Besides box office bombs and big TV news, 2013's morning headlines were also commonly dominated by memorable moments from late night talk shows. Many hosts turned to music covers, parodies and pranks to go viral, while others stuck to well-crafted sketches or heartwarming segments to collect views.
The Hollywood Reporter recounts the top late night moments of 2013:
The Colbert Report's Daft Punk Recovery
At the last minute, the electronic duo canceled their August performance on Stephen Colbert's Comedy Central talker in lieu of a surprise appearance at MTV's Video Music Awards. Still, Colbert managed to lure bold-faced names like Hugh Laurie, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Jimmy Fallon and Jon Stewart to take part in a "Get Lucky" dance party.
Jimmy Kimmel Live's "Worst Twerk Fail Ever" Hoax
When a video of a girl twerking alone in her apartment – and then catching on fire – went viral in September, Jimmy Kimmel revealed the clip was was staged, starring stuntwoman Daphne Avalon. He then showed a reel of media outlets covering the online phenomenon as breaking news (and blaming Miley Cyrus for the taped hazard).
Conan's "Clueless Gamer" Reviews Grand Theft Auto V
Conan O'Brien ignorantly reviewed the video game of the year in September, and though he's supposed to focus on stealing cars, rescuing his yacht and shooting enemies – all while driving well – the TBS host became consumed with the task of effectively "flirting" with the female characters at the strip club.
The Tonight Show's "Pumpcast News" Karaoke Couple
Jay Leno's viral segment pushed an average Michigan couple into the spotlight in May. While Will Sims is pumping gas, Jack Rafferty appeared on the television to offer him a free tank of gas if he'll sing a karaoke song, right in the middle of the gas station. To the hysterics of his wife Monifa Days in the car, he performed an impressive "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi, and eventually roped them both into a duet of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams."
The Late Late Show's Boston Marathon Monologue
Craig Ferguson unleashed an honest and poignant rant in April, the day of the Boston Marathon bombings. "Is anyone else sick of this shit?" he said of the violent act, also saying he can't ignore it on his show. "This wasn't some brave commander that snuck into a military installation and prove Olympic might on the side of a battleship, and then snuck out, fearing for his own life. This was some --- that went into a public place and left something there that he knew was going to blow up…I'm not good enough comedian to hide that from you."
Late Night's Breaking Bad Parody
At the height of the Breaking Bad finale craze in September, Jimmy Fallon aired his highly-anticipated take on the show and called it "Joking Bad," which had the host in a bald cap and whitey tights as Falsenberg, while Steve Higgins gave his best Aaron Paul impression for Jesse. The 12-minute video also featured cameos by Paul, Cranston and Bob Odenkirk.
Late Show's Liberace Moment with Bill Murray
David Letterman celebrated his 20th anniversary as the host of CBS' Late Show in August, and reunited with Murray for the occasion. The appearance had historical significance, as Murray appeared on Letterman's first Late Show in 1993, and was also his first guest in 1982, when he was host of NBC Late Night. Murray made an unforgettable entrance as Liberace, in an ornate white suit and with a dog in his arms.
The Daily Show's Reign of John Oliver
While Jon Stewart took the summer off from his Comedy Central show to direct his first feature film, John Oliver stepped in as guest host, keeping ratings high and audiences entertained, especially with his coverage of the Anthony "Carlos Danger" Weiner scandal, to which Oliver danced to Mystikal's "Danger." Oliver's emotional sendoff in December was a top moment of Stewart's show.
The Arsenio Hall Show's Tribute to Nelson Mandela
Arsenio Hall made his return to the talk show scene in 2013, and offered tribute to the late Nelson Mandela with a performance by R. Kelly. On the night of the civil-rights icon's death, the singer shared "Soldier's Heart," a song he had performed in Mandela's living room.
Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon's West Side Story Duet
Back in April, before Fallon was confirmed to take Leno's time slot, the two hosts poked fun at the rumor mill with their duet of West Side Story's "Tonight." Sources told THR that the segment was Fallon's idea, during which he sings, "In the news, all they say is I'm replacing you, they think I can woo the demo," to which Leno replies, "So the network says here's an idea, pack your bags, take a hike, NBC-ya."
What were your top late night moments of 2013? Sound off in the comments below.