tv Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC January 20, 2017 12:37am-1:38am PST
[ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers." tonight -- jim parsons. star of "gotham," ben mckenzie. co-hosts of "pod save america," jon favreau and dan pfeiffer. featuring the 8g band with leah shapiro. ♪ [ cheers and applause ] ladies and gentlemen, seth meyers. >> seth: good evening. i'm seth meyers. this is "late night." how is everybody doing tonight? [ cheers ] great to hear. always great to hear. in that case, let's get to the news. today is president obama's final day in office, and i just want to say, mr. president, you weren't great for comedy. [ light laughter ] you were always sincere and eloquent. you never had a scandal or fell down the stairs.
you carried yourself with grace and dignity for eight whole years. so, on behalf of comedians and talk show hosts everywhere, we're gonna miss you, joe! [ cheers and applause ] you got us through, buddy. president obama surprised his white house staffers with a private concert by bruce springsteen to thank them for their work over the last eight years. meanwhile, trump thanked his supporters with a performance by a bruce springsteen's cover brand's drummer's dj friend. [ laughter and applause ] [ audience boos ] tomorrow at noon eastern time, donald trump will be sworn in as the 45th and final president of the united states. [ laughter and applause ] take us home, buddy. donald trump will be sworn in as president of the united states tomorrow. that's right. tomorrow we will go from this -- ♪ amazing grace
[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: to this. ♪ bing bing bong bong bing bing bing ♪ [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: basically -- basically, we as a nation are going from the first season of "lost" to the last season. as it turns out, we're all in purgatory. that's the best case scenario. [ light laughter ] that's right. donald trump becomes the president of the united states tomorrow, so step aside, russian prostitutes. it's our turn to pee a little bit. [ laughter and applause ] donald trump -- donald trump will be attending the liberty and freedom and salute to our armed services balls after his inauguration tomorrow. he'll then spend the next four years tending to vladimir putin's balls. [ cheers and applause ] north korea is reportedly readying two intercontinental
ballistic missiles to nuke donald trump's inauguration. listen, tubby, you're gonna have to do a lot better than that if you want to scare us this weekend. [ laughter ] the senate began its confirmation hearing today for energy secretary nominee former texas governor, rick perry. and to look prepared, rick perry wore double glasses. [ laughter ] "i'll have to check my notes." [ light laughter ] donald trump said in a speech today that his cabinet has by far the highest iq of any cabinet ever assembled. then someone asked him what iq stands for, and he yelled, "fake news," and ran away. [ laughter and applause ] "fake news." madam tussaud's wax museum unveiled new life-size donald trump figures yesterday in new york, london, and at trump's request, daily white house briefings. [ laughter ] "mr. president, are you with
us?" [ laughter ] and finally, donald trump and president obama will have coffee at the white house tomorrow morning before trump's swearing in ceremony. well, one of them will be having coffee. [ laughter and applause ] ladies and gentlemen -- you've earned it, ladies and gentlemen. [ cheers and applause ] we've got a great show for you tonight. we have some really fantastic guests. he is a fantastic actor, a wonderful guy. he's got a new show on sirus xm radio, "jim parsons is too stupid for politics." jim parsons is here tonight. [ cheers and applause ] here tonight and from fox's fantastic show "gotham," ben mckenzie is back on "late night." [ cheers and applause ] i'm so happy to have him back with us. and they are the co-hosts of "pod save america," the number one ranked pod cast on itunes. jon farreau and dan pfeiffer are here tonight. [ cheers and applause ] perfect time to have those two gentlemen here to talk about all the changes we are going through as a country. before we get to all of that,
donald trump will be sworn in tomorrow as the 45th president of the united states. for more on this, it's time for "a closer look." ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: we are about to witness a landmark moment in american history tomorrow, not just the inauguration of a new president, but the inauguration of a president who may very well be the least popular incoming president in modern history. >> donald trump will become president on friday with record-low approval ratings. just 32% of americans have a favorable view of the president-elect, and that's lower than any president-elect that cbs news has measured going back to ronald reagan back in 1981. >> president-elect trump is taking office with the lowest approval ratings that anybody can find in recent memory. >> yeah. >> seth: can you feel the excitement? [ laughter ] it's like getting ready for the super bowl if the super bowl was the cleveland browns versus players who were cut by the cleveland browns. [ laughter ] and yet, despite his record-low approval ratings and the fact he
hasn't even taken office yet, trump told "the washington post" in an interview wednesday that he's already got a campaign slogan for 2020. here is how "the post" described that conversation. "halfway through his interview, trump shared a bit of news. he already has decided oh his slogan for a reelection bid in 2020. 'are you ready?' he said. 'keep america great, exclamation point.'" [ laughter ] "keep america great"? [ light laughter ] you haven't done anything yet. you're like a guy who goes into a job interview and talks about plans for his retirement party. [ light laughter ] "i picked out the gold watch you guys should buy me, and it's top-notch." [ laughter and applause ] but there actually was -- [ applause ] there actually was one part of the slogan trump wasn't totally sure about. "'get me my lawyer,' the president-elect shouted. two minutes later, one arrived. 'will you trademark and register "keep america great" with an exclamation point, with or without an exclamation?'" [ laughter ] first of all, "get me my lawyer" will probably end up being a much more appropriate slogan for president trump.
