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tv   Late Night With Seth Meyers  NBC  January 25, 2022 12:37am-1:37am PST

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[ cheers and applause ♪ >> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers. tonight -- milo ventimiglia from "saturday night live," comedian james austin johnson. an all-new "closer look. featuring the 8g band with elena bonomo ♪ [ cheers and applause and now, seth meyers >> seth: good evening. i'm seth meyers. this is "late night. we hope you're doing well, and now we're gonna get to the news. president biden met today with members of his administration to discuss lowering consumer prices and also making sure both teams get the ball in overtime
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[ laughter ] a federal judge in texas ruled on friday that president biden could not require federal workers to receive the coronavirus vaccine. wow. nobody's letting biden get anything done. at this point, i wouldn't be surprised if wordle was only giving him two rows. [ laughter ] after the voting rights bills failed to pass last week, white house press secretary jen psaki advised people who were upset to go to a kickboxing class or have a margarita, because what better way to save democracy than with fun ideas for first dates? they're stripping away our rights one by one. let's paint mugs [ laughter ] according to a new report, britain's prince andrew had a collection of more than 70 teddy bears, and staff members were ordered to arrange them according to a diagram, and then they could get to work on his enormous collection of giant red flags. [ laughter ]
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the nfl reportedly notified unvaccinated players last week that they will no longer be required to be tested daily for the coronavirus. in fact, some of them don't even have to come to work [ laughter ] a television reporter in west virginia who was hit by a car during a live broadcast last week got up uninjured and said, quote, "that's live tv for you." okay, as someone who's done a lot of live tv, no, it's not [ laughter ] ashlee simpson lip-syncing, that's live tv for you you got hit by a car "oh, my god. should we exchange info? "no, no, it's fine this is live tv. rapper jay-z has reportedly signed on to a letter urging new york governor kathy hochul and state lawmakers to ban prosecutors from using rap lyrics as evidence against defendants in court. not because it's unfair, just because it's so cringy to hear lawyers recite them. [ laughter ]
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singer adele last week postponed her las vegas residency less than 24 hours before the first show fortunately adele fans are well equipped to deal with sudden heartbreak [ laughter ] and finally, according to the latest numbers, new yorkers placed more than $600 million in bets during the first week of mobile sports gambling, all against the knicks [ laughter ] and that was the monologue, everybody. we got a great show for you tonight! [ cheers and applause he stars in "this is us," which is in its sixth and final season here at nbc. milo ventimiglia will be here. [ cheers and applause he is in his first season at "saturday night live," where he has played both joe biden and donald trump he is simply amazing james austin johnson will be joining us in studio but before we get to all that, the trump administration drafted a truly shocking executive order that would have directed the secretary of defense to seize voting machines after the 2020 election
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for more on this, it's time for "a closer look." ♪ [ cheers and applause >> seth: it seems like almost every day we get new details about the threat to our democracy posed by trump and his cronies as they plotted to overturn the 2020 election, so naturally, fox news has been laser focused on the issues that matter most to americans >> the maker of m&m's is giving the candy a woke makeover. >> m&m's characters will be redesigned for a more progressive world. >> the parent company of m&m's causing quite the stir after announcing their candy mascots will be getting an, quote-unquote, "inclusive woke makeover." >> the green m&m, you will notice, is no longer wearing sexy boots now she's wearing sensible sneakers why the change well, according to m&m's, quote, "we all win when we see more women in leading roles." because leading women do not wear sexy boots. leading women wear frumpy shoes. the frumpier, the better that's the rule. the brown m&m has, quote,
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"transitioned from high stilettos to lower block heels." also less sexy that's progress. m&m's will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous, until the moment you wouldn't want to have a drink with any one of them that's the goal. when you're totally turned off, we've achieved equity. they've won. >> seth: this used to be a country where you could get aroused by candy, where you, a hot-blooded youth, could be watching tv with your girlfriend, and the green m&m would come on-screen with her full lips and her tantalizing white boots, and you'd have to excuse yourself to take a cold shower or go for a long bike ride and the next morning, your girlfriend would say, "are you okay you seem distant." and you wouldn't have the heart to tell her that you were distant because you no longer felt any attraction to her dull, flesh-colored human face, as you now realized a truth that is self-evident -- pure sexuality comes in a green, button-shaped
