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tv   Late Night With Seth Meyers  NBC  June 1, 2021 12:36am-1:36am PDT

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transparent soul ♪ ♪ i can see right through just so you know ♪ ♪ [ cheers and applause >> jimmy: join us tomorrow night. blake shelton, fran lebowitz will be here and we'll have music from regard, troye sivan and tate mcrae my thanks to chris rock. 21 savage, willow. [ cheers and applause travis barker and the roots from philadelphia, pennsylvania thank you for watching stay tuned for "late night with seth meyers. good night, everybody! [ cheers and applause ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> announcer: tonight on "late night with seth meyers" -- denis leary, star of "made for love," actress cristin milioti, author patrick radden keefe, featuring the 8g band with fred armisen and w, seth meyers >> seth: good evening, i'm seth meyers and this is "late night. how's everybody doing tonight? all right. let's get to the news. president biden said yesterday thathe is prepared to negotiate on his $2 trillion infrastructure plan while major absolutely is not.
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"did you just question my master guess what, now it's $3 trillion. want to go for four? lawmakers in arkansas -- "i haven't learned anything in pet school." that's what they call it thbedience school, that's what i was looking for. see, i go off cards and it doesn't turn out that well for me lawmakers in arkansas are considering the state's first ever hate crime bill which critics called quote, "hate crimes light" because it does not explicitly protect people who are targeted for their race or sexual orientation. incidentally, hate crimes light is what this haircut is called that's just a woman who posed for a stock photo once and now here she is. yeah, that's right, she made that stock photo money amid reports that he's under federal investigation for sex trafficking, a liberal political action committee put up a
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billboard in florida last week, which features a photo of congressman matt gaetz with the caption, quote, "matt gaetz wants to date your child." and gaetz is furious that they didn't use a better picture. "let me send you some alts." "hamilton" creator lin-manuel miranda yesterday attended the opening of a new times square coronavirus vaccination center and i know. i know you think we're going to do a not throwing away my shot joke, but that's where you're wrong, pal you ready for this hamilton creator lin-manuel miranda, yesterday, attended the opening of a new times square coronavirus vaccination center while the rest of us are still going to have to "wait for it!" damn it! should have gone with the first one. according to a new study, women who are stressed during pregnancy are nearly twice as likely to have a girl. that story, again. 2021 is going to be all girls. a florida woman was sentenced, last week, to 30 days in jail after she coughed on another
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customer last year in a pier one home furnishing store. on the plus side, her cell looks incredible according to a new study, eating dinner together as family without cell phones may help reduce obesity cause you're going to want to get out of there, as soon as possible "okay, i'm full, goodbye." yesterday marked the first day of ramadan, it's that one time of the year when conservatives say "you know, to be more inclusive, maybe just say happy holidays." and finally actor sylvester stallone has reportedly joined former president trump's private club mar-a-lago, or as they're now known, tango and cashless. tango and cashless you get that one, ed tango -- tango and cashless that was the monologue, everybody. you know, we've got a fantastic show for you tonight you know him from shows like "rescue me" and the "ice age" movies you can see him now starring in "the moodys" thursdays on fox,
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dennis leary is my guest she is a wonderful actress who was so great in "palm springs," this year. her new show on hbo max is called "made for love," cristin milioti will be joining me here in the studio. a real human being and he's got a fantastic new book it is out today, "empire of pain: the secret history of the sackler dynasty," patrick radden keefe is back on the show but before we get to all that, we don't always have enough time to cover everything in the recent news. so here with a recap is one of our writers, amber ruffin, in a segment we call, "amber says what?" ♪ >> you guys! things have been crazy okay, so, first of all chrissy teigen quit twitter, and i was like, what then michael strahan closed the gap in his front teeth and i was like, what then i found out it was a prank, and i was like, what then my friend told me jack dorsey, the cofounder of twitter, sold his first tweet as an nft for $2.9 million and i was like, what and they explained it again, and
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i was like, what and that went on for quite some time then this happened >> top score, 14.75 against the buckeyes >> same vault as diob. oh, and he sticks the landing. not sure what that is. >> that's his vaccine. >> and i was like what evan manivong landed a perfect vault and pulled out his vaccination card dropped out of the sky like a javelin. that was the stickinest landing i have ever seen maybe he's born with it, maybe it's moderna then marijuana became legal in new york and i was like what? it just became legal since when the day before i moved here? now, i don't want to be a little tattletale, but either people have been getting high everywhere in manhattan all of the time or the most popular new york perfume is eau de chronic. then a ship the size of the empire state building got trapped in the suez canal, and i was like, what and that went on for a week!
