This week's best in late-night: Fallon's daughter crashes interview, Kimmel's kids get a Spider-Man surprise
There’s one thing about this new “safer at home” life that’s become painfully obvious: privacy just doesn’t exist anymore. This is especially true if you have children, as the late-night hosts have discovered over the past six weeks of broadcasting shows from their respective homes.
I’ve been fascinated by how differently the hosts have gone about incorporating their children – or not – into their shows since moving productions. One: I have no kids myself and honestly couldn’t imagine running our own in-home Quibi show, Last Night’s Late Night, with a couple of toddlers in the mix. Major props to the late night hosts who are parents, which is most of them.
Two: I really enjoy getting an inside peek at their parental side. Obviously, a high-profile TV studio is no place for a child, so there were very few appearances. And frankly, the late-night hosts' social media pages were largely dedicated to their shows pre-quarantine, not their family lives. It’s been nice to see the men and woman behind the buttoned-up late night hosts. Everyone is saying it these days: relatable is in!
And what’s more relatable right now than kids barging into Zoom meetings? (If you’re in need of a good laugh, revisit the OG video call child interruption.) Just ask Jimmy Fallon, who’s led the charge in incorporating his two daughters, Winnie and Franny, into The Tonight Show. The girls’ presence has added a level of suspense to the show because you never know when one will interrupt a segment.
This week, 6-year-old Winnie confidently walked in while her dad was interviewing Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry. Incredibly, neither Fallon or Berry blinked an eye; they just incorporated Winnie into Berry’s hilarious story about having to shave her own daughter’s head during the pandemic. It’s quite the tale!
Spider-Man actor Tom Holland was also extremely easy going about having both of Jimmy Kimmel’s young kids join in on their interview. The English actor helped Kimmel pull off the ultimate birthday surprise for his son, Billy, who turned 3 this week.
Billy and his sister Jane are huge Spidey fans and were delighted to see the "real" Peter Parker appear before them on screen. Holland even pulled out his Queens, New York accent from the movie, really selling the bit for little Billy!
Not every show has incorporated the hosts' kids, however. While Kimmel happily invited his kids to meet one of their real life heroes on the air this week, Conan O’Brien did not afford his 14-year-old son, Beckett, the same luxury.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was a guest on Conan this week and even though O’Brien told the Tony-winner his son was a huge fan, Beckett didn’t appear in the segment – although the teenager was the inspiration behind a hilarious, on-the-spot “OK, Boomer” song performed by Miranda.
Perhaps O’Brien predetermined his kids would not be involved in his at-home shows; or maybe his teenage children have zero interest in being on national television; either is completely possible.
Either way, even simply mentioning his 14-year-old made for a good segment, one that may not have turned out the same way if Miranda had come to the Conan studio. Winnie and Franny certainly won’t be standing alongside Fallon when The Tonight Show returns to 30 Rock. So, for now, I’m soaking up any family time the late-night shows want to give us.
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