When Jimmy Fallon talked to Donald Trump on The Tonight Show last week, he ruffled the presidential candidate’s hair. Seth Meyers, the host of Fallon’s former show Late Night, had a slightly different message for the Republican presidential candidate last night. “Obama was born in the United States, period?” he asked mockingly, repeating Trump’s recent specious assertion that he was no longer a believer in the “birther” movement. “Fuck you, exclamation point!”
Sadly, Meyers couldn’t say this to Trump’s face—in fact, until last week, the late-night host had jokingly banned the candidate from appearing on the show as a response to Trump’s ban of The Washington Post from his press events. He recently lifted that ban after Trump did the same, but joked to The Huffington Post that Late Night was “pretty booked up” on guests from now through November. But even if he were invited, it’s hard to imagine Trump appearing on Meyers’s show, which has become an appreciable counterbalance to the much more light-hearted antics of his hair-ruffling network partner.
“You don’t get to peddle racist rhetoric for five years and decide when it’s over!” Meyers yelled at the camera during “A Closer Look,” his frequent and popular segment that he uses to deconstruct recent news events. “We decide when it’s over! It’s certainly not over after a 30-second statement in the middle of a hotel commercial.” The 10-minute segment, which deserves to be watched in full, is reminiscent of the best years of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. Stewart could methodically, but humorously, take apart a piece of political hypocrisy, or a fundamental lie being spread by cable-news media. With “A Closer Look,” Meyers has assumed Stewart’s outraged sense of good conscience, and unlike the similarly skilled late-night takedown artists Samantha Bee and John Oliver (who host weekly shows), he can react to the news immediately.