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every day, i woke up and was like, what, still? then i found out the boat being stuck was costing everyone $400 million an hour in lost trade and i was like, what then everyone fell in love with that boat. because we all, like the boat, have been stuck from time to time if you think about it, we are all just a big fat boat, all smooshed up in a canal, costing everyone millions in lost revenue. but don't think about that too hard then i found out president biden's dog bit someone and i was like, what then after that he did it again, and i was like, what trump was so bad that there is a loose dog running around the white house, just biting people and no one cares wait joe biting instead of joe biden seth, joe biting >> seth: eh. >> then the secretary of hud marcia fudge, spoke at a press conference and this happened >> good afternoon.
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good afternoon >> together: good afternoon. >> oh, thank you i was wondering if i was in this room by myself >> and i was like what where are we we in third grade? are we at children's church on a sunday ooh, y'all about to get it also, i don't know who it is, but when everyone else replies good afternoon, you can hear a black woman saying it the loudest, and that's hilarious. you better say good afternoon loudly because you may run the risk of not getting a piece of candy at the end of sunday school then i saw that viral video of a police dog biting a police officer who was beating up a protester. take a look. >> [ bleep ] [ shouting ] [ bleep >> i was like what joe biden's dog got a new job? more >> seth: y then one of the most confusing things in recent history happened
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president biden had this to say about gop voter suppression bills. >> what i'm worried about is how un-american this whole initiative is. it's sick. it's sick. this makes jim crow look like jim eagle. >> and i was like i know you're making a good point, but what? jim crow look like jim eagle what what does that mean? why? why did you say that jim crow look like jim eagle is there a person named jim eagle? is he a sports boy a football baby? i'd believe that what did that mean and what reaction did you expect to elicit? can you tell me? can you let me know? i mean maybe i get it, but maybe you should have done some more workshopping when you said that, makes jim crow look like jim eagle, did it activate some sort of sleeper cell why, and what, and please be more clear then prince william was named world's sexiest bald man,
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according to a new google study, and i was like, what google done lost its mind! and i mean no offense by this, but my bald butt with a face drawn on it is sexier than this man. shame on you then "jeopardy!" hired dr. oz to guest host and everyone was like - [ bell rings ] what is someone i don't want to see host "jeopardy!" because we all know the real host should be levar burton. but look, i do not watch "jeopardy! but if levar burton hosted, i would be watching every week day? i don't know how often it comes on, but i would make time for it then the most beautiful thing in the world happened amanda gorman was on the cover of "vogue," look at her! and i was like, what it was so beautiful that i would like to honor her with a poem. what what what what
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what what what what what what what what what what what? what what what what it is this that has been the entirety of "amber says what?" >> seth: take your time. we'll be right back with denis leary, everybody oh, now you're in a hurry? ♪ this one goes out to jess from her friends. jess, they wanted to say, “good luck on the interview!” ♪♪ ♪ and uh-oh, i see another mountain to climb ♪ iot stamina ♪ ♪♪ whoo! go, jess!! ♪ no no no, i'm free to be the greatest, i'm alive ♪ ♪ i'm free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest ♪ confidence looks great on you.
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♪ >> seth: fred armisen is leading our 8g band all week hello, fred. fred also just got the vaccine which arm'd you get it in, buddy? [ light laughter ] all right. good choice, good choice our first guest tonight is an emmy-nominated actor and comedian you know from shows like "rescue me" and the "ice age" movies. you can see him in "the moodys," which airs thursday nights on fox. let's take a look. >> get this, okay? the guys, they want me to move up to the senior league. >> well, you have been getting injured a it all out on e ice, honey, that's what i do okay okay, you're making noises, grace. >> oh, no, no, no. it's actually very normal what you're going through
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we struggle with transition, as we mature. >> okay, you can go in the office now actually, you know what? better yet, i'm going upstairs three steps at a time, okay? >> seth: please welcome back to the show our friend, denis leary. how are you denis? >> hey, seth what's up, man >> seth: it's so great to see you. i want to talk about the show, but i also want to ask -- i know your grown children moved back home during the pandemic was that a wonderful thing for your family or did it add some stress to things >> it was both, actually i'm not -- i can't be only person who's said this to you, right? >> seth: yeah. >> how old are your kids now your kids are tiny >> seth: yeah, three and five. so it's really just been -- it's been mostly upside for us, because they -- you know, they're just happy to have us around >> right, and also you're -- are you guys, like, doing some kind of homeschooling thing >> seth: yeah, you know -- this will -- i will not be the first person to say this either -- most of that burden has fallen on my wife, who has been
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incredible with it i'm just getting the best of it. >> yeah, right, okay well, try homeschooling grown adults, cause that's basically what we had to do. to get them all home at the beginning of the pandemic, we felt like everybody felt, which is just so glad to have the family together and it was going to be cool and fun and that lasted for probably about two weeks. and then, you know it's human nature - you're going to find this out much later from now -- but you know, at a certain point your kids, when they become teenagers, they don't think you're cool. but as my wife and i found out, when they're home with you and -- for an extended period when they're in their late 20s, they really don't think you're cool [ laughter ] as a matter of fact they actually start to treat you like roommates. that's what happened we were like -- we woke up one day, and it was like there was five roommates living in the house.