[ cheers and applause ] second, given how trump operates, he'll probably start with "keep america great, exclamation point," then drop the exclamation point. them after putin threatens to annex rhode island, we'll be down to just "keep america." [ laughter ] but while trump is focused on 2020, preparations for this inauguration have apparently been a little rocky. after reports of a-list celebrities refusing invites to his inauguration, trump tweeted last month, "the so-called a-list celebrities are all wanting tickets to the inauguration, but look what they did for hillary. nothing. i want the people." who does he think he is convincing with tweets like that? he sounds like a senior getting ready for prom. "all the popular girls asked me to go, but i wanted to go with my mom." [ laughter and applause ] "she's got a driver's license, and she always packs juice boxes." [ light laughter ] and it's perfectly reasonable to make the case that having celebrities at an inauguration is overrated. that's perfectly reasonable. but trump's claim that he doesn't want celebrities was
undermined by this report from entertainment website, "the wrap" that claimed, quote, "trump's team is struggling so hard to book a-list performers for his inaugural festivities, that it offered ambassadorships to at least two talent bookers if they could deliver marquee names." you get an ambassadorship for booking an inauguration performer? if that were the case, you can bet chris christie would be cold-calling everybody in the los angeles phone book. [ laughter and applause ] "please, please, rihanna. if you do this, i could be ambassador to chile, and i love chili's." [ laughter and applause ] but trump's team is apparently not worried. in fact, the chair of his inaugural committee explained to cnn that in a way, the inaugural ceremonies would feature plenty of celebrities. >> we have three of the greatest celebrities in the world here already. we have president obama, number one celebrity in the world as it exists today. we have this, washington d.c., which is a stage that is incomparable anywhere in the world, and we have the president-elect donald trump. [ laughter ]
>> seth: so your three celebrities are two people who have to be there, and the city it takes place in? [ laughter ] "and also the sun will be overhead tomorrow, and everybody loves the sun. and need i remind you, the sun is literally a huge star. so that's four." [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] so trump's team -- trump's team has insisted they don't care about the fanfare or the lack of celebrities. in fact, a spokesman for the inaugural committee said they were intentionally scaling back the typical theatrics because, quote, "the inauguration ceremony ultimately is about getting to work." that's right. it's all about getting to work. so i assume we can expect to see trump at his desk signing executive orders as soon as he's done with the ceremony, right? >> though his term officially begins at noon on friday, trump said in an interview with "the times" of london that the work will begin in earnest next week, saying he will sign orders beginning, quote, "day one, which i will consider to be monday, as opposed to friday or saturday, right? i mean, my day one is gonna be
monday because i don't want to be signing and getting it mixed-up with lots of celebration." [ audience ohs ] >> seth: yeah, totally makes sense. take the weekend off. in fact, take the next four years off. you earned it, buddy. [ cheers and applause ] working so hard at those rallies. and then, there is the question of what trump will say in his speech. it's a crucial moment for a man entering office with historically low approval ratings to prove himself to his critics and try to unite the country. and to that prove that he's personally writing the speech, trump tweeted this photo yesterday with the caption, "writing my inaugural address at the winter white house, mar-a-lago, three weeks ago. looking forward to friday." "time to connect with the american people. jeeves, fetch my writing cufflinks." [ laughter ] he has the face of the dude with the laptop at starbucks who you know is never finishing that screenplay. [ light laughter ] "open on space monsters." [ laughter ] now to preview their inaugural addresses, presidents often give clues by mentioning who they are drawing inspiration from. in 2009, barack obama said he'd
be reading abraham lincoln speeches to prepare. so what's trump been reading? well, some reporters tried to ask him during an interview in his trump tower office this week which books he's read that he would recommend, and he give this cryptic answer, quote, "i like a lot of books. i like reading books. i don't have the time to read very much now in terms of the books, but i like reading them." [ laughter ] "i don't have the time to read very much now in terms of the books." [ laughter ] he sounds like an alien pretending to be a high school student. [ laughter ] "i very much love the skateboarding and the kissing with the girls and also, i'm going to prom with my mom. my choice." [ laughter ] we did get a little more information about trump's reading habits in that interview, though. when trump was asked about his intelligence briefings, quote, "trump says he likes his briefings short. ideally one page if it's in writing. 'i like bullets, or i like as little as possible.'" "ideally, i like my security briefings delivered via fortune cookie. [ laughter and applause ] because that way, even if it's bad news, you still have the cookie."