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package with an alluring candy shell. so instead, you say, "everything's fine, sweetie," and you drive to work, but you'd stop at the convenience store to buy a paper, you would tell yourself, but once inside, you'd also grab a bag of candy and you'd walk to the register, praying that bag wouldn't slip out of your sweat-soaked palms and when you paid, hands shaking and breath quick, the cashier would look at you and give you a knowing nod, because as an american man, he understood what you wanted to [ bleep ] a piece of candy. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause i'm sorry to say we don't live in that country anymore. so that's what fox news was focused on as the rest of us digested the news that trump and his cronies had crafted a plan to seize voting machines, a plan that was apparently so advanced, they'd written up a draft executive order that involved the military >> the january 6th committee now has access to a trove of donald trump's white house records. among them, according to
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politico, a draft executive order to seize voting machines and keep him in office >> do you have proof that there was someone inside the united states military working on this premise? of actually seizing voting machines >> well, we have information that between the department of justice, a plan was put forth to potentially seize voting machines in the country and utilize department of defense assets to make that happen >> but i'm not going to melt in your hand. i'm going to melt in your mouth. >> seth: do you -- do you promise? whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa you guys gotta give me a heads-up when the clips are about to end jesus. now where were we? right. i'm not often shocked by trump's antics anymore, but i have to say, this strikes me as a pretty big deal it's one thing to have a meeting
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with a bunch of crazy people like rudy or the pillow lunatic or that lawyer who looks like she kidnapped 101 dalmatians, only to find out later they were actually just three poodles who'd been spray-painted "what is the meaning of this?" but it's another thing to get a bunch of high-level government officials involved and draft an actual plan. and sometimes i feel like we're going to be hearing revelations like this one for the rest of our lives. someday i'll be sitting in a nursing home looking out the window at my favorite tree, and a nurse will come in and say, "did you hear? trump was training an army of rats to chew the wires out of voting machines. and according to politico, whoever wrote this executive order had access to sensitive government information that was not publicly known the draft order cited two classified documents the fact that the draft author knew about the existence of the documents suggests that they had access to information about sensitive government secrets wow, so it could have been a high-level government executive or a general or literally anybody at mar-a-lago.
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trump was pretty loose with the top-secret information i'm sure at least once he interrupted a wedding just to read aloud from the x-files. "you may kiss the bride in just a second, but first i think you're going to want to hear what went down at roswell. so whoever wrote this executive order was presumably someone who had access to government secrets, which is pretty crazy this time we just happened to get lucky since trump is too dumb to get his way and a bunch of people stopped him by threatening to quit. but what happens next time a republican politician wants to use the military to stay in power? are we just supposed to hope they get distracted by an m&m commercial "i want the military to seize voting machines and impose martial law. wait a second. who is that angelic creature no, wait never mind she's wearing flats. [ laughter ] back to treason. and i would just like to point out, to all the people who thought calling trump's plan an attempted coup was hysterical, this latest executive order is just more proof that the threat was very real. sure, the various schemes were easy to dismiss at the time because the people advocating
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for them were known weirdos. but it turns out trump was actually listening to them >> one of the president's visitors today, mike lindell, the founder of mypillow, was seen over here at the white house outside the west wing the white house official did tell me, wolf, that it is believed that the president and lindell met. >> a "washington post" photographer got a close-up of the notes that he was carrying with him, and, jake, when you zoom in on them, you can see that he is talking about the election things like martial law are mentioned. the words "taken immediately to save the constitution. >> the guy from mypillow is carrying documents and talking to president trump presumably about declaring martial law. >> seth: and it's easy to laugh it off and say he was never going to listen to the mypillow guy, but he invited him over for non-pillow reasons, it should be noted. i mean, if i said i'm never gonna take advice from mike lindell, you'd all believe me, but if i also said, "and i told him that much at dinner last night," you might think, "wait, what? for all we know, they took lindell's notes and turned them into an executive order, too, in which case it would be the first