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that's what was going on so they were just eating everything, and like, just like -- you know, like we were equals to them, you know what i mean i'll never forget this probably about two weeks in, i was watching something on television in the late afternoon, and my daughter walked in and said, "so we're about to vote on dinner. and i was like, "what? and she was like, "yeah, and then we're going to vote on what we're going to binge watch tonight. and i'm like "vote there's no voting, what are you talking about? this isn't a democracy, this is a monarchy, okay that's what this is. i'm the king actually i'm not the king, i'm the prince my wife is the queen actually i don't even have a vote, nobody has a vote. your mother says what goes on. so that's when they learned, like, there's no voting, your mother decides, and then we all do what she wants to do, okay? unbelievable so - >> seth: it doesn't surprise me that you would choose projects that are about family as well, which this show is this is a limited series, second season of it it revolves -- it's a family, and it revolves around one event. first season was christmas, this season's a wedding and it must be a fun show to make, because obviously you're
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someone who has always seen the comedy in being part of a family >> well, it was also interesting because this second season was built around the idea of a wedding that goes bad, which everybody finds out in the first, like, 15 seconds of the opening episode. but because of the timing, by the time we went to shoot it, the writers said, "you know what we'll do, is we'll make it sort of just post-pandemic. so the idea was the kids actually - except for one -- had actually left, and then they came back, and then -- you know, for the pandemic -- and then they left again, and then they came back again. so i actually had a lot to draw on from my own experiences with my own family. and if you're watching this show, and the audience will pick up on it, you know, it's the same thing they're just -- they're taking us for granted, they're eating all our food i mean -- you know, it's a funny thing. at a certain point, when i was here with my own family, because they were eating everything, as a grown man i was hiding
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cupcakes i was doing that in my own house. [ laughter ] i was hiding cupcakes from my adult children because they were eating all my cupcakes, you know i mean, going to the store was like, you remember, in the beginning of the pandemic, that was like a scouting mission in world war ii you had to have masks on and gloves you know so when i went out to get out the cupcakes, i bring back what i thought was enough, you know, for everybody. and then wake up and they were all gone so i hid cupcakes. and i'm not proud of it, but i did it >> seth: i think there's a thing that happens where people sometimes will look at someone like you and think, "god, there's someone who has it made. an incredibly successful career." and it's very nice for you to share with them that you're just a man like any other who has to hide cupcakes. >> oh, you listen, and you -- you get -- i am so -- i'm not cool as a dad in the first place, but then i get criticized for, you know, everything. everything i think about -- you know, like, one of the things that i did during the course of the pandemic, and the voting on dinner was they would get into
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these conversations. voting on dinner, for them, discussing it, would be like 45 minutes. and then the idea of picking something to watch was like an hour and a half just to find something that they all wanted to watch so i would just sneak off and make a paul newman frozen pizza, which takes, like, ten minutes, and watch a paul newman movie in my -- in my own room in the bedroom i would. and you know, it's like, paul newman got me through the pandemic, basically. but i actually remember when my kids were small -- this is what fame really -- how you sum it up my kids had grown up, they're probably like 10, 12, and there was a bunch of cousins at my house this one night, and we were watching a paul newman movie and one of the kids goes, "hey, that paul newman chef guy was also an actor? and i was like, "yeah, there you go, that's paul newman's career." they thought he was a chef [ laughter ] that's what fame means and of course it makes sense, cause they're' looking at his picture on frozen pizza boxes
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and salad dressing bottles you know, so >> seth: my kids, of course, their entire lives i've been on tv and so i'll facetime with them right before i come on and do the show and i'll often be in the makeup chair, and you know that's something that we just have to go through and today i face timed with my kid, and he had -- a friend was behind him and so my kid's not surprised that i'm sitting there with somebody doing my hair, but i just watched his friend in the background go -- [ laughter ] like what the hell is your dad's deal >> what the hell is going on >> seth: hey i do want to give a shout-out. chelsea frei plays your daughter on the show. >> yeah. >> seth: and chelsea succeeded in spite of the fact that she was an intern on this show when we first started so we jut want to give a shout-out to her on her success, and we're so happy that you two are working together >> you know, it's so weird, seth, because i had no idea. she never told me that and so today one of the people on your staff mentioned it, and i was like, "you got to be kidding me." so i call chelsea, and chelsea said, "yeah, i loved it, it was