[ laughter ] the most exciting thing about tomorrow's inauguration is this -- the moment trump takes his hand off the bible tomorrow, he may very well be in violation of the constitution. that's because he has not divested from his company or put his holdings in a blind trust. even the chief ethics lawyer for george w. bush has said as much. >> do you believe he is going to be in violation of the constitution when he takes that oath on friday? >> i believe yes. if he does not make sure that all the foreign government payments, that all of that money is not out of the trump organization by friday when he takes the oath, he will be in violation of the constitution. >> seth: i guess that explains the inaugural schedule. noon, swearing in. 3:00 p.m., inaugural parade. 6:00 p.m., impeachment hearing. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] and then, there is the fact that when trump does officially take office, he'll be relying on a cabinet consisting mostly of incredibly unqualified people who seem either unprepared for or actively hostile to the jobs they are taking, like his pick for education secretary
betsy devos. at one point, devos was asked how she felt about guns in schools, which would seem to most people like a no-brainer, a slam dunk answer, and gave this baffling response. >> do you think guns have any place in or around schools? >> i think that's best left to locales and states to decide. if the underlying question is -- >> you can't say definitively today that guns shouldn't be in schools? >> well, i will refer back to senator enzi and the school that he was talking about in wapiti, wyoming. i think, probably there, i would imagine that there is probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies. [ laughter ] >> seth: that's right, you need guns in school to protect from grizzly bears, but what do you do about the grizzlies who are under cover? [ laughter ] are you sure? you better be sure before you
take the shot because that may be a grizzly! [ laughter ] or it's a super hairy kid. [ laughter ] i need a gun in school because i brought my mom to prom, and a bear ate her. [ laughter ] or the finest moment of the confirmation hearings so far was from trump's nominee from energy secretary, rick perry, who would be in charge of our nation's nuclear arsenal. again, this is a clip from a man who would be in charge our nuclear arsenal. >> thank you so much for coming into my office. did you enjoy meeting me? [ laughter ] >> i hope you were as much fun on that dais as you were on your couch. >> well -- [ laughter and applause ] >> may i rephrase that, sir? >> please, please. [ laughter ] [ imitates explosion ] [ applause ] >> seth: this has been "a closer look." ♪ [ cheers and applause ] we'll be back with more "late night" everybody. [ cheers and applause ]
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will be releasing a brand-new album later this year. leah shapiro, everybody! [ cheers and applause ] thank you so much for a fantastic week, leah. >> thank you. >> seth: okay, so the day after donald trump's inauguration, i don't know if you heard this, but hundreds of thousands of protesters are expected to attend the women's march on washington in our nation's capital. in fact, three of my writers are going to the march, and they're here to talk about it now. please welcome, amber, jenny, and allie. [ cheers and applause ] >> hey, seth! >> hey, seth! >> thanks for having us. >> seth: okay, so, guys, tell me why are you all going to the women's march? >> easy, we're marching to speak out against sexual assault and normalizing locker room talk. >> well, yes, but as a gay woman, i have to say, the key message of the march is there will be consequences if the supreme court tries to overturn our equal rights. >> uh-huh, yeah, sure. but since black women are the most marginalized, we're really going to protest voting right suppression and gerrymandering.
