tv The Late Show With Stephen Colbert CBS December 5, 2016 11:35pm-12:37am EST
captioning sponsored by cbs >> stephen: breaking news. greenport candidate jill stein announced she will drop recount efforts in pennsylvania. for more on this story we go to, breaking news, green party candidate jill stein said she's escalating efforts in pennsylvania, not dropping them as she previously said. news appears to be breaking again. jill stein says she no longer believes pennsylvania is a stayed but a twin of ohio. breaking news! jill stein says she now believes pennsylvania is a state. in fact, it is the only state
and that a philadelphia cheese steak should be hailed as the new king! ( cheers and applause ) for more -- this just in -- jill stein now saying a cheese steak king would not make a good ruler and we should overthrow him and end his gooey, meaty rang meatyf terror. breaking news, jill stein has been enshrined in a vat of cheese whiz. all hail, we live to serve you! >> stephen welcomes jason bateman, padma lakshmi and michael lewis, featuring jon batiste and "stay human." and now live on tape in the ed sullivan theater in new york city, it's stephen colbert!
( cheers and applause ) ♪ >> stephen: hey! watch out, baby! ( cheers and applause ) whoa! # how are ya! hey! welcome to "the late show." i'm stephen colbert. i'm so excited to be here tonight with you guys. it's an amazing crowd tonight. ( cheers and applause ) even better than the crowd last night, i hosted the kennedy center honors last night, it's going to broadcast december 28th, right? something like that. check your local listings, but only cbs. going to be on cbs. and it's a huge honor to be
there. you know, because you're there with all these art ition -- artists. they have the rainbow ribbons, the kennedy center, the first lady is there. you're backstage with the legends because it's legends honoring legends. last night i got to meteringo star! -- meet ringo starr! ( cheers and applause ) that's exactly what i said when i saw him! do you know what he says to everybody he sees whether an individual or a crowd? he says this -- ( laughter ) >> jon: two deuce! >> stephen: he does this to everybody. and you're, like, okay, peace and love. i'm right next to him and i'm, like, i've got to introduce myself to ringo starr. i turned to him and said, ringo, what an honor. i'm hosting tonight. he said, oh, look, what do we have here, it's stephen colbert.
he knew my name! i couldn't believe it! ( cheers and applause ) a beetle! a beetle knew my name! he goes, what's it been, like 20 years? ( laughter ) and i said, yeah yeah, it's been about 20 years. and we have never met. but in my moment of glory, i didn't want to contradict ringo starr. >> jon: yeah. >> stephen: and we were on stage later together at the end of show, they were honoring the eagles. the show ends with "life in the fast lane," they tear down the house, tall guys are on stage, steve is out there, bob sieger is there. i believe we're all ready for the re-sieger-ence. he's just ripping his way through life in the fast lane,
and ringo doesn't have a tambourine, i don't think he has a mic, he's dancing on the stage doing this! ( laughter ) but everybody's so happy to be on stage with ringo, that i'm just going to back to him, hey! what's going on? whoo! ( cheers and applause ) thank you. anyway, the point of my story, is after last night, i think i'm the fifth beetle. i think i might be. ( cheers and applause ) what's this say? let's see, what else? other than me meeting ringo, what's the big story today? oh, the big story this weekend is that donald trump created an international oopsy daisy by getting on the phone with taiwan president tsai ing-wen. what's wrong with that?
hey, how you doing? what are you wearing? that's inappropriate! ( laughter ) here's the thing, the u.s. doesn't recognize taiwan as being an independent nation because china views taiwan as a "renegade province." basically, it's like if "cheers" refused to acknowledge that "frasier" had become it's own show. ( laughter ) ( applause ) that's not you, right? okay. and for a variety of military and economic reasons, the u.s. has gone along with it since jimmy carter. now, since they both speak chinese, he wasn't sure which was which. so here's an easy way for donald trump to remember which china we talk to. sir, it's the one where they make your ties. ( cheers and applause ) that's easy. hey! did you like it?