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the greatest, blah blah blah." so you know, it's just -- it's such a small world in show business anyways, you know but that's just -- that's a point of fact, you know, how you discover somebody who was working. i think she was like, a music intern, right? >> seth: she was a music intern. it's also -- it really speaks to why anyone, at any level, not just in show business, but anywhere, should be very nice to their interns. because they don't just -- when it's over, they don't, like, go back in a box. >> that's exactly right. >> seth: they like -- they continue on in life and they like, maybe one day will speak about their experience [ talking over each other >> i would have said this even if she hadn't been intern at the seth meyers show which i'm on tonight, right now [ laughter ] let me tell you, man, she -- that entire cast is great. elizabeth perkins and jay baruchel, i think everybody was kind of aware of you know, obviously, elizabeth's an amazing comedy god in my book and so is jay. but chelsea's sort of like this
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surprise kind of unknown, and she's unbelievably talented. not only is she a great comic actress, you know, the scene -- the show goes back and forth between primarily comedy and some drama she's a great dramatic actress she's fantastic. i mean she's -- i can't say enough about her i love her love her >> seth: well, we're so happy -- we're so happy for her and it's always so great seeing you, denis thanks so much for being here. >> the last time i saw you live i think was years ago. i -- once i'm vaxxed -- i'm fully vaxxed as of tomorrow -- so the next time, i'm going to come in, hopefully to the studio >> seth: we would love to see you again. it's nice having you nearby. and we'll see you then >> all right, pal, thanks. >> seth: all right be well. "the moodys" airs thursday nights on fox. we'll be right back with cristin milioti. ♪ ♪it's, oh, so quiet♪ ♪shhhh shhhh♪
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>> seth: our next guest is a tony nominated and grammy award-winning actress you know from films such as "palm springs" and "the wolf of wall street," and shows such as "modern love" and "how i met your mother. she is currently starring in "made for love," which is streaming on hbo max let's take a look. ♪ ♪ >> hey byron. you like what you see? yeah you want to get a little closer? let's get right in there let's get right into this filthy, disgusting public urinal >> seth: please welcome back to the show, cristin milioti. ♪ a person
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hey. >> hi. >> seth: hi, lovely to see you >> nice to see you too lovely to see you too. >> seth: this is great i mean, we -- you've been on the show since the pandemic started -- >> yeah. >> seth: but you were just a disembodied head and it's so great to be reminded that you have a whole human body >> allegedly >> seth: allegedly >> but yes yes, i know, last time we talked i was crashing on my friend's couch in l.a >> seth: yep >> we were zooming >> seth: yep >> i was in, like, a velvet onesie, and now i can't breathe in a leather skirt >> seth: do you -- do you enjoy having a reason to get dressed up again >> oh, yeah. >> seth: oh, good. >> i mean, i don't know about you, but i started a couple of months ago i started, like, even if i'd go to the grocery store i'd throw on mascara, which is - >> seth: no, same thing. >> same with you, yeah which in the moment feels good, and then you get home and you're like, "ah, it's kind of missing a little oomph of, like, going out" but - >> seth: right, sure >> yeah. >> seth: you were in l.a., as you mentioned. you're back in the city. >> yes, i'm back in the city >> seth: you've been back in the city this year how do you feel? because i am feeling very bullish about new york
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>> bullish >> seth: yeah, like, i'm feeling positive about it. >> yes >> seth: you know, upbeat, optimistic >> i thought you were like, "i'm feeling like i want to run at it and gore it. [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah, i want to take it apart. >> i want to take it apart [ laughter ] i am feeling very hopeful. i rode the subway for first time i wept >> seth: you did >> i did >> seth: on the subway >> yeah, cause i just -- i couldn't believe that it's been over a year and i couldn't believe that like we're all -- we're slowly getting back to, i don't know, like, the new york i fell in love with. >> seth: yeah. >> you know, when i moved here, even the new york that i grew up watching and obviously it's different, but, like, the other day i went with a friend, we rode the staten island ferry just to ride it. >> seth: look at you i think -- my takeaway here is that you were away for just long enough that you've come back a tourist -- >> yes >> seth: who is here for the first time >> that's pretty much what happened cause i got here in december, and i was like, "what? cause every -- it was just in time for, like, two blizzards, and no one to -- >> seth: it was nightmare. >> and it was a nightmare here
