This week's best of late-night: Dolly Parton moves Colbert to tears, Kimmel's wild visit from Borat

Heather Gardner
·3 min read

Randy Holmes/ABC

With the pandemic lingering and the election looming, everyone is under at least some sort of anxiety these days — late-night hosts included. Stephen Colbert admitted it himself while chatting with Dolly Parton this week. Hey, 2020 is a lot to handle!

During an interview about her new book Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, the queen of country spontaneously broke into song. Parton was recalling stories about her mother, who used to sing old songs to young Dolly, and went straight into the chorus of "Bury Me Beneath The Willow." Colbert lost all cool, tearing up at Parton’s heavenly voice.

“I better hush before you cry yourself to death,” the singer quipped as the host wiped his tears.

“Like a lot of Americans, I’m under a lot of stress right now,” Colbert replied back.

The moment, while not exactly funny, was an honest look past the host facade and into a side of Colbert we’ve rarely seen as the election draws closer. Plus, Dolly has a way of having that emotional effect on people, especially these days.

A clip more up late-night’s alley happened on Jimmy Kimmel Live! when Sasha Baron Cohen stopped by to promote his new film Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Cohen came as his alter ego Borat and brought along costar Maria Bakalova to basically terrorize Kimmel for two segments.

First, Borat berated the late-night host with insane questions like, “as a member of [the] Hollywood elite, have you recently drunk any unpatsurized children’s blood?” Thankfully, the answer was no.

When Bakalova entered the interview, in character as Borat’s daughter Tutar, she demanded Kimmel give her his pants right there on the stage. The host begrudgingly complied when Borat offered to instead switch trousers so he wouldn’t be naked on national television. The ridiculously hilarious segment ended with Kimmel huddled behind a chair trying hard to conceal his boxers.

“Are we done?” an embarrassed Jimmy asked. “Alright, we’re done.”

And finally, Last Week Tonight hit us with the grand finale to John Oliver's months-long feud with the town of Danbury, Conn., stemming from this segment back in August. After some playful insults back and forth, the city officially took Oliver up on his offer to rename their sewage plant after him. To be fair, it was an offer they couldn’t refuse as the show offered to give local charities $55,000.

For the special occasion, marked with a small, socially distant ceremony by Danbury’s mayor, Oliver actually broke quarantine for the first time in months and traveled to Connecticut. He, of course, wore a hazmat suit for safety – or because they were at a sewage plant; I’ll let you decide.

The mayor happily cut the ribbon on the newly named John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant to which Oliver exclaimed, “We did it!”

“There’s a reason this sewer plant means so much to me,” the host continued, “and that’s that it represents everything we need the most right now… Because at the end of this awful, awful year, what could be more important that evidence that if we wanted, we can come together, overcome our differences, and sort our shit out!”

A true lesson for us all!

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