>> oh, my gosh, totally. but normalizing assault is, like, the worst, so -- >> well, well, i mean, it's up there, but above it is taking away equal rights. >> but black women, so, yeah. [ laughter ] >> seth: okay, so who are all these messages for? >> oh, trump. >> pence and the supreme court. >> white dudes? [ laughter ] >> seth: there is some concerns protest could get out of hand. what would you do if you were confronted by a police officer? >> i'd allow the officer to arrest me for the cause. >> i'd allow the officer to arrest me for the cause. >> i'd allow the officer to arrest them for the cause. [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: i see, i see. now a march is an all day event. what are you preparing to bring? >> oh, a thermos of rosé. >> lotion. >> my business cards. [ laughter ] >> seth: business cards, why? >> seth, we're talking about a hundred thousand hot and bothered feminists squashed up against each other. i'm going to clean up. [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: yeah, but, i'm sorry,
you use business cards? >> i'll a lesbian. we're all business. [ laughter ] >> seth: okay, got it. [ applause ] so what else are you preparing for the march? >> oh, we made matching shirts. like this. >> and this. >> i made my own. [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: so in addition to the march, do you have anything else planned for your time in d.c.? >> oh, yeah, we're going to go to a washington capitals game. >> we're going to visit the national museum of african american history and culture. >> i thought we could all go see "la la land." >> not again. >> not "la la land." >> i'm sorry. i'm not seeing that again. >> seth: okay, so it sounds like you all aren't really in agreement about your intentions for the march. >> listen, at the end of the day, we all agree this march is about women from different backgrounds coming together to make sure this administration respects our rights. >> absolutely. >> agreed. >> and that vaccines cause autism. >> whoa, whoa, whoa. >> whoa, whoa, whoa. >> wait a second. that's not -- >> seth: give it up for allie, jenny, and amber, everybody! [ cheers and applause ] we'll be right back with more "late night." [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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>> seth: welcome back, everybody. our first guest is a four-time emmy winner who stars in the hit series "the big bang theory." starting tomorrow, you can hear his new radio show, "jim parsons is too stupid for politics" on sirus xm's radio andy channel. please welcome to the show jim parsons, everybody. ♪ ♪ >> seth: how are you? >> i'm wonderful. how are you? >> seth: i'm really good. it's great to have you here. >> good to be here. >> seth: when you have a podcast called "jim parsons is too stupid for politics" i'm hoping that's a name you came up with. >> yes, it certainly is. >> seth: okay good. >> and i meant it from the bottom of my heart. >> seth: you meant it from the bottom -- >> i really did. i really did. not because i think i'm actually a stupid person but i just feel -- there was especially something about this last election i think to say the least that made me feel boy, am i worked up and passionate and --
lhlh well, and then -- but i don't always know exactly why, you know. i mean, i get headlines and i get a couple sentences into things and then i kind of break down. and i think part of it -- it's not the news. i love the news. i love podcasts. your guests that are coming up, i listen to their podcast all the time. and i love all these things, but these are frequently people that are so smart about all this stuff that there is -- for me at least there's a certain secondhand language going on -- >> seth: right. >> and so the fighting can ensue at a very deep level for them and a very passionate level for them quicker than i'm able to keep up with. and honestly, the thing i'm more scared about than anything is i'm going to get some guests on and i don't -- they're going to get three sentences out and i'm like, "i'm sorry, what again is nafta? [ laughter ] i'm sorry." i mean, when i say stupid, i mean -- >> seth: but, you know, it's interesting, because -- >> yes. >> seth: it's not, of course, stupid, it's just -- >> no, not literally.