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and we were riding the staten island ferry the other day, and then when we got off, like, in the downtown, i don't know where that is, but, like, where the thing goes >> seth: uh-huh. >> a woman almost ran me over with her bike and she was like, "move. and i was like, "we're coming back." like, look at that >> seth: wait, so had you ever ridden the staten island ferry before >> oh, yeah. >> seth: you had >> i like it >> seth: gotcha. >> cause you see everything. >> seth: no -- i mean, i would imagine. i'm -- i, obviously, am revealing here that i have not >> oh, it's a ball >> seth: yeah. >> i mean, is it a ball? it's a ball. >> seth: gotcha, and so you don't -- do you get off in staten island or do you just take it back >> yeah, and then you just like -- through the lobby and then you get back on, you ride it again >> seth: wow >> and it's great, like, if you want to be -- like, those moments when you feel like you're, like, a tourist in your own hometown like my friend and i rode it we ate snacks. we, like, sat on the back and looked at skyline, that was the rail >> yeah. >> and we were like, we live here, this is so majestic. cause right now, we're all, like, inside, we're scared, we're on our phones. >> seth: that is so lovely >> it was really lovely. and it's open air.
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>> seth: i don't mean to go back too far, but did anyone on the subway notice you were crying about it >> no, i hope not. >> seth: yeah, yeah. >> the crying i was doing, it was gentle it was like -- very like, "the crown." i was, like, gazing out. >> seth: oh. >> just like, it wouldn't break the water. >> seth: i think every character on "the crown" would also cry if they were on the new york city subway >> exactly, but, like, stoically. >> seth: stoically crying. >> as like orchestra swells. >> seth: yeah, like something. >> and there was like a slow push >> seth: something went -- something went terribly wrong when the queen visited new york and ended up on the subway >> exactly, and she ended up on the subway >> seth: you -- you -- have a wonderful new show >> thank you >> seth: i want to talk about -- this is the first scene you filmed >> yeah. yeah >> seth: so you basically, like, burst out of the ground. >> i burst out from the desert from the ground, and it looks like -- it's a beautiful shot, but i'm like, blasted from the earth through a water main >> seth: yes, now this is -- this was not -- excuse me. this was not special effects that meant you did not have to be submerged in water. >> no, they drove us to the
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desert, where they had buried -- >> seth: you're doing a lot of desert work recently >> i know, there's a lot of desert work. >> seth: i mean, "palm springs" was fantastic, such a good desert work from you >> thank you [ laughter ] >> seth: and, obviously, they saw it and they're like, she's our preeminent desert actress. >> yeah, that's right. yeah they were like, "let's see what else we can do to her out there. by the way, is that andy that -- and does it say, "my doink fell off? >> seth: yes, this is your costar, andy samberg, saying, "my doink fell off." >> his doink fell off, okay. >> seth: this is -- he played a very popular occurring character, who was a mummy, and this is now available -- >> okay. >> seth: in the nbc experience store which is not currently open >> can i see the picture >> seth: of his face >> oh, he is his eyes are closed. >> seth: yeah, his eyes are closed [ laughter ] >> why is that so funny? >> seth: yeah, he played a mummy on the show whose doink fell off. >> well, well. >> seth: would you believe, having spent time with him, that he wrote the line "my doink fell off? >> god, would i believe that andy samberg >> seth: yeah, yeah, yeah. the andy samberg our preeminent doink actor
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but this is how you had to sit >> yes, so they drove me to the desert, where they buried a tank of water in the ground >> seth: yeah -- >> and then -- >> seth: i think that's a better example of what -- >> yes >> seth: so they buried -- okay. >> so then they had me get in the tank with our incredible stunt coordinator katie rowe, and -- >> seth: so you're not in there alone? >> i'm not there in alone. >> seth: that's katie there. >> that's katie there and she's in full scuba gear with, like, a breathing tank and then they -- and then you can see in that one that's, like, how much air i have to breathe. but that's when the light is cracked. so then they shut the lid, and you're just in darkness, and you're like, here. >> seth: right >> and then they bury you alive. like you bury -- they put dirt on it, so you hear, like -- and there's a little walkie-talkie in there and underneath me is a grate and underneath the grate is many jets and, like -- >> seth: i mean, it's really impressive >> it's crazy. >> seth: because you seem like -- are you not someone who gets claustrophobic? >> i am. >> seth: you are >> yeah, this was like, a nightmare, but it's also fun well, i couldn't help but feel the whole time, i was like, "wow, look at me - >> seth: yeah. >> i'm in a movie.