made in america. so it's kind of a big deal. in fact, the exchange touched "the most sensitive spot" for china's foreign policy. no surpise. donald trump has a long history of sensitive spot-touching, and -- ( cheers and applause ) when this blew up, trump explained it. tweeting: the president of taiwan "called me" today to wish me congratulations on winning the presidency." thank you! yeah, she called him! but how are all these rogue world leaders getting his private number? has he posted flyers all over the world promising to teach you guitar? i don't know what's going on,
but he'll apparently take any congratulatory call, and it doesn't matter who it's from. "mr. trump, we have a couple of well wishers on the phone, robert mugabe, joran van der sloot, and the guy who shot harambe." "put him through." "put him through." "put him through." "good guy." >> jon: whoa. really? harambe, that's where you draw the line? really? harambe? ( laughter ) now, china is giving trump the benefit of the doubt, with the chinese foreign minister calling it, "a shenanigan by the taiwan side". gnaw, i don't know about you -- i've never heard of a single shenanigan. it's usual more than one. they usually travel in pairs. it's shenanigans. they're breeding pairs, that how you get more than one shenanigan. if it's just one shenanigan, i
hope it doesn't escalate into a hijink. ( cheers and applause ) now, some reports say this wasn't a random phone call that trump took, upsetting our nuclear rival. some say it was planned for months in advance. so if you were worried that trump might accidentally start world war iii, cheer, up -- he might be doing it on purpose. ( laughter ) meanwhile, here in the homeland, trump continues to make cabinet appointments by accepting facebook friend requests. ( laughter ) ( applause ) it's a system. a system. the point is, a system is in place. there's a process. click! today, he named former neurosurgeon and current coma patient ben carson to be -- ( laughter ) ( applause )
-- appointed ben carson to be secretary of housing and urban development. this is surprising because, just a few weeks ago, carson made it clear he wasn't qualified to run a federal agency. but today carson's spokesman explained that he is perfect for housing and urban development because "he did spend part of his childhood in public housing." yes! ( audience reacts ) so get ready for our next surgeon general-- someone who has been to the doctor. ( applause ) ( cheers and applause ) and last week, at the first of his victory rallies, trump teased the crowd with a major cabinet announcement. >> i don't want to tell you this because i want to save the suspense for next week. don't let it outside of this room, you promise? raise your hand, promise. >> stephen: oh, i promise. cross my heart, and hope to die.
now, trump did eventually get around to making an announcement, and it was worth the wait. >> we are going to appoint "mad dog" mattis as our secretary of defense. ( cheers ) >> stephen: okay. a secretary of defense with the nickname "mad dog" does not make me feel safer. you've got a president with no experience at foreign policy with his finger on the button, and the other person in the room is a guy named "mad dog." that's not a secretary of defense, that's the sidekick on a morning zoo. i don't want a secretary of defense mad dog mattis,
or secretary of state "hair trigger" harrison. i want c.i.a. director "cool cat" covington and joint chief of staff general "willing to project american power but surprisingly rational about it" robinson. ( cheers and applause ) and mad dog certainly earned his nickname. listen to some of his advice: 'be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.' this quote and more can be found in mattis' self-help book "howi to win friends and murder them." we've got a great show for you tonight. jason bateman is here. but when we return, we've got a new game to play. you could win big money. so stick around. ( cheers and applause ) ♪
is that coffee? yea, it's nespresso. i want in. ♪ you're ready. ♪ get ready to experience a cup above. is that coffee? nespresso. what else? thonly once a yeargh saturday at kohl's friends and family save a little more with an extra 25% off so you can give a little more this holiday. it's time to get cozy so bundle up for the tree lighting spread some holiday cheer and give a cozy night's sleep. kohl's.
