tv Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC October 28, 2017 12:37am-1:38am EDT
[ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers." tonight -- jennifer hudson. from "curb your enthusiam," actor and comedian, jeff garlin. author, jesmyn ward. featuring the 8g band with gregg bissonette. ♪ [ 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 and applause ] fantastic to hear. in that case, let's get to the news. white house press secretary, sarah huckabee sanders today said there isn't anything to clarify about trump's position on nfl players kneeling during the national anthem, because the issue is, quote, "pretty black and white."
[ laughter ] and then she winked so hard, her podium fell over. [ laughter and applause ] health and human services secretary, tom price, apologized this afternoon for flying on taxpayer-funded private jets. though there was probably a more cost-efficient way to apologize. [ laughter and applause ] democrats are reportedly hopeful that controversial judge roy moore's republican primary victory in alabama, may boost their chances for competitive senate race in the state. in a related story, wile e. coyote says he really feels like he has a shot this time. [ laughter and applause ] police discovered over 3,000 pounds of marijuana in a car in colorado. after the owner admitted, quote, "it's just a little, i can throw it out."
[ laughter and applause ] and to be fair, it is only one day's worth for him. [ laughter and applause ] this is my tuesday weed. donald trump jr. reportedly went moose hunting in canada, recently. and by the looks of his hair, he found some. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] new york's mta announced yesterday, that they will install digital screens in subway cars to display ads, which could backfire. [ laughter and applause ] fast food chain arby's is serving a limited edition cookie butter milkshake. and any customers who order it will also be limited edition. [ laughter ] cause of death, cookie butter
milkshake. [ light laughter ] a woman in italy recently married herself at a ceremony that included a three-layer wedding cake, bridesmaids, and 70 guests. did i say guests? i meant cats. [ laughter ] 70 cats. [ applause ] a new study found that the sound of a cork popping from a wine bottle, makes people think their wine tastes better than wine poured from a screw cap. the test was conducted over and over and over again, by one woman. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] tastes better. and finally, a museum dedicated to fashion designer yves saint laurent, opened today in paris, and a pretty good knockoff will open tomorrow in chinatown. [ cheers and applause ] ladies and gentlemen, we have a fantastic show for you tonight. she's a talented singer, actress, and now she's a judge on nbc's "the voice." jennifer hudson is back on the show, everybody.
[ cheers and applause ] he -- is one of the stars of hbo's "curb your enthusiasm." i'm so excited, that show is back. jeff garlin is here, everybody! [ cheers and applause ] and she is the author of a fantastic new novel, "sing, unburied, sing" it's available now. jesmyn ward is on the show tonight. so looking forward to talking to her. [ cheers and applause ] but before we get to all of that, president trump, is so desperate for literally any kind ofos pivite achievement that he is now outright lying about the fate of his health care bill and his new tax plan. but there's one major obstacle standing in the way of trump's domestic agenda. he has no idea what he's talking about. for more on this, it's time for "a closer look." ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: when you've had as many policy failures as trump has, you start to become desperate for ways to score points with your base. and for trump, that means repeatedly doubling down on his feud with nfl players who kneel
during the national anthem. polls have shown that trump's comments are deeply unpopular and yet, despite the backlash, the president is apparently very proud of himself. >> sources tell cnn that the president appears pleased with the firestorm he's created, telling a private dinner of conservative leaders, "it's really caught on." >> seth: it's really caught on? you're talking about a racial controversy, not the macarena. [ light laughter ] trump, of course, has tweeted obsessively about the nfl, while saying much less about the growing humanitarian crisis in puerto rico. and you can tell that the president's unhinged tweeting is beginning to haunt his staff. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders tried to refocus the media's attention back on the president's agenda, and away from his tweets on monday. but i feel like she might have hurt her cause when she accidentally came up with a new nickname for trump. >> it's not lost on the president or his administration that there is more work to do. we need better schools, and we need better jobs to provide a safer, stronger, more prosperous future for every american.