it's uninformed. >> seth: but i think -- i feel like there are so many people who want to be more informed. >> yep. >> seth: and i think it's nice that you're putting in a position of "hey, everybody," i i think -- because there is that thing where you don't know what nato is and you never learn what nato is and then it's too late, you're too old, and you can't say "what's nato?" lhlh >> it's like, i mean at this point, not knowing what your name is. like i can't ask what your name is at this point. >> seth: yeah, if you ask now i'd say, we've known each other for a decade. lhlh hey, buddy. >> it would be awkward. >> seth: hey, buddy. >> hey buddy, guy. is there a blog anywhere with his name? there it is. yeah, that's exactly right. >> seth: and it's great that as the host you can -- now you can totally have it at your pace. >> yeah, absolutely. absolutely. >> seth: do you think the guests know that they're coming on a show where they're really gonna have to spell it out for you? >> well, it's in the title. i hope so. look, my main goal here, both -- first and foremost for myself and if somebody else gets anything out of it, yay! but i can only be selfishly focused to work on this and it is to -- i feel like if i understand processes and specifics better,
it puts me in a better position to hear another side. because again, the passion and the whatever is rightfully there and i just want to make sure that i don't jump there so quick that i no longer am able to hear -- but here is the thing. anything that happens good, in government, in the world, anything that i think is wonderful, i know somewhere deep inside there is a cost to it somehow. whether it's financial or peoples or something. the same goes for anything terrible sounding to me. i know most of things like that, there is some reasoned argument behind it. so look, i may still end up saying "oh, that's still terrible" after i hear the facts, but at least then i'll hear them. >> seth: i think it's more -- the thing i took away from the election is a complete appreciation for all the things i didn't know. and all the things i didn't know what people were thinking and i think it's nice that you're taking the steps because i think all of us could do a lot better to listen to people that do not
share our views. >> absolute -- look, i am -- right now in my current life as a 43-year-old, i am a gay man who lives on a coast, who works in hollywood. and that checks off certain boxes. but until i was 26, i was a texan of a conservative family who went to church every weekend. my father was a plumbing supplies salesman and my mother a first grade teacher. and i will never forget this. standing in line for my first election -- clinton, bush. and my father asked me "who are you voting for?" i had just started theater. i was a freshman in college. i'm like, "i'm -- i'm -- clinton." he goes, "not while i'm paying for your life." lhlh and i said, "okay, and i went in and voted for bush." so -- >> seth: he bought your vote. that's voter fraud. he bought your vote. >> it's very true actually, isn't it? i'm not saying that i'm unique, but i do feel intrinsically inside of me this pull. you know, i still have family and friends in texas and i know a lot of conservatives and obviously, i know a lot of liberals, too, and -- i don't know.
>> seth: no i think that's good. i mean, i think it's very fair to say that there is this coastal bubble, but i also think it's fair to say -- >> there is a bubble everywhere. >> seth: everywhere, yeah. >> everyone right now in the internet and social media -- i mean there is a million reasons for it. but this is again why i'm so attracted to process and literal facts about things, because if we can start there, it may seem minute and almost not even worth talking about but if you get all that groundwork, then i think that helps connect. because that is not -- that doesn't have to be hard areas, you know? it will turn into hard areas immediately, difficult areas to talk about, but there's something -- just the very, very basics. we start there -- like, when do they start work in congress? i don't know. that's not the right sentence, but you know what i'm saying. >> seth: who is your first guest though? this is interesting to me. >> my first guess is -- he is admiral steve rochon is his name. he used to be the chief usher at the white house. >> seth: what does the usher do? >> he -- well, i'm going to find out.
but partly, i do know. he really -- many things, but he really is in charge of directing the house, and that includes parties and dignitaries coming over. but there is a really kind of home aspect to it and one of the reasons i want to talk to him -- two main reasons. number one, he served at the end of the bush white house into obama, so he went through a transition and not just transitioning but to -- like we're doing now, two different sides of the coin. and also, what was my second point? >> seth: moving -- >> oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. so it's this just really human level of like the day to day stuff. i'm dying to ask him, "have the obamas been living around like packed boxes like we all do?" >> seth: right. >> because they are out of there tomorrow. >> seth: yeah. >> i see people on the news going, "oh, yeah, the moving trucks are coming" -- and i'm like, "are they like us in an apartment? like oh, my god, i can't live around these boxes anymore!" [ laughter ] you know. i can't imagine that's exactly it but there must be a touch of it. where am i going to put my toothbrush?
you know. i don't know. >> seth: or just the movers coming like, "ah ah ah!" >> exactly. "no, wait! i'm crying." but i think there is that level of connecting. they're all human beings. and i don't mean to be whistling past a graveyard. i know there are probably people going, "oh, no, he's not." you know, whatever. that's not -- but just wait, wait. back up. hold up. i don't know. >> seth: yeah. well, i'm glad -- >> i keep saying that, don't i? it's not a good sign. >> seth: i like -- two things i like that you're saying you don't know and i like that you started a podcast to try to get answers and try to know more. >> dammit, i will. >> seth: there you go, thanks so much for being here. >> i'm thrilled to be here. thank you very much. >> seth: jim parsons, everybody. "jim parsons is too stupid for politics" starts tomorrow on sirus xm radio andy channel. we'll be right back with ben mckenzie. ♪ are you getting this? these numbers are off the charts... sir! what's the status? there's a meteor hurtling towards earth.