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executive order that used a promo code "enter the promo code "sweet dreams" and you won't just save the constitution, you'll save an additional 30%." this is yet more proof, as we've said many times, that you can be both incredibly dumb and incredibly dangerous at the same time for example, trump's cronies also had a plan in place at roughly the same time to forge fake certificates from trump electors in seven states trump lost and, of course, and i guess thank god, they put their dumbest henchman in charge >> we have breaking news on efforts from the former president's allies to undermine the 2020 election results. now, according to sources with direct knowledge of the scheme, trump campaign officials, led by rudy giuliani, oversaw efforts to put forward illegitimate electors from seven states that the former president actually lost >> it was basically rudy giuliani and all these other misfits leading the charge of this plot, intricately involved in these efforts in december of 2020 to put forward fake electors from seven states that trump lost. that was a major part of this overall plan by team trump to
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overturn the 2020 election results back when congress counted the electoral votes on january 6th. so the point was to have vice president pence accept these fake trump electors rather than the valid biden ones. one source said there were several calls between trump campaign officials and state g.o.p. operatives to round up fake electors on a state-by-state level >> seth: rudy giuliani rounding up electors is like an "ocean's eleven" where everyone's skill was being bat [ bleep ] crazy. "this is nancy from phoenix. when it comes to being a crazy, she's got us covered this is frank from tempe when you need crazy, he's your guy. patricia's from scottsdale she's like an expert safe cracker, but instead of cracking safes, she's being crazy." trump and his team tried every path they could possibly think of to overturn the results of the election, and they came very close to pulling it off. these are the kinds of schemes they're cooking up when they're not at home late at night fantasizing about m&m's while resting their heads on their - >> pillow. >> seth: this has been "a closer look." ♪
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>> seth: we'll be right back with milo ventimiglia. [ cheers and applause ♪ >> announcer: for more of seth's "closer looks," be sure to subscribe to "late night" on youtube. ♪♪ [ sneezing ] are your sneezes putting your friends in awkward positions? stick with zyrtec. zyrtec starts working hard at hour one...
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>> seth: give it up for the 8g band right over there [ cheers and applause also sitting in with us this week on drums, she's a new york-based musician and educator whose latest single, "together," is available on all streaming platforms. she's currently the drummer for broadway's night hit musical "six," now playing at the brooks atkinson theatre, elena bonomo is here welcome to the show, elena thank you for being with us. >> thank you so much [ cheers and applause >> seth: our first guest tonight is an emmy-nominated actor you know from shows like "heroes" and "gilmore girls," who stars in the critically-acclaimed series "this is us," the sixth and final season, airs tuesday nights here on nbc let's a take look. >> babe, it ain't worth it alright. i mean, the kids they -- they barely knew her. i mean, when was the last time she visited? they were what like a year old. yeah, but they talked to her on the phone. >> and that's all she's been for years, just a voice on the other end of the telephone look, babe, knowing my mom, i
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got a funeral to plan and a lifetime of loose ends to tie up look, it's better if i do this alone. >> seth: please welcome to back to the show milo ventimiglia hello, milo. [ cheers and applause >> what's happening, seth? what's going on, man good to see you. >> seth: it's great to see you congratulations. it is very hard to do a tv show that ends on its own terms that must be a very satisfying thing to be a part of. >> very satisfying thing although we're not quite there at the end we are right in the thick of season six but it is nice to know that we've had the runway to land the plane the way we want to land the plane versus other shows where it just kind of like crashes. >> seth: or you're in the air and then the network calls and is like we need you. we're not going to let you off the plane anymore. >> dude, or better yet - or better yet, they're like, yeah, you're not going to land the plane. you're going to continue to fly. you're gonna circle the runway for years and years. >> seth: we talked to some of your castmates about who will be the biggest crier on the set the last day i know you mentioned you're only about half way there
