in a suit and smiling
Randy Holmes / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

12.He again came under fire for anti-Asian jokes when he seemingly compared contagious coronavirus variants to the global popularity of BTS.

Jimmy saying "It reminds me of the boy bands in the late '90s and in the early 2000s"
ABC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy saying "You know you had the big ones like Backstreet Boys and, uh, NSYNC"
ABC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy saying "They kept splitting off in different directions, eventually One Direction"
ABC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy: "and it popped up all over the world until eventually"
ABC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy: "until eventually we get to one that's so contagious, it destroys all life on Earth"
ABC / Via youtube.com

Here's the full monologue:

Though he didn't mention BTS by name, viewers made the obvious connection because of a similar joke he made the week before when Ashley Park told him that she initially mistook her COVID-19 symptoms for excitement over BTS members RM and V sharing her "Dynamite" cover.

Caption: "They're both very dangerous; you're lucky to come out of those alive"
ABC / Via youtube.com

Watch the full clip here:

13.The BTS ARMY called out James Corden for joking about the band's visit to the United Nations General Assembly and belittling the fanbase by calling them all "15-year-old girls."

James saying it's a historic moment because it marks the first time 15-year-old girls everywhere found themselves wishing they were secretary general of the UN

The Armies were hurt because not only is their fanbase large and diverse, but they'd previously embraced James for featuring BTS so many times. The boys and the fans even nicknamed him "Papa Mochi."

Here's the full clip:

However, when BTS visited The Late Late Show a few months later, RM called James out on the jokes and accepted his apology.

James with BTS members and caption: "I thought were two harmless jokes that we never meant to be"
CBS / Via youtube.com
James with BTS and caption: "At anyone's expense because I hope you know we absolutely love"
CBS / Via youtube.com
BTS on the show with caption "You and the ARMY"
CBS / Via youtube.com
BTS and James with caption "Know that we would never do—" and "James, it's all right"
CBS / Via youtube.com
James shaking the hand of a BTS member and bowing with caption "We appreciate the apology"
CBS / Via youtube.com

Jimin also assured him that he was still Papa Mochi.

James and BTS member hugging
CBS / Via youtube.com

You can watch the full segment here:

14.In a segment where he and Harry Styles filmed a music video in a stranger's house, James Corden called the One Direction fan who lived there a "psychopath" because of her merch collection.

James saying, "Be honest — are you, like, a crazy psychopath? Harry Styles is all over — I feel like you're gonna kill him" as he looks at her 1D perfume
CBS / Via youtube.com
James saying "We need to hide all of this because I'm worried you're a psychopath"
CBS / Via youtube.com

Here's the full video:

15.In 2017, James Corden was criticized for opening the gala of amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, with jokes about the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

James at the podium saying it's a beautiful room and a beautiful night in LA — so beautiful, Harvey has already asked "tonight" up to his hotel to give him a massage
Alberto Rodriguez / Getty Images

When the crowd groaned, he doubled down, adding, "I don't know whether that groan was that you like that joke or you don't like that joke. If you don't like that joke, you should probably leave now."

James saying that it's been weird this week, watching Harvey in hot water — ask any woman who's watched him take a bath: It's weird watching Harvey in hot water
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Two days later, he made an apology on Twitter, saying, "To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behavior, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention."

James at a podium
Alberto Rodriguez / Getty Images

16.When Jimmy Fallon had influencer Addison Rae teach him viral TikTok dancers on The Tonight Show, he was criticized for failing to properly credit the choreographers who created the routines.

Jimmy onstage with Addison hold up a sign saying "Savage"

Here's the full segment:

In response to the backlash, Jimmy brought the original creators of the dances onto the show. The segment featured Mya Nicole Johnson and Chris Cotter ("Up"); Dorien Scott ("Corvette Corvette"); Fur-Quan Powell ("Laffy Taffy" remix); Adam Snyder, Nate Nale, and Greg Dahl ("Blinding Lights"); and Keara Wilson ("Savage").

Jimmy with the caption "Now, we recognize that the creators of those dances"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy with caption "deserve to have their own spotlight"
NBC / Via youtube.com
Jimmy onstage with the choreographers on Zoom
NBC / Via youtube.com

You can watch the full set of interviews — and see the creators perform their dances! — here:

17.Samantha Bee was criticized for calling Ivanka Trump a "feckless cunt" when she called her out for not standing up to her father, then-president Donald Trump, concerning his immigration policies.

Samantha saying "Let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad's immigration practices, you feckless cunt!"

She also called her out for posting a picture calling her child "my heart" the same weekend that two scandals about the treatment of immigrant children at the US–Mexico border broke.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, she said, "I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it."

Samantha on the red carpet smiling
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

TBS also provided a statement, which said, "Samantha Bee has taken the right action in apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about Ivanka Trump last night. Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it."

The first time she returned to Full Frontal after the controversy, Samantha again apologized for the insult but called out the fact that it got more attention than the policies she was speaking out against. She said, "I should have known that a potty-mouthed insult would be inherently more interesting to them than juvenile immigration policy."

Samantha sitting on a couch
Gary Gershoff / Getty Images

She continued, "I’m really sorry that I said that word, but you know what? Civility is just nice words. Maybe we should all worry a little bit more about the niceness of our actions. OK, thanks for listening."

18.And finally, in 2017, Stephen Colbert faced backlash from both sides of the political spectrum for making a sexual joke about then-president Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stephen saying "The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's [bleeped] holster!"
CBS / Via youtube.com

You can watch the whole monologue here:

Responding to the criticism and the trending #FireColbert hashtag on air, Stephen said, "I don't regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So it's a fair fight."

Stephen on his show sitting behind his desk
CBS Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

He continued, "So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be. I'm not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is, to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But that."

However, the backlash didn't end there. Inundated with complaints about the joke, the Federal Communications Commission launched an investigation into whether it violated TV obscenity rules.

Stephen wearing a bow tie
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images