The New York Times’ bombshell report about Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct dropped last Thursday afternoon, just as most late-night shows were preparing to tape their last shows of the week. Because of that, there was barely a mention of the major scandal on Thursday night, save for one throwaway joke from The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah.
More surprising was the absence of jokes about Weinstein on Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher and Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” over the weekend, which reportedly prepped some material and then scrapped it at the last minute. All of that left Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver as the first late-night host to fully tackle the Weinstein story on Sunday night.
By Monday night, it appears the hosts got the memo. If they were going to spend so much time railing against conservative sexual predators like Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and President Donald Trump, then the least they could do is throw in some jokes about Democratic donor Harvey Weinstein.
Stephen Colbert came out of the gate strongest, dedicated a good portion of his monologue to to “human Shrek” Harvey Weinstein, who he plainly called a “bad person.” Besides some pretty lame jokes about Weinstein masturbating into a potted plant, Colbert said he was guilty of “indefensible” and “monstrous behavior that should not have been allowed to go for decades.”
The Late Show host also found a way to work Trump’s response to the Weinstein story into his monologue "Saying 'locker room' does not excuse it," Colbert said. "That's like Harvey Weinstein saying, 'Masturbated in potted plants? That's just greenhouse talk.'"
And then there was Jon Stewart, who, during his surprise appearance with Colbert, tried to come up with something nice to about the president and offered up this: “Better than Harvey Weinstein.”
On Late Night, Seth Meyers decided to outsource his outrage to three of his female writers, Amber Ruffin, Ally Hord, and Jenny Hagel, who said they were not “shocked” by the disgusting allegations. Nor were they impressed by Weinstein’s promises to start a scholarship program for female directors. “That’s just him being around more women,” Hagel said. “That’s not the solution, that’s the problem.”
Jimmy Kimmel, meanwhile, spent more time going after Donald Trump Jr., who called him out for ignoring Weinstein, than he did criticizing the movie producer himself. But he did deliver at least one solid joke about the scandal.
“What’s the difference between Harvey Weinstein and the Pillsbury Doughboy?” he asked. “When the Pillsbury Doughboy offers you a roll, he doesn’t ask you to watch him take a shower for it.”
The Late Late Show’s James Corden joked in his monologue that Weinstein was fired “for violating the company’s very strict 27 strikes and you’re out rule.” The allegations against Weinstein were “so despicable,” he said, that “even Hurricane Harvey was like, ‘Dude, you're giving me a bad name.’”
“The fact is, his behavior left room for only two options,” Corden added. “Fire him from the Weinstein Company or elect him president of the United States.”
There was just one Weinstein joke in Jimmy Fallon’s Monday night monologue, but it was a good one. “Harvey Weinstein was fired by his company yesterday for being accused of sexual harassment,” he said. “Not good. They said if he keeps it up, he'll wind up with his own show on Fox News.
Both Trevor Noah and Conan O’Brien are off this week, but on Wednesday night, Samantha Bee has her first show since the news broke. And it looks like she’s not going to hold back.