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like, it felt -- cause it was, like, a crane shot and then on the walkie they'd be like three, two, and then the jets would go and then they would blast me out of the hole and, like, it was 40 degrees cause the desert, it turns out is cold. >> seth: i -- isn't that -- that's how they get you. that's how the desert gets you >> that's how the desert gets you. they tell you it's gonna be hot. >> seth: you learned about it watching those bugs bunny cartoons, who's never cold >> yeah, never cold, you think a bunch of roadrunners are gonna be your friends. you get there and you freeze your ass off yeah, it's terrible. and they would blast me out, and then we had to do it, like, 20 times i do look very happy in that photo, i think, because i'm like, "look at me, doing stunts." >> seth: yeah, yeah, yeah. you knew that this - >> but it was terrifying >> seth: you were like, "let's do this one for if i'm ever on a talk show about it >> yeah, oh, i'll file this away for the talk show. no, but then, because you're in filthy water, you can see it in the other picture. >> seth: yeah, we do have a good - i think this is the filthy one >> you can see, like, and there's like dead bugs and there's like, gross stuff. and then i got a terrible rash from the filthy water. >> seth: well this - what a wonderful - >> and the scene is in the show
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for seven seconds. >> seth: is it really? >> i think so. [ laughter ] but it's beautiful and it felt really cool. >> seth: yeah, this is a show about you -- it's about people connecting via chips in their head to be more connected to their partners >> yeah. well, to their partner, yeah >> seth: yeah. >> my character is married to this, like, sort of, elon musk-like tech wiz, recluse, i don't know if elon musk is a recluse he doesn't seem like it. >> seth: no, he's a nice guy i think he's pretty out there. >> he seems -- actually, he does seem like he - >> seth: yeah -- >> maybe he goes out a lot >> seth: i mean, not right now >> yeah. >> seth: everybody is a little bit of recluse >> yeah. >> seth: but there's a wonderful -- ray romano, who is just the best. >> the best. >> seth: he plays your father and his wife on the show really steals it because she is played by a -- what would you call it >> well, synthetic partner >> seth: synthetic partner, that's right your eyes, okay. >> seth: well, i wasn't -- that wasn't what i was going to say >> you were like, "okay. yeah, sure you were going to say sex doll >> seth: sex doll. but this is really fun, the author of the book that it's based on >> yeah, alissa nutting who is a genius >> seth: she cast this synthetic
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partner. >> well, she used -- that's her face >> seth: that's her face >> because you got to pay for the rights to someone's face if you're going to be putting them on a synthetic partner on tv >> seth: is that a true story? >> that's a true story so they were, like, "well, we can hire someone and pay them for the rights to their face." or she was like, "or i could do it for free. >> seth: wow >> and so, that's hollywood. >> seth: and then we can save money for our tank stunt >> to blast cristin out in a filthy tank of water yeah >> seth: hey, thank you for -- filthy tank of water was originally what they were going to call the staten island ferry. >> i know. that's right >> seth: yeah. >> and then -- they should have - this is a terrible this is like - i'm trying to yes and you right now, and instead, my brain was like, "we've been inside watching tv, uh-oh, uh-oh, abort, abort, run away, run away, run away and i was like - >> seth: that's good >> and then made it to the staten island ferry. and that's when the -- uh-oh [ laughter ] >> seth: this is fine. there's no audience here to know if that went well or not >> yeah, i don't know. >> seth: i think it'll do great. >> we'll leave it up to the internet to decide you know the internet, that fair
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and kind place [ laughter ] >> seth: yes, fair and balanced. hey, thank you for for being here >> thanks for having me. >> seth: it's always a delight to see you >> yeah. delightful >> seth: "made for love" is streaming on hbo max and if you're on the staten island ferry, you can also see her we'll be right back with patrick radden keefe ♪ when you buy this tea at walmart, walmart can buy more tea from milo's. milo's can create new jobs, jobs for people like james and lacey and me. me, i love my work family. family here and home, is my life is better for us because of a job. a job created when you buy this tea at walmart. ♪ ♪ nicorette knows, quitting smoking is freaking hard. you get advice like: a job created when you buy this tea at walmart. try hypnosis... or...