( cheers and applause ) ♪ >> stephen: welcome back. ( cheers and applause ) folks, give it up for not a great band but the greatest band on television, jon batiste and "stay human"! come on! ( cheers and applause ) >> jon: thank you! >> stephen: folks, i gotta tell you, we have a fantastic show for you tonight. we have an amazing show for you tonight. also super excited about tomorrow night's show. please, be here, out there, when i will be talking to vice president joe biden sitting in that chair right there.
got a lot to talk about. ( cheers and applause ) there is so much to talk about. especially we need to talk about the charity basketball game that jon and i are going to play against vice president biden and president obama. all right? ( cheers and applause ) i'm excited. i can announce this, right? it is a go. jon and i will play the president and vice president in a game of charity basketball. so far, jon and i have committed. ( applause ) ( laughter ) and i didn't want to button hole the kennedy center honors last night. it would not be appropriate. >> you talk about that, yeah. >> stephen: but i could see it in his eyes, he's probably in. >> jon: he probably wants to do it. >> stephen: it's for charity. >> jon: for the kids. >> stephen: it's for the children! >> jon: yeah. >> stephen: we don't know what children or why, but we know the charity is for children or former children.
( laughter ) >> jon: oh, right! former children. >> stephen: everybody was once a little boy or girl, right? >> jon: everybody! ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: tomorrow night we'll get the whole thing settled with sobbed tomorrow night and they will commit and help the kids. i would hate to think they wouldn't want to help the kids. >> jon: oh, man. >> stephen: that would be bad. >> stephen: you don't want to throw away all that good will in the last month with not having the charity thing with you and me. >> jon: yeah. >> stephen: they're athletes. >> jon: they can play. >> stephen: i know the president can play. biden looks like he's got ball. and between the two of us, e.r. a greatth -- you're a great athlete, i'm not an athlete and that averages out to an athlete. >> jon: that's correct one athlete!
so, what are we supposed to think? switching to geico could save you a bunch of money on car insurance. excellent point. case dismissed. geico. because saving fifteen percent or more on car insurance woo! because saving fifteen percent or more on car insurance is always a great answer. hashtag stuffy nose. hashtag no sleep. hashtag mouthbreather. just put on a breathe right strip. it instantly opens your nose up to 38% more than cold medicine alone. shut your mouth and say goodnight mouthbreathers. breathe right. ( ♪ )
look at these old navy pajamas. you are all welcome. homemade hors d'oeuvres? uh nobody cares. as i was saying, before my sister rudely interrupted, i don't know why i'm so disgustingly generous... ... by giving you guys luxurious pajamas from old navy. awe! thank you. i don't want to make you feel bad but i was like... you told me that the entire store was up to 60% off at old navy. shut your mouth. those pants were seven bucks. new game! truth or dare! should i crawl around like a cat? meow. meow.
( cheers and applause ) ♪ >> stephen: welcome back, everybody! my first guest tonight is a golden globe winning actor, and he is damn funny. he now stars in "office christmas party." >> now, you can leave the santa suit in the at tick. why? because i'm an adult and dressing up as santa claus would be embarrassing. hey, unless you're doing it for charity. then it's -- then it's -- yum -- sorry -- tell dad that i -- put me down for five bucks, okay?
>> stephen: please welcome jason bateman! ( cheers and applause ) ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> they do that for every guest. they do that for every single guest. >> stephen: they do not. there is not a standing o for everybody. >> hot seats. >> stephen: we had a little moment there. very nice. shook hands, felt it, went in for the hug. >> i saw it in your eyes.
i'm not going to run from it. >> stephen: a lot of people said i have very needy eyes. >> they're huggy eyes, to me. >> stephen: well, hey, merry christmas. can we do merry christmas? >> what's today? >> stephen: december something. >> the 25th? >> stephen: no. but we're in advent. we're on our way. we're on the glide path to christmas right now. you're promote ago movie called office christmas party. you brought the jingle bells with you. ( cheers and applause ) you got the office christmas party movie and managed to get a december release. that is key. >> yeah. >> stephen: doesn't play as well in february. >> no, it doesn't. but, yeah, no, it's a very good movie. go see it. got that out of the way. >> stephen: we'll get to it. we'll get to it? let's run a clip! >> stephen: do we have another clip? >> there's a good one of me with santa claus. >> stephen: that's a really good one. hey, i haven't seen the movie and i love it.