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how are you feeling emotionally? >> emotionally, i'm pretty good. i think i feel pretty solid. i've got a lot of resolve about showing up to work every day, spending time with the crew. we got a great crew. but i'm sure those last moments, everyone's going to be in tears. everyone's going to be crying. us in production the audience, i think we've established the audience will be crying but us in production i have a feeling that we'll be emotional. we'll have a hard time letting go i mean, you know this. you're on the show for so many years, and all of a sudden you remember that first moment and then it's done and then you're like, i may not see these people again or every day or maybe in passing or social media or whatever so it's bittersweet. >> seth: i really do hope the audience cries at the finale of the show that would be the great final twist if the last episode of the show just wasn't emotional at all. >> oh, no. it's like a "seinfeld" episode or something
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all of a sudden people are like, what are all these but up jokes? i don't understand what's happening. >> seth: super jokey the last episode's super hackey. >> totally >> seth: you also, by the clip, most of the work you did obviously on the show was with mandy, and it was a bigger cast than that but because of the different times the show takes place, you don't interact obviously, but you did go behind the camera and direct some episodes how was it to direct your other cast mates >> it was funny. sometimes, you know, because i don't act with them on a regular basis, i'm not on set with them, at first my direction is met with a little kind of side eye, like looking at me like we don't have that trust yet. i mean, we could knock out a press conference together no sweat. but it's been a pleasure to be creative with the cast, to actually be there, get that front row seat into what they're doing week in and week out i got to say, they're all so talented and the words are there and the crew is well oiled and
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the whole process of it is very smooth especially for us directors. there's not a whole lot we have to do other than pay attention, kind of give like a tom hanks, you know, faster, slower i forgot whatever he said. he goes faster, slower, louder softer, whatever it is he gives like, there's like four directions you need to give as a director >> seth: maybe this is why you're getting side eye on set [ laughter ] >> probably. like, "mike, can you give us a little more, please? mi, please?" >> seth: one thing you've accomplished and i'm pretty sure they can't take these away once you have them, although i think a lot of people got them taken away for like bad behavior, but you got a star on the hollywood walk of fame i did. >> seth: i think yours is safe, yeah >> thanks, man look, i think you're right i think they can lobby to have some taken away because they continually get destroyed. you know, previous conversation, i that star might have been destroyed a couple times >> seth: yeah. >> but i'm hoping that mine will stay there for a while
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i'm hoping it inspires young artists. yeah, i'm right there next to -- >> seth: i was going to say when i looked it's very unclear who you are gesturing to, but that is very nice were you like, "i got two? [ laughter ] this is my actor one, and that's my director one. >> yeah, totally i know wouldn't that be wild? actually, i feel like there are some people though that do have because there's the movie symbol, then there's the tv symbol, then there's the radio symbol i feel there are some people that do have a couple. >> seth: that seems a little - that seems like overdoing it i think if you have more than one star that's bad behavior >> over achiever >> seth: so you grew up out in california i guess -- was it in anaheim is where you grew up? >> yeah. i guess kind of like right there-ish, right around there. >> seth: and thank you for bringing a map i know we gave you very -- we gave you very short notice that we would like a map, and you really pulled it >> i did some art direction. i called my friend, aaron draplin. i was like, "hey, man, do you got the california poster? please, please
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i have to put it behind me to let everybody know i'm not in new york." yeah, i grew up in anaheim i went to disneyland all the time i grew up a total, normal kid having fun, doing dumb stuff that kids do and then i was also kind of acting, so it was a good place to grow up >> seth: so you had an early - your career got started i guess after college really, but as a young actor, you auditioned for a movie and you got pretty close. >> you're talking about "radio flyer?" >> seth: "radio flyer. >> i think so. you're like, "no i'm going to go with whatever he says." you could have said "terminator. i tried out for "terminator. yeah, yeah >> seth: yeah, i heard it came down to you or schwarzenegger. it was going to be a very, different movie where it was a very young, a young terminator >> can you imagine like 12-year-old milo like running through? not "terminator. so i went to "predator," being chased in a colombian jungle by some beast i'm like, "no, i'm a kid from orange county!