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♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back, everybody. you know our next guest from shows like "the o.c." and "southland." he's currently starring as jim gordon on the third season of "gotham." new episodes air monday nights on fox. let's take a look. >> james gordon. the james gordon. that's actually you. so cool. i'm meeting you. >> you should thank your friends. they're the ones who left you behind. >> eh. i'd have done the same. >> tell me where he took jerome. >> why? you can't stop it. >> stop what? >> the night of the awakening. >> you mean waking up jerome. >> jerome is just the first step. you think we're a small band,
but we are everywhere. >> seth: please welcome back to the show ben mckenzie. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> seth: thanks for being here. >> my pleasure. thanks for having me. >> seth: we were talking a little bit about this backstage, but congratulations. since the last time you were here, you had a baby. >> i did. >> seth: baby girl. [ cheers and applause ] >> yes. >> seth: and ours are very close. >> very close. within weeks. >> seth: the same month. and how is it going? how is your baby girl? >> she's crawling. >> seth: okay. >> which, uh -- >> seth: game changer. >> yeah, game changer for sure. our house now has all those rubber things on every possible surface. >> seth: right. >> doesn't do wonders for the look of the house but it is safer. >> seth: exactly. >> i found it fascinating the change from sort of, "come on, you can do it!" like "crawl, crawl, crawl!" you know the sort of like -- i'm a little competitive, as you -- >> seth: sure, yeah. >> and new york city parents are very competitive and so it becomes this battle who can crawl first.
and then as soon as they start crawling, you sort of take the cute video and then you go, "stop! don't do that. don't hit that." >> seth: right, they all of a sudden have the power to just be a nightmare. they're just a menace. >> absolutely. mainly to themselves. >> seth: i mean i feel like it's that thing where you say, "come in the other room! he's crawling!" and then you turn around and he's gone. you're like, "oh no, i lost the baby!" >> exctly. >> seth: he's mobile now. we have lost the baby. >> indeed. indeed. indeed. and her brother, who is three, loves hugs but also head locks. it's sort of a -- >> seth: okay, got you. [ light laughter ] oh, you can't tell if it's a loving hug or just kind of slowly -- >> yeah, like sometimes it's like oh, you really want to hug her really hard, don't you? [ light laughter ] >> seth: we saw from the clip -- one of the great things about "gotham" is there's fantastic villains. >> yes. >> seth: you have taken such advantage of the "batman" universe and last time you were here you said that the show has sort of reached the point of cacophony of villainy. >> yes. >> seth: are we still at cacophony? >> we keep amping it up. we're trying to avoid cluster [bleep]. >> seth: okay, gotchya. [ laughter ] so you're trying to -- so stay right below that with cacophony.
>> we're ramping up to it but we don't want to get there too soon. >> seth: that is kind of --i feel like when you drive into "gotham," it says, "welcome to gotham, a cluster [bleep]of villains." [ laughter ] >> indeed, indeed. we have a lot of villains, a lot of scary things that are about to happen, as you can tell from that clip. >> seth: of course. >> not to mention his make up and his hair and everything. >> seth: he's definitely a guy who's a villain. >> he's -- does not seem nice. >> seth: that wasn't james gordon's best detective work to say "i think he's a guy." >> wait a minute. [ laughter ] you seem fishy. cameron monaghan, who plays our joker character, is back, and we have a lot of good villains this year. >> seth: and you directed an episode this year. >> i did. yeah, i just finished, which was a blast. >> seth: have you directed episodes on any other shows you worked on? >> never. >> seth: never? okay. [ light laughter ] >> i didn't tell them that. [ laughter ] >> seth: oh, right, yeah. was it hard to direct yourself? >> a little bit, yeah. it was a little bit odd. you know i had to have playback and whatnot. but what was interesting was sort of how much i actually didn't know that i knew until i got there, you know what i mean? >> seth: sure. >> it was like, oh, i know the
answer to that question because i've sat here for three years and sort of been like, "are you sure you want to do it that way?" and everybody has to say yes to you because you're going to be here next week as an actor. >> seth: they can't treat you like garbage because you're only here for an episode. >> there are a lot of -- like you have a great idea for a shot, or what you thought was a great idea, and they'd be like, "yeah, great. we'll totally -- sure." and then you come back and they'd be like, "we're doing something else." it'd be like, "what happened?" [ laughter ] it's like, "eh, you know, we just --" oh, really? i can't even remember. it was really, really fun, man. i really, really enjoyed it. we have an amazing cast, so to able to work with them in that way, it was really fun. >> seth: that's great. you obviously have worked on other shows, "southland." we mentioned "the o.c." that is a show that i imagine you still have people coming up and talking to you about it. that was such a passionate -- >> yes, uh -- yes. for example, when i lived in los angeles, a very nice lady came up to me at one of my favorite breakfast places and said -- she said, "i'm clint eastwood's wife. and we watch the show.