president chirp is working to make america great again for all of our citizens. [ laughter ] >> seth: wait, wait, wait. i'm sorry, did she -- did she just -- [ cheers and applause ] did she just call him president chirp? >> president chirp. >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] although, i always thought of him as more of a president screech. [ screeching ] [ light laughter ] you know, i almost -- almost feel bad for sarah huckabee sanders. she always sounds like she's at a parent/teacher conference for the kid who keeps trying to burn down the school. [ light laughter ] i know, i know, but you never talk about the things he doesn't burn down. [ laughter ] [ applause ] trump, of course -- has continued to double down throughout the week. not just in arguing that players should stand for the anthem, but insisting that the nfl write a rule requiring players to stand, or face punishment. >> i think it's a very important thing for the nfl to not allow
people to kneel during the playing of our national anthem. >> seth: so the president wants nfl players fired for exercising their right to free speech. and yet, on the very same day, trump's own attorney general was across town, talking about free speech on college campuses, and said this. >> in this great land, the government does not tell you what to think or what to say. [ light laughter ] >> seth: as long as you're not kneeling while you're thinking or saying it. [ laughter and applause ] and, by the way, i would think sessions would be fine with people kneeling. then at least he'd be at their eye level. [ audience ohs ] [ laughter ] "that is a very interesting haircut." for trump, of course, it's much easier to whip up anger against football players than it is to talk about complex policy, because he doesn't know anything about policy. of course, a third option is just to lie, as trump did yesterday when he bizarrely claimed to reporters that the gop did, in fact, have enough votes to pass their failed
health care bill, which gop leaders have already pulled after three republican senators said they would vote no. trump kept insisting, falsely, that the real reason the gop couldn't pass their health care bill was that there was a mysterious unnamed senator in the hospital who could not make it to the senate floor to vote, baffling the reporters in attendance. >> we have one senator that's in the hospital. he can't vote, because he's in the hospital. >> [ unintelligible ] >> he can't vote because he's in the hospital. i'm almost certain we have the votes, but with one man in the hospital, we cannot display that we have them. we can't do it now, because we have somebody in a hospital. >> sir, who's in the hospital? which senator are you referring to? >> he can't come here and vote. [ talking over each other ] in other words, he can't come here and vote, because he's in the hospital. >> who is in the hospital, sir? >> we are only one off. maybe two. [ light laughter ] but we can't vote now, john. you probably didn't hear me, because, as you know, one of our yes votes is in the hospital. >> seth: what are you talking about?
[ laughter and applause ] i'm starting -- [ applause ] i'm starting to think the next time you have a chance, you might want to consider dropping by a hospital. [ laughter ] just some of the basic tests, you know. reporters later figured out that trump might have been referring to mississippi senator, thad cochran, who is not in the hospital, but was at home dealing with a health issue. after trump's comments, cochran was forced to release a statement assuring people he was okay. [ laughter ] "thanks for the well wishes. i'm not hospitalized, but am recuperating at home in mississippi and look forward to returning to work soon." this is how bad things are now. the president spreads so many insane rumors senators have to issue statements letting everyone know they're okay. [ laughter ] this is the first presidency where you have to "check in safe" on facebook. [ laughter and applause ] it's only a matter of time before rand paul has to tweet, "thanks for the support. contrary to the president's comments, i did not fall down a well and get trapped for days
and have not been forced to eat rats to stay alive. but i do believe he was being honest when he said he was psyched about it." in addition to its massive unpopularity, trump's lack of familiarity with his own health care bill, is partially what doomed it. for example, when trump spoke about the bill last week, there were lots of questions americans wanted to hear him answer. would the bill protect preexisting conditions? would the bill gut medicaid? would premiums rise? instead, this is all trump could offer voters. >> i must be honest with you. whether it happens or not, something is going to happen. and it's going to be positive. >> seth: good lord. [ laughter ] you get more specifics from the palm reader at the county fair. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] "you, uh -- you lost someone very important to you with a vowel in their name?" [ laughter ] "grandpa joe?" "yes, grandpa joe." a few days later, trump tried to dispel the notion that he hasn't