>> you don't get b.s. on the show. >> stephen: i won't blow the second-hand smoke up your as. >> i like the firsthand up my as. >> stephen: really? i find the second hand is a little more filter, smoother. >> sure. >> stephen: but the guy you swipe the card on the santa claus there, is that hi jinx or shenanigan. >> shenanigan. >> stephen: does santa take your number and go on a rampage? >> no, but good idea for the seek well. the mazel tov march. ( laughter ) >> stephen: one of the things that christmas barters -- do you go to christmas parties, by the way, in your business? >> i have been. they're holiday parties out in los angeles. >> stephen: oh. you can't say christmas out there. >> stephen: christmas parties back east, my friend. >> yeah. ( cheering ) you have a very god-fearing audience right there. i love this. >> stephen: we're getting
ready for the trump presidency. it's going to be merry christmas 365 days of the year. always christmas in the trump presidency, my friend. ( applause ) >> do you guys have a holiday mixer here? >> stephen: do we call ate christmas party? we have a winter festival. but we have a christmas party a week from thursday. >> you're going to get sued by somebody jewish. >> stephen: what? it needs to be a holiday party or else -- >> stephen: oh, we also have a hanukkah party. >> oh, well, that sounds expensive to have two parties. i love my holiday party. >> stephen: do we have a hanukkah party? i'm being told i'm lying. ( laughter ) okay, so, but they can cause trouble, holiday parties. have you had trouble at a holiday party? >> there was a section of my life when i drank into a lot of trouble, which one can do. i don't know if you guys have
experienced with alcohol, but a lot of mistakes can happen. >> stephen: it's the devil's gatorade. ( laughter ) is it in you? >> is that new tonight? have you used that a before. >> stephen: no, never before. we're all going to take that into our lives. the devil's gatorade. we have to give stephen credit for that! >> stephen: merry christmas, happy holidays. ( applause ) >> so i've lost my privileges. >> stephen: so you don't go to holiday parties? >> no, i just go and drink this water stuff. >> stephen: sure. i'm actually much better at conversation that way, so i hear. >> stephen: you don't remember the next morning. >> i throw up a lot less on people's jackets. >> stephen: that's nice. and, boy, a bunch of likely bad, dirty jokes come to mind. but, yes, i go -- >> stephen: cbs. he said it, not me. i go to as many parties as i get
invited to. >> stephen: do you want to come to our christmas party? do you want to come to ours? a week from thursday. do you want to come? >> yes, please. >> stephen: well, great, we won't start the party till you get there, jason. >> do you give a gift to your crew. >> stephen: i get everybody a gift yeah,. >> are they good gifts, guys? >> stephen: are they good gifts? >> yeah. >> stephen: wow. wow! i mean, it's only year two of the show! i'm ramping up! i'm ramping up! i've got to get way better gifts now! i've got to go to target right now. everybody gets a car? >> i'm saying a nice card. >> stephen: oh, a nice card. that has jingle bells when you open it up, things like that? >> guys, you would like that. >> stephen: you have kids, right? >> i have two little girls, ten and about to be five. >> stephen: christmas is
perfect for you. >> yeah. >> stephen: do you have holiday traditions with the youngen's? >> just trying to get them the right gift so i don't get any nonsense that i missed the mark. >> stephen: what do they want? you never know. it's a moving target with those two. >> stephen: do you do the letter to santa? >> we do the letter to santa. you don't have a lot of 10-year-olds who watch the show, do you? >> stephen: i do. i have the mental state of a 10-year-old, so -- >> well, then i'll ask you, are you aware of santa and his legitimacy? >> stephen: yes, i understand that there are forces of darkness in the world who question his legitimacy. >> okay. ( applause ) >> stephen: but yes, jason bateman, there is a santa claus, okay? ( cheers and applause ) >> there is? >> stephen: so let's imagine for a moment that you had to
explain -- >> so, so santa's got a good size on him, right? santa's famously -- >> stephen: he's a hefty guy. well, let's be kind. he's warm. travels in the north, got to keep it big is that yeah. >> so this notion that he comes down the chimney, right -- >> stephen: yeah. -- starts to kind of strain the laws of physics for a 10-year-old. 9-year-olds are going to buy that. 8-year-olds are going to buy that. 10-year-olds, if you've got them in a decent school -- ( laughter ) -- they're going to start to work with a look of betrayal when they look at their parents. >> stephen: we live in an apartment, let's say. >> at an apartment -- that's right! how do they do that there? >> stephen: comes through the ventilation. that's how it works.
