The Late Late Show is (soon to be) dead; long live @midnight!
Last week came word that CBS will end The Late Late Show after host James Corden’s departure this spring and replace that long-running talk show with a reboot of the 2010s-era show @midnight.
According to Deadline, which reported the news, Stephen Colbert would exec-produce the new @midnight, which would again be a Funny or Die production.
In case you missed the original @midnight, the Comedy Central show aired 600 episodes between 2013 and 2017, with Chris Hardwick hosting the improvisational, Internet-focused game show. Hardwick isn’t expected to be a part of the rebooted version, but as seen in the sidesplitting clips below, the format is a winner.
After coming across a treasure trove of bizarre government websites, @midnight had Tim Minchin, Rich Fulcher, and Rhys Darby (of Our Flag Means Death fame) imagine other absurd .gov sites — including AlloGuv.gov, HowToOverthrowThe.gov, DoesScientologyMakeYouShort.gov, and IHaveAThirdNippleAmIAWitch.com.
Naughty Comic Books
In this game, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Mamrie Hart, and Mike Phirman — the last of whom was Hardwick’s bandmate in the comedy musical duo Hard ’n Phirm — suggested suggestive comic book titles, riffing on familiar superhero names. (For example, “Just-Ass League,” “The Fantastic Foreplay,” and “Ribbed for Hercules’ Pleasure.”)
Ahead of the release of 250 new emoji, @midnight had its panelists translate strings of the sometimes-baffling symbols into plain English. In one round of the game, Hardwick showed the emoji for slot machine, rowboat, horn, and bathtub. And comedian Doug Benson said, “It’s the name of a Harry Potter character, Slotrow Hornbath.”
Black and WTF
This uncensored clip isn’t funny for a joke but for the lack thereof. Comedian Paul F. Tompkins got tongue-tied twice trying to deliver a punchline during a game of “Black and WTF” on @midnight. He then went off on a faux-tirade against the live audience, leading fellow panelist John Hodgman to quip, “We all wish they were gone or dead, but we all have to do this.”
Jenna Elfman proved her wordplay mettle in this game about a Mario-themed pop-up bar that had opened in Washington, D.C. “This must be a Mario bar because I’m getting super-smashed, brother,” the Dharma & Greg alum quipped.
#Stoned, #Drunk or #Pregnant
This game had Hardwick challenging contestants to identify whether tweets he read ended with #stoned, #drunk, or #pregnant. And YouTube star Grace Helbig correctly guessed that the tweet “F—king bored. I’m about to get wasted!” was tagged, horrifyingly, with “#pregnant.”
Better Call Someone Else
Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk joined panelists Mike Mitchell and Mike Hanford to sound off on terrible billboards for real-life lawyers. Those unfortunate ads featured slogans like “Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer! (My Dogs Do)” and “Injured? Don’t Pull Your Hair Out! MyBaldLawyer.com.”
The #HashtagWar to End All Wars
In the original @midnight’s finale, Hardwick himself participated in the ultimate #HashtagWar showdown, giving the other guests “some serious pun for their money.” In the category of #DeadTV, Hardwick suggested “Full House of 1,000 Corpses,” but we’d give the win to future Loot star Ron Funches, who suggested “Rigor Morty.”