been very involved in the gop's health care efforts, but if anything, he made clear why he's been so bad at this. >> for seven years, i've been hearing "repeal and replace." so i'm very much involved. you know, they like to say, "well, mr. trump, president trump sat in the oval office and didn't --" i'm on the phone screaming at people all day long for weeks. >> seth: i love trump's impression of a smart person. [ light laughter ] "and they always say, 'oh, mr. trump. take your head out of the oven.' and i'm like, 'that's where the food is.' [ laughter and applause ] how else am i going to get my -- my food?" so with the failure of his health care plan, trump is now moving on to tax cuts. and, again, when it comes to taxes, trump is either clueless, or lying, or both. in fact, the political strategy for trump's tax plan seems to be this -- pretend that it doesn't slash taxes for the wealthy, even though it very obviously does. under trump's plan, the wealthy will pay only 35% on their income taxes, down from 39.6%. that, of course, flies in the
face of promises trump made repeatedly, both during the campaign and as president. in fact, just this month, he insisted that not only would the wealthy not get a tax cut, their taxes might actually go up under his plan. >> the rich will not be gaining at all with this plan. >> will the wealthy have a higher taxes -- >> i think the wealthy will be pretty much where they are. pretty much where they are. if we can do that, we'd like it. if they have to go higher, they'll go higher, frankly. >> seth: the only way he was raising taxes on the rich, was if he could pick which rich people. "rosie, she's going to get her taxes raised. meryl streep's gotta start paying her fair share. everyone in the nba, except for the tall white guys. [ laughter and applause ] because they are the backbone of this great nation." now, if you have trouble believing that trump and his cronies would so brazenly enrich themselves at the expense of hard working taxpayers, you need look no farther than the ongoing scandal surrounding trump's health secretary, tom price. politico reported this week that price has spent more than
$400,000 on taxpayer-funded private jet travel since may. including a $17,760 round-trip on a charter jet to nashville, where price stayed less than six hours and had lunch with his son. how do you fly somewhere, have lunch, and fly back in six hours? you take the jet to the drive-thru window? [ light laughter ] now, today price said he'd pay some of that money back to the government, but only the cost of his seat on the flights. not the full cost of the $400,000 to charter those flights. a health and human services official said price would write a check for about $52,000, which appears to cover the cost of his seat. you're only paying for your seat. you're the one who chartered the flights in the first place. [ light laughter ] that's like inviting your entire workplace out for drinks, and then saying "so, i only had two beers. here's $9." [ laughter ] so we have a clueless president lying about his plans while he attacks athletes for peaceful protests. if you've ever wondered who's the most incompetent president in modern times i think we now know the answer.
>> president chirp. >> seth: it is president chirp. [ laughter and applause ] that's been "a closer look." ♪ [ cheers and applause ] we'll be right back with jennifer hudson everybody. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> announcer: for more of seth's "closer looks" be sure to subscribe to "late night" on youtube. ♪ welcome to maxx you. you are whimsical, vibrant, statement making. you stand out in a crowd. and are pulled together. you follow your own lead and show your strength. always comfortable in your own skin. we see what makes you unique. so we have something for everyone, at a price that's just right for you. maxx you. maxx life. t.j.maxx
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♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back, everybody. and please, give it up for the 8g band sitting right over there. [ cheers and applause ] also, all this week, we've had one of the world's most versatile drummers sitting in with us. he currently plays with ringo starr and his all-star band. and ringo has a new album out. "give more love," along with a fall tour which kicks off october 13th in las vegas. gregg bissonette, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] >> had a great time, seth, thank you so much. >> seth: thanks for the week. please come back soon. our first guest tonight is an oscar, golden globe and grammy winning artist who is the newest coach on nbc's hit competition series, "the voice" which is back for its 13th season. new episodes air monday and tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. please welcome back to the show, our friend, jennifer hudson, everybody! [ cheers and applause ] ♪
>> seth: hi, jennifer! >> hi! hi! >> seth: you look wonderful! >> thank you! >> seth: thank you. thank you for being here! and congratulations on your first season as a judge on "the voice." last time we saw you, you were just about to start. >> yes. >> seth: and are you enjoying it? >> i am having too much fun. >> seth: too much fun. >> too much fun. >> seth: that's great. >> it's amazing. >> seth: do you have a strategy? have you developed a strategy? >> yes, i have. but i don't want to give it away, because i know adam and blake are both watching. >> seth: yeah. [ light laughter ] you think like -- so now you think -- [ laughter ] they're so -- they're so set on winning that they're following your every move. they're watching tape on you. they're saying we can find -- yeah. >> they might want to watch j-hud. you know, because everybody wants to win. and then you cannot forget, they are the vets. they're the bookends of the show. >> seth: yes. >> so they're a bit ahead of the game. and i'm playing catchup. and when i do, oh, they better