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>> seth: you also are getting back together with your gang, "gilmore girls" gang, amy sherman palladino. >> yes, sir. >> seth: you're in the next season of "maisel. this is very exciting. look at you. >> yeah, there she is. there's midge walking up an ice hill, and me in a turtle neck. i mean, who doesn't want to watch that >> seth: i want to say, i was like, "i hope you're proud of your turtle neck." and based on this post, you're very proud of your turtle neck >> oh, yeah. that is a proud-of-my-turtle-neck stance right there. hands on hips. you know, like '80s dad bod because i can't hide jack, belly just sticking out there. >> seth: i feel like this pose was in every catalog my dad ever got. [ laughter ] >> sears robuck. >> seth: very robuck that must be exciting to work with amy again >> it's a blast. you know, she and dan palladino, her husband, and they were just so good to me back in the "gilmore" days i mean, i don't know if you ever knew, but they were planning on
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spinning jess off on to his own show when they sent him off to california to meet his father, and that just didn't work for whatever reason. but they've been very good to me they've kept up with me. amy actually came out to california for the star ceremony she spoke at it. so she is one of those people that whenever she calls, whenever she says, "hey, mi, i need you for this," i'm always going to be there. they're wonderful people they're crazy talented and also like rachel she's a pal of mine. so to be on camera, you know, playing the scenes that we were playing, she's just -- she's a lot of fun so it's an easy group to be around >> seth: that's great. i can't wait to see it but i also want to ask about this so here you are. you're at the indy 500 here, yes? >> yeah. >> seth: that's you. >> that's me >> seth: waving the green flag and this is you just snuck past security, right? you just crawled up? >> oh, yeah. i basically bold past a bunch of people climbed the stairs you know what i did, too i eve brought russ i brought my buddy russ. russ is in the back with a
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jean jacket. zoom in on there he's holding up his phone. yeah, go right, right, right there's russ in the back holding his phone. no, no, keep going keep going, keep going right there. that's russ. >> seth: yeah. >> that's my producing partner russ i snuck him up there >> seth: that's great. >> grabbed the flag from the gentleman who usually waves the green flag his name is aaron. >> seth: yeah. >> and i just waved the heck out of that thing. >> seth: and none of the cars were ready, and they're like, "no, no, no! >> yeah, no. they were ready. they were ready. >> seth: can't imagine a louder honor than that one. >> i had ear plugs in. it was loud. it was loud. i mean, when those cars are just racing underneath you just ripping around that track. i mean i actually -- so my buddy conor daly, he's a racing driver. he is the one that brought us out there and said you should come out but then before that, the day before, they were like, "do you want to get into a race car, with mario andretti, have mario andretti take you around the track? and i was like, "yes." that was my first thought. my second thought was, "isn't he
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like late 70s, early 80s?" yeah, sure why not? let's do it. cool, let's do it. [ laughter ] >> seth: i wouldn't get -- most 80-year-olds, i'd say no, but i think mario andretti would probably safe bet. >> yeah, totally >> seth: hey, thanks so much for being here congrats on the sixth and final season we really appreciate your time >> thanks, man always great to see you, seth. [cheers and applause >> seth: milo ventimiglia, everybody. "this is us" airs tuesday nights here on nbc. we'll be right back with james austin johnson [ cheers and applause ♪ well, well, well. look at you. you mastered the master bath. you created your own style. and you - yes, you! turned a sourdough starter into a sourdough finisher. so when you learn your chronic dry eye is actually caused by reduced tear production due to inflammation you take it on, by talking to your eyecare professional
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♪ >> seth: our next guest is a very funny comedian you know from his work on "saturday night live," which airs this saturday at 11:30 on nbc and peacock host with
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willem dafoe and musical guest katy perry please welcome to the show james austin johnson, everyone [ cheers and applause ♪ ♪ >> seth: welcome to the show >> wow hello everyone >> seth: i have a lot of questions about "snl," but i want to start by congratulating you on the birth of homer. look at homer, everybody >> i had a baby? >> seth: you had a baby. >> you're kidding me >> seth: and you posted this on instagram. thank you very much for promoting the show, homer. >> "late night with seth meyers. >> seth: i also don't think i even have one of those >> well, i have of 47 of them, and i think he just spit up. so i had just him into number 31 >> seth: you got to have backups with how much they spit up this baby was born this month? >> this month.