>> it's a handshake with the doorman in the city here, right? >> stephen: oh, yeah, in the city, santa great deals' the doorman's hand, you know what i mean? he gives him a finner and he goes -- >> so out in los angeles, there's a whole bunch of chimney b.s. so frannie, who's the ten-year-old, she's not dumb and she's starting to look at me like this is straining the limits of what she's willing to buy. so we got her a bike a couple of years ago, and i thought, well, for some reason, she might buy a big fat guy coming down the chimney, maybe he brings lubricant or whatever he's got to do -- ( laughter ) i don't know! right? hang on -- ( laughter ) >> stephen: we're almost out of time here, jason. i did mention cbs, right? i mentioned cbs at one point in this conversation. >> dude, to get down the chimney! >> stephen: i understand! i understand.
>> so we got her a bike and, you know, it does come with its own grease, but it's still not going to come down the chimney. so what i did is put it outside because i figured she would call b.s. on that. so i put it outside. this doesn't have a very funny ending, so get ready. >> stephen: i heard this story. it's fantastic. i love how it ends. >> so i put it outside. i had to get fire wood for the fireplace because santa's done with his lube job on it. ( laughter ) ( applause ) and i'm, like -- and i said, hey, there's a bike out here! you clearly can't get a bike down a chimney, honey, so he left it out side. it sunk in because obviously he couldn't bring a bike down there but old greasy santa could slide down there! >> stephen: and that's why i believe in santa! makes total sense to me! thanks for reinforcing all our belief in st. nicholas.
>> see what kind of terrible father i am? >> stephen: no, you're a wonderful father. ( cheers and applause ) "office christmas party" in theaters nationwide this friday! i'm going to go see it! jason bateman, everybody! we'll be right back with padma lakshmi! ( cheers and applause ) ♪ enjoy your phone! you too. all right, be cool. you got the amazing new iphone 7 on the house by switching to at&t... what??.... aand you got unlimited data because you have directv??
(laughs to self in disbelief) okay, just a few more steps... door! it's cool! get the iphone 7 on us and unlimited data when you switch to at&t and have directv. zero really can be a hero.ds) get zero down, zero deposit, zero due at signing, and zero first month's payment on select volkswagen models. right now at the volkswagen sign then drive event. i'm not a customer, but i'm calling about that credit scorecard. give it. sure! it's free for everyone. oh! well that's nice! and checking your score won't hurt your credit. oh! i'm so proud of you. well thank you. free at at
discover.com/creditscorecard, even if you're not a customer. trust number one doctor recommended dulcolax constipated? use dulcolax tablets for gentle overnight relief suppositories for relief in minutes and stool softeners for comfortable relief of hard stools. dulcolax, designed for dependable relief
>> hi, jon batiste! ( cheers and applause ) hi, everybody! very exciting to be here. >> stephen: oh, excited to have you here! >> so big in real life. >> stephen: it's lovely. i tell you what i'm excited about, top chef is in my hometown of charleston, south carolina. had you been there before? >> i had never been there before. >> stephen: what do you think of my hometown? >> what am i going to say? i don't like it? i loved your hometown. i spent over six weeks there and it was a pleasure to be there. i consider it an honor i was able to go there because i've lived in new york and los angeles but i've never really traveled to other parts of the country and that's one of the beautiful things ability
being on top chef. >> stephen: well, there is no other part of the country like charleston, south carolina. >> yes, and the men are very beautiful, by the way. they are. they're very beautiful. i don't know what they feed you down there, but it's working. >> stephen: a lot of shrimp. now, you've also got a new book called "the encyclopedia of spices and herbs." >> yes. >> stephen: okay. blow my mind about a spice. what is the spice that none of us are using that we should be? >> okay, i would say there are many. one that comes to mind is green mango powder? exude me? >> green mango powder. it's this magic. >juju that willmake everything . it's been dried in the sun and looks like a beige sawdust color. >> stephen: what do i do with the green mango powder. >> you put it in everything. it is the ingredient no one will