look out. >> seth: yeah. [ cheers and applause ] oh, interesting. interesting. do you -- now, is someone like blake, he's a very kind person. he's been here. >> he really is. >> seth: so i know he's desperate to win but also very kind. has he gave you any advice on the coaching side? >> yeah, he told me once that i didn't pitch hard enough. he's like, "you've got to fight, like, battle." and i'm like, one minute i think i'm pitching, and i think i'm, like, battling it out. and he's like, "jennifer, you're not pitching hard enough. you've got to go harder." and i'm like, "i'm not doing enough?" because miley, she doesn't stop. >> seth: yeah. >> like, that girl is a firecracker, y'all, like -- >> seth: yeah. >> she goes on and on. and i'll say my piece, i'll say two cents and i think i'm done. and blake is like, "jennifer, keep pitching, you're not pitching hard enough." and i'm like, "is she still going? >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] well, i mean, that's exhausting. trying to keep up with miley must be exhausting. >> it is. >> seth: she is -- >> she can talk! >> seth: she is -- >> i can talk, too, but she can really talk. >> seth: she can really talk. >> yes. >> seth: she's boundless energy. >> yes. >> seth: in my experiences with miley. you had met her years ago. >> uh-huh. >> seth: at pharrell's birthday party. >> yes. >> seth: by the way, that is
where i want all cool people to meet. [ cheers and applause ] like, that's the best place to meet anyone. >> it is. because pharrell is cool. >> seth: yeah, he is the coolest. >> yeah, she was twerking, though. >> seth: she was twerking. >> she was twerking. >> seth: and how -- when you saw her twerking, was your -- did you think, "oh, i should go twerk with her?" did you think -- >> i tried it. >> seth: you did? >> but that is not for me. >> seth: it didn't work out? [ laughter ] >> it did not work out. >> seth: interesting. >> i will leave it to miley -- but he she had it down. she was on the floor, everything. >> seth: gotcha. [ laughter ] how quickly -- >> sorry, miley. >> seth: how quickly into your twerking did you think, "oh, this is not for me?" >> i gave it up quite fast, because nothing moved. >> seth: okay. >> my knee. >> seth: your knee moved. >> y'all don't want me to get up and try to twerk. i don't even know what that is. but, no, it didn't work out for me. >> seth: i think, yeah, if your knee is the only thing moving, you're doing it wrong. >> that was the only thing moving. >> seth: and i know very -- i know very little about twerking. [ laughter ] but i know enough to know that's not great. yeah. [ laughter ] >> i want to see you twerk, okay -- >> seth: oh, no, you don't want to see me twerk. if you see me twerk, i will have to get my acl replaced. [ laughter ] you did something on the show that i get -- i will be honest, you -- you threw your shoe.
this is a photo of you -- someone was singing, they finished their song. i believe it was "try a little tenderness." was that the song? >> yes. >> seth: which was incredibly well sung. and then you threw your shoe, which i will be honest, if i was on stage and a shoe came up -- [ laughter ] i'd think that was an unsatisfied customer. >> no! [ laughter ] >> seth: okay, interesting. >> it is a compliment. >> seth: it is a compliment. >> at j-hud productions it's a compliment. >> seth: gotcha. >> come on, now. [ cheers and applause ] if you move me enough that i remove my shoe to throw it at you, you have done something just amazing. >> seth: that's fanta -- >> like, it's equivalent to a standing ovation. [ light laughter ] >> seth: interesting. >> yeah. >> seth: has this been your -- has anyone ever thrown a shoe at you? >> oh, yes. >> seth: okay. >> i did -- i had an audition for a tour with barry manilow, like, i don't know how many years ago that was. and i sang a song and the people who i was auditioning in front of, they literally threw everything at me off of the desk. >> seth: wow! [ light laughter ] >> and i was just standing there like, "oh, my god." it was shoes, it was notebooks, it was pens and everything. they was like, "girl, you better sing!" [ laughter ] >> seth: that's great. >> so when somebody's singing for me --
>> seth: you get -- yeah. >> you might catch a shoe. and if i could get this boot off right now -- >> seth: yeah, well, that's -- [ laughter ] now this is interesting because i was noticing your boots as you came in. it would seem -- now, do you ever think before a night, "hey, i might see something i really like, i should wear shoes that are easy to get off?" [ laughter and applause ] i mean, i'll say this. if i -- if i -- the next time i go to see you live, i'm just going to wear crocs, because i want to get them off. [ laughter ] they're soft, if i should accidentally hit you in the head you'll be fine. >> maybe i should carry one in my purse. >> seth: yeah, exactly. well, that would be great. a purse shoe. that's what you need. [ laughter ] >> a purse shoe. >> and then people would say, "did jennifer like you?" and they'll say, "well, she threw a shoe, but it was in her purse." >> she threw a shoe. right? >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> right, but i would bring one. but no, i don't because it comes from, like -- music is so moving and powerful to me. >> seth: uh-huh. >> that it literally dictates my every emotion. and i don't even know i threw my shoe at you. >> seth: oh, really? >> if you're close enough, you might get hit. but it's a compliment. >> seth: oh, so you're like -- you have a moment where you're out of body. >> i am out of body.
