Do we have ourselves a new late night war? During last week’s 2017 Emmys ceremony, current host Stephen Colbert and former emcee Jimmy Kimmel joked they felt “bitter” losing Best Variety Talk Series to John Oliver. After all, they produce shows every weeknight while Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” only airs one episode per week. When Oliver returned to his desk on Sunday, September 24 he fired back at the hosts of “Late Night” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” saying that he couldn’t make it to a recent event in Scranton, PA because, “I have to work all week to make this show, Stephen and Jimmy.”
The event Oliver had to miss was Scranton’s induction of its new train display that “Last Week Tonight” created in their honor. Since the train was too big to fit inside their local news station, as was the original plan, the town decided to place it in the Electric City Trolley Museum for all to see. Oliver couldn’t make it to the unveiling, so “Last Week Tonight” sent two of its mascots in his place: Mr. Nutterbutter and the Dancing Zebra.
This late night feud started on Emmy Sunday, after the award for Best Variety Talk Series went to “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” for the second year in a row. Minutes later, Colbert and Kimmel were caught drinking in the audience. “It’s a dry British cocktail,” noted Kimmel. And Colbert responded, “Yes, it’s really good. It’s so high quality, apparently they can only make one a week.” Watch the clip below, which also included a funny “La La Land”/”Moonlight” reference.
While Colbert and Kimmel have yet to win Best Variety Talk Series for their current broadcast network talk shows, Colbert is used to being on the Emmy stage as his “The Colbert Report” prevailed twice, in 2013 and 2014. “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” then took over the category for its final season in 2015, with “Last Week Tonight” being the reigning two-time champ in 2016 and 2017.