be able to pick out that will be the m.s.g. of your dish. >> stephen: sweet, savory? it's sour because it's mango. so it gives you a tartness without adding moisture. >> stephen: you're assuming my knowledge of mango beyond -- i apologize for my knowledge of mangos is not what it should be. >> for instance, i put a pinch in my crust when i'm dredging my fried chicken in the flor with cayenne. >> stephen: what?! yes, i do. >> stephen: where can i get green mango powder? >> most indian markets. there is a beautiful spice store that's been around for years in new york. filet powder is what people use in gumbo down south. it's a beautiful ingredient. >> stephen: have you added any filet powder in your gumbo, jon? >> jon: oh, yeah, all the
time. yeah. ( applause ) >> stephen: well, my lack of filet powder means i'm not as american as i should be. ( laughter ) how did you learn this about spices and herbs? this is a 350-page book. how much research did you do? >> a lot. i had a great researcher and editor who is credited on the book who helped me. but as i was traveling the world as a model, i would learn about all the spices. every town i went, i would go to the local food markets and learn about them. i'm from india but i grew up in the states. spiels are basic to life. i remember being four years old and playing with spiels. so now -- spices, so now i happen to make a living out of it. >> stephen: how did your mother like you playing the spices? >> they didn't like it. i would climb the shelves like a monkey and try to get at the
chiles. they didn't want a 4-year-old doing that. >> stephen: you have a new book that's a him wire of your life. >> it is a memoir of my life. actually, there is some pretty juicy stuff in there, yeah. >> stephen: what's the juiciest part? >> you will have to wait for the sequel. >> stephen: what about in here? >> in here? there is lots of stuff in there. i don't want to ruin it for people. but there is a lot of stuff. you know, i -- >> stephen: are there pictures? >> there are no pictures! there are no pictures! and, stephen, the words go to the end of the page. >> stephen: the words go -- you really wrote the hell out of this thing! ( laughter ) >> i like my cookbooks which are much easier. it took me five years to write
that book. when i got the contract from my publisher, it was supposed to be a book about healthy eating using my personal life to illustrate examples about philosophies i had about food. but in the writing, i kept going deeper and deeper and at one point i said i don't know where the hell i'm going. my publisher said keep writing, you're an interesting woman and will do an interesting book. i said, i'm losing sight of the food. he says, ah, nobody cares about that. >> stephen: the spice is where it's at. lovely to see you again. ( cheers and applause ) padma lakshmi, everybody! we'll be right back! one of the best storytellers i know. michael lewis, stick around!
♪ a lot of people have vertical blinds. well, if a lot of people jumped off a bridge, would you? you hungry? i'm okay right -- i'm... i'm becoming my, uh, mother. it's been hard, but some of the stuff he says is actually pretty helpful. pumpkin, bundling our home and auto insurance is a good deal! like buying in bulk! that's fun, right?
progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, into a real guys night out to see if they could find the guy who uses just for men. it's me. >>no way. just for men gives you a natural gray-free look. just lather in. in just five minutes. great-looking hair, made easy. just for men. with hotels.com's for every 10 nights you stay, you get one free. which is great for families. finally! whatever captain obvious. hotels.com. great for families. mom! and for sore losers!