>> seth: yeah. >> like the time when i threatened blake and adam on the show and i told them, "don't you turn around." like, that -- it was like an out of body experience. like, i'm so sorry, i didn't mean to hit you, i didn't mean to threaten you, i didn't mean to throw a shoe. [ laughter ] but it's just how the song moves me. music m -- y'all might understand the band. >> seth: yeah. >> like music moves me. >> seth: yeah. >> in a -- [ cheers and applause ] a unique, special way. >> seth: well -- >> but it's all out of passion and love. >> seth: and i can say, of the times that i've been lucky enough to see you sing live, there is no one who is as moving when they sing as you. >> thank you. >> seth: and so it is just such a pleasure as always to see you. and next time i see you, i'm going to at least give you a shoe. >> bring a shoe. >> seth: at the very least. >> bring a good one. >> seth: i will bring a good one. i'm gonna give you my finest heel. [ applause ] thank you so much for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> seth: it's such a pleasure. jennifer hudson, everybody! [ cheers and applause ] "the voice" airs mondays and tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. right here on nbc. we'll be right back with jeff garlin. [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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>> seth: our next guest is a very funny actor and comedian you know from shows like "the goldbergs" and "curb your enthusiasm." he returns to "curb" for its ninth season this sunday night on hbo. please welcome to the show jeff garlin, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ >> seth: hi, jeff! >> hello there, seth! >> seth: it's so good to see you. >> how are ya? >> seth: i'm good! so -- [ laughter ] i do want to ask about this, because i notice you have a camera. >> uh-huh. >> seth: because we have -- we have a set photographer right there that he does this but -- >> but i have a point of view that he doesn't get. >> seth: that's true. >> yes, i have every talk show host going. >> seth: you have them all. so this is something -- >> history of it, yes. >> seth: and you just make sure you never forget your camera when you come on a talk show. >> no, i forget it plenty of times.
>> seth: okay, got it. [ laughter ] i'm glad you remembered it for me. >> oh, not gonna forget for you, seth! [ laughter ] >> seth: how are you? is everything well? >> everything is a big bowl of wonderful. >> seth: good. i'm so -- >> i have two tv shows premiering the same week. >> seth: so exciting. >> "goldbergs" on last night. >> seth: uh-huh. >> and then -- yes. [ cheers and applause ] a very popular show. >> seth: very popular show. >> with young people and old. and then uh -- >> seth: two very important demos. >> by the way, and there's like one year in between. i think -- 48. >> seth: nobody cares for it. yeah. >> no one 48. >> seth: 48, it's not for them. >> not for them. >> seth: yeah. >> and then "curb your enthusiasm." [ cheers and applause ] yes. >> seth: and has it been -- how many years since season eight? has it been six years or something? >> that's what i hear. >> seth: and i imagine -- >> i don't pay attention. i'm busy. >> seth: yeah. so i imagine though, that the last six years of your life, people have constantly been asking you, will there be another new season of "curb"? >> yes, yes, yes. >> seth: are you happy that's now not a thing that people will be asking you? >> yeah, i'm look for new things
for them to ask me. >> seth: yeah. [ light laughter ] >> i just -- that was like, "ahh i don't know!" >> seth: yeah. >> you know what i would do, actually, if someone, you know, really was asking me. like i would give a percentage -- a true percentage. like, i would go 68, 71. >> seth: oh, like what you thought the odds were. >> what i felt, what i felt, yes. >> seth: wow. >> and now, i say 100%. >> seth: you say 100. [ light laughter ] but just for this one that's about to come right now. >> yes. >> seth: as for the one after this -- >> the one after that, i will go with -- i'll go with 49%. >> seth: 49%. >> yes. >> seth: okay. so just -- [ applause ] >> they'll take it. >> seth: just, just beneath. >> yeah. >> seth: yeah. >> yeah. >> seth: but that's exciting. >> yeah. it will build as it goes. >> seth: do you -- you've known larry for a long time. >> yes. >> seth: you've known larry since he was a standup. >> yes, we were standups in new york together. >> seth: susie essman as well, right? >> yes, i knew susie essman as a standup in new york. >> seth: what was -- what are your memories of larry as a standup in the early days? >> as larry as a standup? uh, well first off, hila -- [ laughter ] no, it's true. hilarious, and, i'm so scared that i have chocolate here. >> seth: you don't. [ laughter ] >> okay. why do you put cookies in the
room? i don't need cookies before i come out. >> seth: we thought you would want to take a still life. >> no. >> seth: that was all for -- >> no, if i stay out here too long, i'll fall asleep now. >> seth: yeah, that's true. >> no, larry was -- he was a comedian's comedic. comedians loved him, and audiences would vary in their love. >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> and then he would vary in his love for them. he actually -- i saw him do this. he went on stage, looked in the eye and went, "nah, i don't think so." [ laughter ] and then left. no, i saw him do it! no, yeah. and he'd look at people. if people looked at him weird or said something, it was kind of fun. see, i wanted him to keep going, because i loved his material. >> seth: yeah. >> but there was also that aspect, is he going to lose it? it was fun, yeah. >> seth: you -- this sounds like a "curb" story but it happened in your real life. >> what's that? >> seth: you, in the time since the last "curb" season you spent a night in jail. you got arrested. >> oh, my god! what were you bringing that up for? i don't need that crap.