the kids watch the show." she introduced me to their adorable children. and i said "thank you very much," and we had small talk and she said, "just so you know, clint watches the show." and i -- i sort of -- my jaw dropped. i said "in what way does he watch the show?" [ laughter ] why does he watch the show? "well, when he's babysitting, he watches the show." so i now have this image of client eastwood in his boxers -- [ laughter ] -- drinking a beer, watching ryan and marissa and seth and summer. like, will they or won't they, you know? [ laughter ] and i will never get it out of my head. sure enough, i ended up running into him as you do in l.a., you know, a few times at parties, and no clue whatsoever who i was. so she was probably just lying through her teeth, but it was very sweet. >> seth: so sweet. it makes me -- i wish there was -- you could get "o.c." dvds and watch it with just a clint eastwood commentary track of just like -- [ laughter ] [ growling ]
he's wrong for you. >> it's not gonna work out. >> seth: this is a bad boy. don't make that mistake. [ laughter ] >> oh, that's nice. >> seth: i like that. [ laughter ] >> seth: i like happy endings. >> that's kind of sweet actually. got me there. >> seth: thanks so much for being back. congratulations on the show and the baby. >> thank you. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: ben mckenzie, everyone. "gotham" airs monday nights on fox. we'll be right back with jon favreau and dan pfeiffer. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ remember 2007? smartphones? o m g ten years later, nothing's really changed. it's time to snap out of it. hello moto. snap on a jbl speaker. put a 70" screen on a wall. get a 10x optical zoom. get excited world.
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[ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> seth: welcome, gentlemen. i'm so happy to have you here. >> thanks for having us. >> seth: it's a very interesting time to have you. >> it is. >> seth: you both worked in the obama white house. senior advisor. you were chief speech writer. you actually interviewed -- you got the last interview with president barack obama in office. >> managed to snag that, yeah. >> seth: you got him to do your podcast, which is a huge get. [ light laughter ] >> that's a huge get. >> seth: for him, the fact that he got to do a podcast. he must be like -- >> lucky guy. >> he was very excited. [ light laughter ] >> seth: and obviously, tomorrow, donald trump being sworn in, being in the white house in the final days. how are you processing? how does this feel right now? >> feels great. wonderful. [ laughter ] >> no, it's bizarre. i mean, we were there yesterday and, you know, there's moving trucks and boxes and everyone is leaving their offices and it's weird to think that, you know, just eight years ago we were walking in there on our first day.
>> seth: so talk about what a first day is like in the white house. because it really is -- like, just -- the starting gun goes off and you're the president. >> yeah. >> yeah, you sit there in the cold. you watch your boss give this speech, become president of the united states. they put you on a bus. they drive you to the white house. they drop you off. the building's empty. they show you to a door that has your name on it. you go inside, there's a post-it note with a password for your computer, and you're in the charge of the country. >> yeah, go. [ laughter ] go run the country. >> yeah. >> seth: and are there -- do your predecessors leave notes? is there any sense of, this is -- or is that handled in the transition? >> my predecessor left me some cigars in the drawer. [ light laughter ] that's about all i had. >> seth: that's about it. and obviously, we talked about it earlier in the show, president elect trump says he's going to get sworn in tomorrow, friday, and he's considering his first day monday. that is not -- that is unconventional, yes? >> yeah, that doesn't usually happen. you don't get weekends off in the white house. [ light laughter ] >> seth: what is -- what are -- what is the difference between a weekend and a weekday at the white house? >> uh, you can -- not wear suits on the weekend.