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he was born january 4th, 2022. is that where we're -- >> seth: that's where we're at, yeah, yeah >> and he's beautiful. he's actually gorgeous he's a very beautiful boy. >> seth: that's great. >> and he looks exactly like my wife, which is awesome doesn't have a freaky, long character actor beak >> seth: working backwards, this means you got hired on "snl. at the time that meant that you had -- your wife was pregnant. and then you had to move to new york city. a lot happened all at once for you. >> dude. if no one has ever told a woman who is six months pregnant that she has to move to new york in the middle of winter, i -- you should do it you should give it a try, because that was one of my favorite conversations i've ever had. >> seth: yeah. it's a perfect reason to do it and i have, i mean i feel like some of your experience i'm familiar with because i was also on "snl," but my first year i was in like two sketches
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>> right >> seth: your first episode you opened the show playing joe biden. >> yeah. >> seth: which is, i cannot even imagine the pressure of taking that on. >> that's me >> seth: it was fantastic. and now i had heard you do some impressions before but i had not heard your biden did you have a biden >> my biden was on the list. when i got here, they asked me to send them a list of all the impressions that i do, and i would say that biden was like number 38 down the list of like my confidence level in it. but they had seen a video of me doing biden and they were like, yeah, that may come up down the road that was like what i heard when i was getting seen for the show. >> seth: but on the first saturday, when did you find out you were going to play biden >> thursday night. like thursday night. thursday night, i had one of those cryptic lorne meetings where you walk into a room and he's like, "how do you feel about wearing pants? like, he just asks you those weird questions. and like 45 minutes later you think, "i think they're going to ask me to do biden, maybe.
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>> seth: right >> it was that kind of - "are you comfortable with accessories? >> seth: right would he like to wear teeth? >> seth: he asked me when i went in and i realized after the fact it was the meeting he hired me in, one of the things he said was, "and obviously we'll need to see how you look in wigs. i was like, "what? did you know when you had your meeting with him, did you know he had hired you >> yeah. so they have this, after you do the audition you go in, and maybe you'll have a meeting with him, and i got called into one of those meetings. and very mysterious and cryptic and warm at the same time somehow. and he was like, "are you married? i was like, "yes, i am." "children? "my wife is five months' pregnant at this point she's about to be six months' pregnant." >> "that's a good sign [ laughter ] when's your baby due?" i was like christmas eve then he looks at the big calendar of when the shows are going to be on his wall, and he goes, "we have a show december 18th."
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i was like, "i do? i'm like washing my hands 30 minutes later like, did i just get -- do i have to move?" >> seth: did you ever get an official call of any sort? >> they said, after that meeting they were like, "tomorrow you might be getting a call from a very important producer. i'm like, "okay, this is it. i think it's gonna happen. i then i went to a movie with some of my friends my phone was on like 5% because that's how i live. i was like, "please, don't die please don't die." if this phone dies and i miss this call, they cast me back out into commercial actor hell >> seth: that's a thing if lorne, famously, if lorne gets voice mail, he's like, "who's next on the list?" >> yeah. lorne, famously, if there's one hurdle he quits. you know what i mean >> seth: yup [ laughter ] >> and i didn't get a call and then i was like, i was so drained from the process, and i had shot a big thing for the whole month beforehand so i was like, my wife was on vacation with our families in tennessee i was here in new york
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i was like i'm not getting on a bumpy southwest flight right after the most stressful audition of my life and just sitting back down in nashville trying to eat baked beans while my hands are like going like this "can i get some more pork shoulder?" and i was like, i can't -- i need to decompress somehow so i took an amtrak train from new york to birmingham >> seth: now, that strikes me as even shakier than eating beans >> 24 hours in a coach seat on amtrak what are you talking about you got the guy reaching over you with his like little cord. "can i plug this in? and so i was hanging out on the amtrak train and i got a call from a weird number. and i picked it up, and the girl was like, "lorne michaels for you. and then he got put on, and i was like crying. i was like in tears because i was like just so exhausted and they didn't call when they said they were going to call >> seth: yeah. >> so then i get patched through to lorne and he's like, "yeah, we got the wrong number. [ laughter ]