[ laughter ] well, you know, all right -- oh, what are you doing to me? [ laughter ] i spent a night in jail. yes. >> seth: okay. >> bring up a sad memory. do you ever think a guy like me is going to end up in jail? but here's the thing i'm going to say to you. >> seth: yeah. >> okay, i ended up in jail. it was a minor altercation. >> seth: yeah. >> and it really was. and i got put in jail because the woman had an expensive car. >> seth: uh-huh. >> and when i went in her window -- she was making fun of me for being fat. >> seth: okay. >> that's all i'm saying. weird, right? >> seth: yeah. >> and i don't have enough time to tell the story! this is what you do to me. you ask me a question. the entire segment -- do i have two segments tonight? >> seth: no, you don't have two segments. [ laughter ] >> i know, there's a novelist coming who maybe she'll write a book on my thing. [ laughter ] here's all i'm going to say to you, though. >> seth: okay. >> the reality is, i hit on someone's window and said, "why did you do that?" you know? >> seth: yeah. >> it was a dumb larry david
move. because, like, she was yelling at me, and then i said, "well, why did you make fun of me for being fat?" it was the wrong time. >> seth: yeah. >> anyhow, tmz had me with a wrench busting windows and then leaping on her car and saying, "you better call the coppers." [ laughter ] >> seth: but that didn't happen. >> no! >> seth: it was just this. you gave it a tap. >> not a tap. >> seth: okay. [ laughter ] >> i'm a strong man! i didn't realize that strong. and you know, like a window. it shattered. not on her. but, like right there. and it was like oh -- when it happened, i was like, "whoa!" >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> no, that was not what i wanted! >> seth: did you know when it shattered -- how fast did you process, "i might go to jail?" >> not at all. >> seth: okay. you still thought you were fine. >> as a matter of fact, i went into the store to get my prescription. by the way, bought some twizzlers -- i'm diabetic. >> seth: oh, wow. >> and came out and she was still there screaming for the police even though i gave her my information. >> seth: okay, gotcha. >> and then the cops arrested me because they said -- i said, "why are you arresting me?" they said, "well, if she was
driving a toyota corolla, you'd be fined. but it's a mercedes s-500, so we're arresting you for felony vandalism. >> seth: ah, 'cause it was a certain cost. >> exactly. >> seth: i will say, you are -- that is a stone cold criminal move to commit felony vandalism and then go buy twizzlers. [ laughter ] the cops show up and you're just eating twizzlers. [ cheers and applause ] >> by the way, which only led to more anxiety, and i was more scared because i had a sugar high, and i was like, "you're putting cookies in the room. i'm bound to get arrested tonight." [ laughter ] >> seth: now, i have to ask, when you got to jail -- >> yes. >> seth: were the arresting officers -- >> okay. here's the key thing. all right, i see where you're going. >> seth: well, i'm not going anywhere! >> you heard the story. so i get to the jail, and all i've -- i'm not going do like what's her name did, "do you know who i am?" you know, type thing. >> seth: yeah, yeah. >> or anyone does that. >> seth: no. >> that's not me. i wish i had done it now, now though. >> seth: uh-huh. >> alright, so anyhow, i'm at the jail, and all i'm thinking
is, "please, one of the police officers know me." know me! "oh, we got a -- jeff, what are you doing here?" [ laughter ] we'll put you over here. maybe we'll get you a cookie. >> seth: yeah, exactly. [ laughter ] >> none of the cops knew me. every criminal knew me! [ laughter and applause ] if you were handcuffed, you were thrilled. "oh, my god, what are you here for?" "i just got a little felony vandalism." "what are you here for?" "oh, just robbed a family." "i love your work, you know, when i'm not robbing people." >> seth: did you -- not to obsess over the twizzlers, but was that a situation where, when you get there, they take it and put it in one of those plastic things? >> no, no, no. it was a big jumbo package. >> seth: uh-huh. >> it was gone by the time they took me away. >> seth: oh, wow. >> as i was standing there -- i was just downing twizzlers. there was no bag to put it away. my son's earache medicine, yes,
they held that for me. >> seth: okay, well that's very nice. >> yes. >> seth: oh, my goodness, so you were going to get ear medicine for your son. >> yes. [ laughter ]e yes, he had an ear infection. but they dropped the charges. on the monday. and i want to thank, by the way, kanye west and kim kardashian, because the next day after i was released, i was no longer on tmz, because north west was born. >> seth: oh, perfect. [ applause ] >> so some people may have problems with them. i have none! [ laughter ] i am thrilled with them. i love them. and you know what else? if i can have one second? >> seth: of course. >> this is like serious. so i had -- they dropped the charges. but the city wanted to meet with me. so my lawyer said, go take some anger management -- you know, meet with some for anger management. >> seth: yeah. >> i'm like, "i don't anger management." i found out i don't have anger management. what i found out, and this is not a joke, is that i have an ego problem, because i had righteous indignation. >> seth: oh, yeah. >> like, why would she make fun of for being fat. it was over a parking space. so stupid.