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xfinity internet customers, take the savings challenge at or visit and xfinity store to learn how our switch squad makes it easy to switch and save hundreds. ♪ >> seth: our next guest is the award-winning and bestselling author of the book, "say nothing," as well as a staff writer at the "new yorker. his new book, "empire of pain: the secret history of the sackler dynasty" is available now. please welcome back to the show, patrick radden keefe hello patrick, how are you >> hey, great to see you >> seth: i don't know if you know, but last night on the show john oliver was on, and he very
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much wanted to use his time here to plug your book. so that is the level of excitement amongst those of us who are fans of your work. >> i thought that was so amazing. i heard about it this morning. i was super psyched. particularly because he actually did a segment -- i write in the book about a segment he did on his show about the sackler family >> seth: well that's probably why he's excited about it, is he just wanted to see his name in print. >> it's, you know, fairly typical of him, i'd say. >> seth: yeah, that -- you -- yeah, i mean, you know the guy that's all he's about. so, you know, one of the things -- the last time you were here, talking about your book, "say nothing," i remember us speaking after it was over, and you saying that this was what you're working on next and you know, obviously a great deal of research has to go into a book like this, and a pandemic, it turns out, will hamstring some efforts insofar as research is concerned but people being at home turned out to be advantageous >> yeah, it was a funny thing. so i had been gathering lots of documents, going to archives, and suddenly found that i was shut down.
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i actually had a pretty interesting 2020 lined up, and i was doing "say nothing" stuff, and had a podcast i was working on, "wind of change. and then basically all of my plans got canceled for a year, and i ended up stuck at home but i did find that the -- people pick up the phone when you call them during a pandemic. which, for a reporter is actually -- is actually pretty helpful. >> seth: and do you think people, because they were maybe so thirsty for human contact, were they more talkative than they would have been during a different time >> way more talkative. yeah, i mean, the worst thing about being a reporter is cold calling people, particularly when all you have is their home number, right? their land line, which people just generally won't pick up and i did find that once the pandemic started, you know, on the first ring, peopy picking u eager to tell you their secrets and their stories. anything for some company. >> seth: now the "new york times" reported that you did write this book in bed is that a true fact?
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>> this is a true fact the -- you'll notice i'm coming to you here from my nice home office that i share with my wife but my wife has a -- she has a real job and so when the pandemic hit she started working from here. and i ended up working from bed. >> seth: so, you know, this is about the sackler family and their company, purdue pharma, which was behind the creation of oxycontin and basically the opioid epidemic can be laid at their feet now, one thing that's fascinating about reading this book, is from way -- decades earlier, when they first got involved in this pharmaceutical company, they always appreciated the value of keeping the sackler name away from the actual pharmaceutical company what was it that made them think that was so valuable from, you know, years ago? >> this was the thing i found so fascinating, was looking back. i mean, to some extent the oxycontin story from recent
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decades is familiar. but for me, looking back at the history of this family going back to the 1950s, you saw that there was this weird thing where they had a kind of mania for putting their name on buildings, on museums, on university halls. there's -- my favorite example is if you got to london, to the tate modern, there's an escalator you can ride on, and you get to the top of the escalator, and there's a sign saying "you are riding the sackler escalator. so there's this tendency to put the name on all of these philanthropic gifts, but to keep it off of the family business. so you have this weird phenomenon where i think for a long time there was a sense of this as this very generous, kind of elite, wealthy dynasty. but nobody really knew where the money came from. and it turns out it's from this i think quite often sordid pharma business. >> seth: one of the things that was fascinating to me, because it's maybe even more -- i don't know if insidious is the right
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word -- but a more important invention insofar as how pharmaceutical companies influence doctors, is the sackler family was really at the forefront of that. they were an advertising family that basically started advertising pharmaceuticals in a way that we still see very much today. is that something you knew going into it? >> it's not. and i was so intrigued by this so arthur sackler was the oldest of the original three brothers he was like the don draper of medical advertising in the 1950s. he had a medical advertising firm, and he devised all these ways - he basically realized that the consumer, like you or me, that's not the person you're trying to win over what you want to win over is the doctor who's writing the prescriptions. and so he came up with all these ways of influencing doctors. and it's funny because, if you talk to doctors, if you know doctors, they'll often say, "oh, i would never be influenced by a pharmaceutical company." but to give an example with purdue pharma, this company spent $9 million a year just on buying food for doctors.