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so i think i've hired somebody else, too. where are you? "oh, i'm on an amtrak train from new york to birmingham and he goes, "what a glamorous life you lead. [ laughter ] by the way, you need to join the cast of "saturday night live." >> seth: that's wonderful. you made a great choice. i first became aware of you, i think maybe a lot of people became aware of you hearing your donald trump impression. you were also playing donald trump for the show. >> it's so donald trump. >> seth: yeah, so that's two - the last presidents. that's good. that's a hot start >> yeah, both current presidents it's really interesting to play both guys, but i think as a team, they're doing a great job. >> seth: i think so, too a team of rivals >> a little bit of him, a little bit of that guy, mix it up it's pretty interesting having to differentiate i haven't had to do them both in the same sketch yet.h:eah. >> but with tv magic, anything is possible. >> seth: could happen. your trump is very stream of consciousness. >> oh, yeah. >> seth: when did you come to that sort of awareness that was the fun part of doing this
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>> so i'm from nashville, tennessee. i'm from a pretty conservative environment i was raised in. i went to church 18 times a week or something like that and so the stream of consciousness thing, i think i just, as the more progressive member of my family, i remember the thanksgiving where i was like, i voted for obama. [ laughter ] nothing. so i've always been that guy in my family, and so when trump came on the scene, oh, i was pissed ooh, i don't like this guy he's weird, and he's mean. and it broke my heart for a long time and, then i was a voices guy so obviously i have to try out doing a trump. so the first times i tried doing the trump, it just sort of reflected my liberal black sheep anger. "we're gonna kill everybody. you know, i was saying stuff no that one wanted to hear, or i would say things he actually said, and i just remember the audience always yanking back, especially as i got the voice. as i started sounding like him -- >> seth: yeah.
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>> and then i would just say horrific things, people hated it and you're performing in noisy bars all the time. you don't want them to be quiet with no laughs that means you've touched on something that of everyone hates. they're putting down their moscow mules to hate it. and then at some point i just started like, i realized like oh, the stuff that he's talking about, we got over hundreds of years ago. he's bringing up these issues that we don't even think about anymore so that's when i started abstracting him. i made him a guy like talking about the wizard on the hill like, i would do a medieval trump, like a fantasy movie trump. "you know, what? the king is doing nothing about the gigantic dragon. we've got this giant dragon that nobody is doing anything about and you know the guy who comes through in the morning he does the swords and he's banging the hammer, and i said, you know what? if i could just, believe me this is true. only i could get the amulet. only i could get the amulet. and that wizard is, we're going to make the wizard's head spin when i have the enchanted sword, we're going to plunge that enchanted sword straight into
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the dragon's soft under belly. and that's when i started getting the laughs with it >> seth: yeah, very nice [ cheers and applause >> thank you >> seth: you also, like, you always have a very good ear for this you made this observation by listening about. he makes like weird throat noises >> yeah. i mean, he's been in the public consciousness for a hundred years. >> seth: yeah. >> we have known him he's in "home alone 2. you know what i mean i think he had a show on this network at some point. >> seth: oh. >> he's been around. >> seth: yes >> we've been listening to him so you have all these different impressions of him everybody does a different era of trump you know what i mean and he -- when he came back in the 2010s ready to be president, his voice had deteriorated a lot. have you ever seen bob dylan live now like did i pay for a tom waits show or something like that? that's what's happened to him,
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and his voice is very gurgly hillary. he goes back here and there's a lot of - so accessing sort of - accessing sort of the dark dungeons of my throat was necessary to play this trump because he's not the smooth '80s - she's got beautiful legs he's not really '80s trump anymore. remember '80s trump? >> seth: yeah. >> '80s trump. she's a very nice person i'm looking forward to speaking with her he's not that guy anymore. man, she's beautiful and i'm going to take over everything, baby he went down he went a few floors down. >> seth: he went down and we have a lot more we're going to talk to with james austin johnson right after this [ cheers and applause ♪ this is antonelli's cheese shop, and we're the antonellis! do good. eat good. that's our mission. we chose our new spark cash plus card from capital one,
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♪ [ cheers and applause
