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Late Night Hosts Joke About Bruce Jenner’s Transition… to a Republican

How Late Night Tackled Bruce Jenner's Transition


It was the most-talked-about pop culture moment of the week. So how did Monday’s late night shows tackle Diane Sawyer‘s groundbreaking interview with Bruce Jenner, who told the world for the first time that he is a transgender woman? The uniformly male hosts each took slightly different approaches, with some discussing the story at length and others choosing to ignore it altogether. Below is a look at how late night tackled the sometimes perilous terrain of Jenner’s transition.

The easiest way in comedically appeared to be Jenner’s surprising admission that he is a Republican. “Everyone tuned in to watch Jenner make a pretty big announcement,” Jimmy Fallon said at the top of his monologue, before playing that clip from the interview. “That’s right, Bruce Jenner declared he is a woman and a Republican,” Fallon said, “in other words, the GOP finally found something that might be able to beat Hillary.”

Watch video below, via NBC:

“In last week’s interview, Bruce Jenner said he is a woman who is transitioning his body from male to female and he’s also a conservative Republican,” Conan O’Brien said on his show, using a similar approach to Fallon. “Bruce said he looks forward to bashing Obamacare as soon as he finishes using it.”

Watch video below, via TBS:

As ABC’s resident late night host, Jimmy Kimmel perhaps unsurprisingly spent more time than his network competition discussing the ABC News interview. The host also joked about Jenner’s conservative comments, especially his suggestion that Republican leaders like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell would help advocate for the transgender rights.

“Oh, yeah, of course they will,” Kimmel said. “They are probably having the buttons printed up as we speak, billboards, banners, maybe some foam fingers they sell at games. They are not booing, they are saying ‘Bruce.'”

Unlike Fallon and O’Brien, Kimmel did play things a little less safe by calling Jenner “our next Bachelorette” and revealing that he is changing his name to Diane Sawyer. “It turns out after all these years, instead of the Kardashians, we should have been keeping up with him,” he concluded.

Watch video below, via ABC:


Meanwhile, CBS’ David Letterman, NBC’s Seth Meyers and The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart opted to ignore the Jenner story completely. But going in the other direction, Larry Wilmore dedicated his entire half hour to it.

The Nightly Show was a bit hit and miss but its attempt to tackle the transgender issue so comprehensively was commendable. After a somewhat awkward segment that featured Colin Quinn as Pinocchio — who transitioned from a puppet to a real boy, get it? — Wilmore welcomed a transgender man and woman to his panel where they discussed the issues facing that community with a tenuous balance of humor and sincerity.

Things threaten to go off the rails when Wilmore started throwing the word “tranny” around, but it was undoubtedly a learning experience for him and his audience.

Watch the panel segment below, via Comedy Central:

Finally, there was one late night host who decided to talk about the Jenner story without making any jokes whatsoever: James Corden. The Late Late Show host turned serious for a minute, saying, “Honestly, I thought it was genuinely one of the most incredible pieces of television I’ve seen in years.”

“I truly hope that after this weekend’s interview that this world that we live in is a better, more understanding, more educated place,” he added, drawing cheers from his audience. “We thank you Bruce, we really do, for sharing so openly and so honestly.”

Watch video below, via CBS:

[Photo via screengrab]

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