and i learned that ego does nothing for you. it's about being humble. and being confident in who you are and what you do. but i learned a great lesson about ego and how it does me no good. and so i was saying -- i wish i had said something. i'm glad i didn't say, "do you know who i am?" that i experienced this. because, man, that ego thing, it's beautiful. >> seth: oh, that's fantastic. [ cheers and applause ] so it was in the end the positive. >> very positive. >> seth: that's great. and i would go through it again to learn that. >> seth: that's fantastic. >> yeah. >> seth: and thank you so much for telling that story. i really appreciate it. >> oh, sure. >> seth: sorry for putting you on the spot. [ cheers and applause ] >> that's all right. see my face? >> seth: i love it. jeff garlin, everybody. ninth season of "curb your enthusiasm" premiers sunday on hbo. be right back. [ applause ] ♪
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♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back, everybody. our next guest is the national book award winner and the author of the critically-acclaimed novel "salvage the bones" and the memoir "men we reaped." her third novel "sing, unburied, sing" was published this month and recently made the long list for the national book award for fiction. welcome to the show,
jesmyn ward, everyone. ♪ ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome! i'm so happy to have you here. i want to talk about the book. but first, you have been on book tour for a while. >> yes. >> seth: traveling around. and you have two children. >> yes. >> seth: i met your -- 11-month-old backstage? >> yes. >> seth: who was very sweet. he actually waved at me and i was very happy. >> yep. [ light laughter ] >> seth: i don't think he recognized me, but he did give me a very nice wave. but you have a 5-year-old daughter. does she have an appreciation? does she go when you're at bookstores? does she see what you're doing? >> she does. she actually saw -- she sees me signing books all of the time. >> seth: uh-huh. >> and recently i came -- like, i walked in on her, and she had one of her books. and she doesn't know how to write yet or read, but there were all these random letters that she had, like, written in the front of the book. [ light laughter ] and i went, "wait, what are you doing? why are you writing in the book?"
and she said, "well, i'm signing -- i'm signing the books like you." [ audience aws ] and so i was like, "oh, okay." [ laughter ] >> seth: that's wonderful that you've taught your daughter to deface things. >> yes. [ laughter ] >> seth: and she -- you said she can't read, but do you think that in your daughter you have someone who is going to be a reader? does she love books? >> i think so. i mean, i recently, i went to the national book festival, and i was doing an interview with the library of congress. and i told this story about how when i was in second grade, i made this conscious decision that i loved reading, right? i was like, "all of my classmates hate reading. but i love this. i love reading." and so i told that story during the interview. and then later that day she said, "mommy, do you like to read?" and i said, "yep, i love to read." and she said, "i love to read, too, mommy." so, yeah -- >> seth: that's great. [ audience aws ] she's off to a fantastic start. [ applause ] this is such a -- a beautiful book. it's a haunting book. at times a difficult book. you tell it through the eyes of three narrators. a mother, her 13-year-old son
and then there's sort of the supernatural element of a spirit of a 13-year-old from times past. did you -- was that something -- when you set out to write a book like that do you know in your head, oh, i want to tell this three different ways from three different points of view or do sort of find that when you set out on it? >> i mean, i knew that there would be -- that i'd tell the story from two different perspectives, right? so from the 13-year-old mixed race boy named jojo and then his mom, leonie. i thought that i might try to write, you know, some chapters from richie, he's the ghost, from his perspective. but i actually didn't do it. i wrote a rough draft and then i revised it. at least 15 times. and then i sent it to my editor, and then my editor said, "well, have you thought about writing a chapter from this ghost's perspective? from richie's perspective?" and i think that the reason that i hadn't, you know, decided to actually go through with it and write from this third perspective is because i was afraid.