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>> seth: welcome back to "late night. we're here with james austin johnson one of the - i was listening to a podcast that you were on >> yeah. >> seth: and you were doing your trump impression, talking about the sort of late '90s, early 2000 new york alt-comedy scene >> yeah. >> seth: it was so hyperspecific, and the first time we met, i asked you, like, how -- based on your age, i thought you must have been so young when that was going on how did you know about it? >> oh, well, i started doing stand-up pretty early. i mean, the first time i did my own stand-up, i was like 14, maybe. >> seth: gotcha. >> like, filling time while they counted the votes at a singing competition. >> seth: okay. >> and so i started in comedy really, really -- always wanted to do this >> seth: how were you doing onstage as a 14-year-old were you doing okay with laughs? >> weirdly, the first couple times sometimes are amazing. >> seth: yeah. >> it's the next 90 times that are train wrecks like, i remember i was, like, performing at the christian college that my dad works at, and my first time ever doing my own comedy and i did this thing where i was
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the chuck e. ch-- you know the chuck e. cheese robots >> seth: mm-hmm. >> i did this thing where i was, like -- i was afraid to go to chuck e. cheese as a kid because i was afraid of the characters they scared me so when the robots would perform, they say, "it's your birthday." i heard a different song then i'd play "another brick in the wall part 2" by pink floyd then i'd do the -- [ laughter ] and that's what i was doing as a 14-year-old. >> seth: that's very advanced for a 14-year-old. >> pretty advanced really weird >> seth: you were recognized for your comedy very early you won a superlative in high school you were the wittiest person i will say, when i first glanced at this, i did read "whitest." >> yeah, i could have qualified. >> seth: you could have won them both >> i could have qualified. you know, they really had to mess with the aperture on the camera to pick up some of my skin tones >> seth: but this is good. this means that even as a young man, your classmates, your peers knew you to be comedy. >> yes
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it was pretty clear what my ambitions were to everyone else. that was -- when the yearbook committee came up to me and they said, "you got wittiest," i was like, it does not get better than this. i am going to be the funniest poetry professor middle tennessee has ever seen. >> seth: [ laughs what about your early impressions as a kid who were you doing then? >> oh, my gosh i mean, jar jar binks remains an important inspiration to us all. >> seth: yeah. >> especially me so i was doing a lot of jar jar binks. my parents always had big groups of friends over all the time they love entertaining, and so they would drag me out of my room and make me do impressions for everybody. and the big three were jar jar binks, al gore, louis armstrong. >> seth: gotcha. >> and i took the trumpet out for louis armstrong. >> seth: you did you had your own trumpet >> i would play a very bad bar of "when the saints go marching in." >> seth: and then did you start doing open mics? >> yeah. so i went to this christian
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college, where i had to sign a paper saying that i won't sin ever >> seth: okay. >> and so i was like, okay, good and that means you couldn't go to bars at the school that i went to. and when i decided that i needed to go full force into stand-up professionally, i googled, like, "stand-up open mic near me." and it was always the most just scum-of-the-earth rat-den dive bars and i'm 19 i go to the christian college down the road. and i'm literally walking in through patio doors and getting a $5 pepsi, hoping not to get carded, and then telling my jokes that no one wanted to hear >> seth: yeah. >> and i did that for like three years before -- like two years before i turned 21 and could legally be in there. >> seth: did you ever -- did the paper you signed ever come back to haunt you did they ever shake it in your face >> i think someone is hammering on my dad's door right now, now that i've made this admission on national tv.
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but you, sir, who is in charge of the ethics at the christian college, what are you doing up so late? [ laughter ] >> seth: there you go. >> think about it. think about your choices >> seth: think about your choices. well, i'm glad you made the choices you did, james it's absolutely wonderful having you on "snl" and it's wonderful having you here tonight. you guys, that's james austin johnson [ cheers and applause "snl," saturday at 11:30 on nbc and peacock with willem dafoe and musical guest katy perry we'll be right back with more "late night. [ cheers and applause ♪ [ "best of my love" by black pumas ft. sofia reyes ] come in for workout gear, leave feeling empowered. come in for snack time, leave more fulfilled. because when you shop at target, you leave with what you value most. like healthy foods for your family and brands that lift our communities.
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♪ >> seth: i want to thank my guests, milo ventimiglia and james austin johnson i want to thank elena bonomo and the 8g band. stay safe, get vaccinated, get boosted. we love you. [ cheers and applause ♪ ♪ ♪ . tonight, it's the nickname, stealth omicron. the new variant that has caught the attention of researchers around the world and what it could mean for you and


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