>> although we wore a suit on the first weekend. >> right. >> and the president called us in and said, "in my white house, you can wear jeans on saturdays and sundays." >> seth: well, there you go. it was a laid back white house. [ light laughter ] so -- and then, working with president obama and i assume just in any sort of advisory role, or speech writing role, it must be strange to be in a position to give criticism or to be -- to feel as though in order to do your job you have to give criticism to the most powerful man in the world. is that something you learned to do? how did you find your way to that? >> i remember the first day i ever wrote for him when he was still senator, and he edited a speech. he came over to my desk and he goes, "so, i just -- i made a bunch of edits in the speech and i just want to make sure you're okay with these edits." and i'm like, "you're barack obama. [ laughter ] yeah, i'm okay with the edits." so he's very good about it. like, he always wants to hear opposing viewpoints. he's -- he was very good. >> seth: are there people that are too afraid to give opposing viewpoints and then does that make them bad at their job? >> well, it's hard at first. like, even if as smart as you are, or as tough as you are, you go in the oval office and the pageantry of it, it's what you
see on tv or in "the west wing" or whatever. but he demands that of you, and he sort of tests people early on. he often likes to argue the opposite point he believes to sort of test the parameters of the argument, and he kind of looks -- he'll call on the new person to see what they will say about it. and those who will push back, he sort of makes a mental note, "this might be someone who's gonna be very useful to me." >> seth: right. >> and if they're just kind of like, "yes, sir, that makes great sense." you know, he has a different opinion. >> seth: right, like if he says, "i think beyonce is overrated," and people agree with him, they're like, "get rid of them." >> that's right. [ laughter ] >> seth: i gave them a layup and they blew it. get them out of here. so i want to talk -- you did a podcast called "keeping it 1600." it's now "pod save america." >> yes. >> seth: and it's on -- so, crooked media. tell me what crooked media is and what the game plan is. >> yeah, so we wanted to create a place where you can talk about politics like normal people talk about politics. so we had this podcast, and, you know, during the election, it was a lot of political analysis. you know, we spent most of the time predicting hillary would win. so we nailed that one. [ laughter ] >> seth: and in fact you had a word -- you had a word for democrats who were worried.
>> bed wetters. >> seth: you were calling them bed wetters. >> yeah. >> seth: you said, "you're overreacting, don't worry about this." >> turns out the bed should have been wet. [ laughter ] >> seth: i think it is, now. i think it technically is. >> i read something about that. [ laughter ] >> but one thing we did say is, you know, don't be bed wetters, go out and do something. knock on doors, register people to vote. >> seth: right. >> and with this new podcast and this new company, we want to have a media company that encourages activism and encourages people to get organized and to actually do something. and so you don't just read the news, you actually do something about it. >> seth: you know, i think now as there is sort of this post-op of the election, certainly the democrats are looking at what happened, went wrong. you have a theory about this idea of an electable candidate and how important electable is. talk me through that. >> i mean, i think the whole idea of whether someone is electable or not after this election is sort of out the window. but i think the most important thing for a candidate is to be comfortable in their own skin. you know? i think this idea of like, let's
look for the resume, where are they from, what's their background -- really it's, you know, can you be comfortable in your own skin? can you be who you are, say what you believe and run like you're not afraid to lose? >> like you wouldn't have -- like, if you were trying to build a candidate in a laboratory after george bush won, you wouldn't have picked an african american guy from the south side of chicago with a name that rhymes with osama bin laden. [ light laughter ] who -- >> -- wasn't on the list. >> had been in the illinois state senate two years prior. like, so it is as much about the makeup of the person as their resume or what state they're from. >> seth: and certainly you would argue that there is an authenticity to donald trump. there was an authenticity to bernie sanders, where these are guys on paper who did not look like jackpot candidates. >> correct, yeah. >> seth: as this wraps up, you know, obviously, it's come to a close. you mentioned eight years ago you walked in. do you guys have a favorite memory? do you have things that are fun to look back on? >> i think back about the first trip we ever took with president obama, in the campaign right after he announced, where we were such a ragtag operation back then that we were flying
southwest to get to iowa and new hampshire. and so we would go to the airport. he'd stand in the tsa line with everyone else. he'd take his shoes off. then, you know, he had good staff, so we had "a" boarding passes, and we get in line at southwest, and people would be like there, "oh, there's barack obama!" and they would all come over and line up to try to get his autograph and to sign his book. and it would create this mass confusion, because no one would know which line was for the book signing -- [ laughter ] -- which line was to get on the southwest plane. when he gets off air force one, i always think, "we've come a very long way from those early days." [ light laughter ] >> seth: exactly. that's a very long way from southwest. well, congratulations on the last eight years. congratulations on the new endeavor. it's a fantastic podcast. you guys are really good at it. i appreciate you guys being here. >> thanks. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: jon favreau, dan pfeiffer, everybody. subscribe to "pod save america" on itunes. you can hear my conversation with jon and cohost tommy vietor and jon lovett on the "late night pod save america podcast." we'll be right back. [ cheers and applause ] ♪