because i had never really written anything like that, right? >> seth: mm-hmm. >> from the perspective of a ghost, where i would have to create an entire world and create a logic for that world. and it would all have to, like, make sense and be really believable for the reader. and so when my editor said that to me, it was almost as if she gave me permission to do it. and it was almost as if she said, you know, the subtext of her saying that was like, "oh, i believe in you. you can actually do this." and so once she said that, that's when i decided to write those chapters from richie's perspective. >> seth: and richie's perspective, you have this character who is rooted in the past, and he is -- you know, he is based in a penitentiary. and this book sort of deals with this -- sort of the racial history of this penitentiary. this awful place. it seems, you know, the characters in this book -- even the 13-year-old boy, they are tied to the events of the past. >> yep. >> seth: and it -- you know especially these days, it seems like when we talk about race, there are some people that say i think it would be easier if we talked about race if we just talked about this moment. it would be so much easier if we forgot about everything else that happened before that. but it seems to be that it's
impossible to divorce the past from the present and that must be something you think when you start writing. >> i think about that all of the time. like, i feel like that's one of the ideas i'm obsessed with in my writing and that i return to in every book. because i -- you know i feel like, especially in the south. it's very clear to me that history bears on the present. and that history has very real repercussions in the present. i mean, i was writing about parchman prison, which is an actual prison in mississippi. it's, like, the mississippi state penitentiary. and that prison was basically -- i mean, it was basically a plantation, right? the inmates were enslaved. they were whipped. they were made to work in the fields. they were rented out to industrial barrons. i mean, you know, it's very clear to me, like, how the legacy of slavery expressed itself in parchman prison, right? when these inmates were basically enslaved. and i also think that, you know, that that -- that legacy has followed us
today, right? i mean, i wrote a memoir about five young men, you know, who i knew, one of them was my brother, who all, you know, died in my -- in my hometown. and one of the young men who died was one of my -- was a cousin of mine, right? he -- the car that he was in actually hit a train, right? and i feel like it's no accident that that happened, because i live in a poor, mostly black neighborhood, right? so i think the powers that be don't care about the infrastructure in that neighborhood, right? they don't care if, you know, if there are working signals, right, light -- at that train crossing. they don't care if there's a guardrail at that train crossing, right? and so, you know, the underlying idea, right, behind that kind of treatment is that, you know, poor black people's lives are worth less. right? and so that's yet another way, right, that history is, like, bearing in the present. >> seth: and when you -- you actually -- you were from mississippi. >> yes. >> seth: and you went back.
>> smm-hmm. >> seth: and you went back, correct me if i am wrong, but you thought if you were going to write about these characters, you wanted to be in the present moment of the place that you were writing about. >> yes. >> seth: was that incredibly useful to you as a writer? >> it was useful to me. because i feel like it's important for me to be in the place and around the type of people that i'm writing about. because, you know, because it keeps me, i think, involved and keeps me passionate. keeps me committed, right, to sort of pushing back against, you know, the larger, you know, culture, which looks at people like the kind of people that i write about. and really, you know -- really, like suppresses their voice, you know? >> seth: you -- you obviously write -- i mean, again, reading this, you know, it was -- it was beautifully written. and made me think about a lot of things. but, you know, it was only -- you know, a few -- a little piece of my time was spent in this world. i loved spending it there. but you spend so much time obviously working on books like this. like, do you have an ability to
separate your work and the rest of your life so that you can think about other things? is it possible? >> yes. it is possible. although when i'm writing literary fiction, i tend to avoid reading literary fiction because i don't want, you know, someone else's work to sort of -- >> seth: sure. >> bleed into my work. >> seth: do you read anything? >> i read everything. so i read -- i love reading, like, sci-fi. >> seth: oh, good. >> fantasy. [ laughter ] >> seth: good. i'm very happy. >> romance. >> seth: yeah. >> i read all of those things because they allow me the opportunity to just, you know, get out of my head and get out of, you know, this -- get away from, like, the weighty subjects that i write about. >> seth: yeah. >> and to just enjoy. >> seth: well, i will tell you personally, like, i feel like you've given us all a gift of letting us experience those weighty subjects. but i'm also glad that you can take time to, like, go to outer space. >> yes. >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> yes. yes. >> seth: because you deserve it. it's really -- it's just such a pleasure to meet you. and thank you so much for being here. i really appreciate it. [ cheers and applause ] jesmyn ward, everybody! "sing, unburied, sing" is available now wherever books are sold. everyone in the audience is getting a copy tonight!
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♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: my thanks to jennifer hudson, jeff garlin and jesmyn ward, everybody! [ cheers and applause ] gregg bissonette, and of course, the 8g band. stay tuned for "carson daly." see you tomorrow. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ >> carson: good evening, i'm carson daly. welcome to "last call." tonight we're coming to you from skylark, high above new york city. an awesome place. and we've got another killer, killer show for you.