welcome back, ladies and gentlemen! ( cheers and applause ) folks, my next guest is the best-selling author of the blind side, moneyball and "the big short." his latest book, "the undoing project," is so new it hasn't even been made into a movie yet. please welcome michael lewis! ( cheers and applause ) ♪ >> stephen: nice to see you. good too see you. pleasure to be back. >> stephen: happy to have you here. you're one to have the best explainers in the world. i need something explained to me, you're the person i want to have to do it. explain something to me if you don't mind. stock market closed at an
all-time high, 19,216 and some change, okay? people are talking about a trump bump. why and what is it? do you have any these are? >> i've given this a shot but -- >> stephen: people were afraid it would dump but there is been a bump. >> and nobody knew it was going to happen, right? so one of the things my book is about -- not to get to my book right away. we'll come back to it, i know. >> stephen: we'll just get to it. it's called "the undoing project." ( cheers and applause ) >> i wasn't trying to plug the book, but actually -- >> stephen: i want to plug the book. >> -- one of the things it's about is the way people explain what they couldn't predict. so nobody saw this coming. nobody saw the stock market going up a thousand points, but the same people who didn't see it coming will tell you exactly why it was inevitable. so they can now explain it because they don't want to look like fools. the same people who are
explaining why, oh, yes, it was going to go up a thousand points, if it crashed tomorrow would also have an explanation of why that was inevitable. >> stephen: so we don't need an economic model, we need a time machine. >> what you need is not to spend much attention listening to people who are trying to explain to you why the stock market went up or down because they don't know. >> stephen: explain something to me. the "the undoing project" book. >> yes. >> stephen: what was undone in the undoing project and who did it? who undid it? >> so there are a couple of things here. so the book is about -- this is a conversation stopper. two israeli psychologists. >> stephen: walk into a bar -- yeah, yeah, right. ( laughter ) so amos tversky and daniel kahneman -- kahneman won the nobel prize in economics but they're both psychologists and amos tversky died in 1996, but they died about a love affair,
they were engaged in exploring how the human mind worked when making judgments and decisions in an unemotional state. when people thought they were being rational, what were they doing? the undoing project itself was the project they were working on when the love affair busted up. it was their name for the project. specifically what they were looking at at the time, they were trying to delineate the rules of the human imagination, and the way they were getting at it was looking at the way people undid a tragedy. daniel kahneman, one of the characters -- >> stephen: how they dealt with the emotion of the tragedy? >> they say, in a way, it starts with daniel kahneman's nephew, two days away from being released from the israeli air force flying upside down and being killed. danny notices everybody saying if only, if only he had been released two days earlier. if only the flare hadn't gone up
and blinded him. but they didn't say, if only there wasn't an israeli air force. there were particular ways they undid the tragedy. he thought the way people undo tragedies might be the way to explore how the human imagination works and how it creates other realities. so how do you undo the most recent presidential election? you saw this happening after the election. if only comey hadn't released the e-mails. nobody said if only trump was born a girl. that would have done it. i mean -- right? ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: would have been the best, though. would have been beautiful. >> it would have been beautiful. >> stephen: a ten. a ten. >> huge! >> stephen: yuge. yeah, would have been yuge. >> stephen: so what does that say about how we deal? >> so that's the narrow answer. they were working to try to figure out the tway human imagination created alternative
realities. they never finished the work. what they were doing more broadly, the reason i seized upon it it as a book title, is they were undoing the human nature that we were basically good and rational in our choices. >> stephen: so we're not rational. >> no, we're not. >> stephen: can we become rational? or is that even a good goal? >> no, it's interesting. they were saying that -- i think their work shows, something very deep about human nature. they're wired for certain kinds of infallibility and rationalities. we can check ourselves. we can find ways to sort of govern our intellects, but we will make mistakes, systematically, not just one-off mistakes, so that, as a result, markets can make mistakes, elections can get screwed up. they were pointing at the way the human mind leads itself astray in the same way that,
say, their optical illusions they were describing cognitive illusions, the way people's minds -- >> stephen: can computers help us make a rational decision or is that a mistake because the robots will raise up and enslave us? >> they may be gentle masters ( laughter ) >> stephen: god, i hope so. it isn't necessarily a dark outcome. >> stephen: michael, thank you so much for being here. "the undoing project" in stores
( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: hey, that does it for "the late show," everybody! tune in tomorrow when my guests will be vice president joe biden and d.j. khaled. stick around for james corden and his guests gael garcia bernal, lauren cohan and john legend. goodnight! ♪ are you ready y'all to have some fun ♪ feel the love tonight don't you worry 'bout ♪ where you come from it's gonna be all right ♪ it's the late, late show >> reggie: ladies and