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and you have to assume that, you know, they were looking at whether or not they were going to get a return on their investment and there were studies on this if they go out and buy a steak dinner for a doctor, or even a lunch on the go, they can influence the way that doctor prescribes >> seth: you even talk about this in the book, but obviously you had to go into it expecting it it certainly came to pass to be true you received a great deal of blowback from the sackler family was it more than you even expected going into it >> more than i've ever dealt with before. yeah, they really didn't want this book to be written, they didn't cooperate with me before i even started writing, they were sending me these legal letters. and it got to a point where i was getting so many legal letters from them, it reminded me of that scene in "harry potter" where, you know, the letters were like, coming in under the door and down the chimney. yeah, i got a lot of them. i'm still getting them i got one -- we got one just last week, at the publisher. so i keep threatening to my wife that i want to wallpaper our bathroom with legal letters from the sacklers but we don't have quite enough yet.
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>> seth: so even though the book is out, they have not stopped trying to -- what, at this point? >> well, i think that, you know, part of this story is about how there was this family that made billions and billions of dollars on oxycontin, this drug that ends up sparking the opioid crisis but they were able to kind of write themselves out of the picture. and i think that now that that narrative is getting corrected -- and it's not just me, it's other journalists as well that are kind of putting the family back into that story, that's something that makes them pretty upset and so they're doing anything they can to thwart people like me who try and tell the truth of that and when you're worth billions and billions of dollars, you know, you have a lot of resources. you can put a lot of people on the job. >> seth: you also sort of mentioned that this book shouldn't be the last word on it, but serve as sort of a jumping off point for journalists to continue to cover this story where would you like them to explore next, if you could sort of point people who write about this in any one direction? >> so the end game is actually playing out right now. and weirdly enough, it's
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happening at a bankruptcy court in new york. and before your eyes glaze over, i mean, you know, the way in which this story is ending is that the sackler family has taken $10 billion out of their company, purdue pharma and then when they've basically taken all the money out, they pushed the company into bankruptcy and say, "okay, well, the company is bankrupt now, but we're going to keep our money. and it's in that bankruptcy court that we're going to see how this ends, whether they get a kind of permanent "get-out-of-jail-free" card and there's a bar on any future lawsuits against them. it's funny you mentioned john oliver, he had a line that i always think about, years ago in a broadcast where he said, "if you want to do something evil, wrap it in something boring." and i feel like bankruptcy court is the place where you can carry out your villainous plans because it is so confusing and complicated. but there's a new piece of legislation in congress that they've actually called the sackler act, which would prevent the bankruptcy court from letting the sacklers off the hook and so that's pending right now. and i think journalists should be looking very closely at that case because whether or not we get real accountability for the sacklers will all depend on what
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happens in that court in the next few months. >> seth: well, it's nice that they're getting name on something else, you know [ light laughter ] not just escalators anymore. >> anymore, yeah they're trading up >> seth: hey, thank you. the book is fantastic. no surprise there. we really appreciate you making the time for us. it's always great to see you >> thank you so much >> seth: "empire of pain" is available now wherever books are sold, but please support your local and independent bookstores we'll be right back with more "late night. ♪ welcome to allstate. ♪ ♪ you already pay for car insurance, why not take your home along for the ride? allstate. here, better protection costs a whole lot less. you're in good hands.
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♪ >> announcer: for more "late night," go to follow us on instagram and twitter @latenightseth and be sure to check us out on youtube and facebook head over to itunes to subscribe to the "late night with seth meyers" podcast you'll get "a closer look" and more downloaded right to your phone. ♪
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