tv Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC March 1, 2017 12:37am-1:37am EST
>> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers." tonight -- aubrey plaza, from "when we rise", whoopi goldberg and dustin lance black, religious scholar and host reza aslan, featuring the 8g band with vinnie colaiuta. ♪ [ cheers and applause ] ladies and gentlemen, seth meyers. ♪ >> seth: good evening, everybody. i'm seth meyers. this is "late night." how is everybody doing tonight? [ cheers and applause ] good to hear. in that case let's get to the news. president trump gave his first address to a joint session of congress tonight. now, our show tapes early, so we don't know what happened. but i'll bet the people who were there ar t
happened either. [ laughter ] house speaker paul ryan said today that he sees president trump less as a traditional president and more as a chairman. while trump sees ryan as more of an ottoman. [ light laughter ] white house press secretary sean spicer said yesterday that president trump will be issuing his next executive order on immigration this week. "hell, yeah!" said michael's craft stores and anywhere else that sells poster board. [ cheers and applause ] it's a boom time. boom time for the poster board industry. president trump was interviewed on "fox & friends" this morning. here's basically how it went. ♪ >> seth: no, these questions are too hard! [ laughter ] during his interview on "fox & friends", president trump was unable to name a time when he felt he deserved criticism. which is pretty surprising,
thing in his life he's actually earned. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] he's happy. he doesn't care. there are 20 days until spring, and those hibernating bears are in for quite a surprise. [ laughter ] [ grumbling ] [ applause ] according to a new study, cats may have more potential than dogs to sniff out bombs. they just won't bother to tell you. [ laughter ] not my problem. a pennsylvania man was arrested over the weekend for biting his wife after she ate his potato chips. and i'm guessing it's going to be a while before he gets lays again. [ laughter and applause ] a 100-year-old dutch woman recently perad
to arrest her to fulfill an item on her bucket list. cool story for her, not so much for the victims of her double homicide. [ laughter ] a woman who received a ticket for eating an egg roll while driving is heading to trial to challenge the charge. though the craziest part is how she got the ticket. [ laughter ] according to reports, for the first time in 146 years chicago has not had snow in the months of january and february. so either climate change is real or the cubs winning the world series really screwed up the universe. [ laughter and applause ] and finally, a taco truck stuck in a traffic jam in seattle yesterday opened up and served lunch to drivers stuck on the interstate. because nothing gets the traffic moving like a taco. [ laughter ] ladies and gentlemen, we have a great show for you tonight! [
from fx's great new show, "legion", our friend aubrey plaza is back on the show. [ cheers and applause ] we're always so thrilled to have aubrey here. from the new abc mini series that chronicles the history of lgbt rights, "when we rise." whoopi goldberg and dustin lance black are here. and he is the host of cnn's fascinating new show, "believer", reza aslan is here tonight. so -- [ cheers and applause ] very exciting to talk to all of our guests this evening. before we get to that, here at "late night", every night i deliver a monologue comprised of jokes written by a diverse team of writers. as a result, a lot of jokes come across my desk that, due to me being a straight white male, would be difficult for me to deliver. but we don't think that should stop you from enjoying them. so we'd like to share them with you now in a segment called "jokes seth can't tell." ♪ [ applause ] >> seth: these are two of our writers, amber and jenny. >> i'm black. >> and i'm gay! >> and we are both women. >> seth: and i'm not.
so here's how this works. i'll read the setups for these jokes and amber and jenny will read the punchlines. here it goes. footwear company birkenstock is coming out with a new line of beds. >> said lesbians, "i already get laid in birkenstocks." [ light laughter ] >> seth: yeah. >> yeah. >> seth: a recent essay in "usa today" argues that america needs more black-owned banks. >> a black bank is just like a white bank, except it only has money in it on fridays. [ laughter ] >> seth: a lesbian couple was recently asked to leave a mcdonalds after an employee told them they were being inappropriate. >> it turns out when you go to mcdonald's you're not allowed to eat tacos. >> seth: jenny! [ laughter ] >> would you have preferred i said mcmuffins? [ light laughter ] >> seth: weirdly, yeah. president trump is scheduled to meet soon with members of the congressional black caucus. >> so to the members of the congressional black caucus, i st
[ light laughter ] >> seth: a burger king in israel recently offered a so-called adults meal that came with two beers and a sex toy. >> or as lesbians call it, a friday night. [ light laughter ] >> seth: i'm learning so much. according to a recent study, the black rhinoceros is on the brink of extinction. >> apparently, cops keep shooting them, too. [ audience ohs ] [ laughter ] >> seth: woo! researchers in malaysia recently released a group of endangered turtles back into the wild. >> a group of turtles is called a bale, while a group of lesbians is called the army. [ light laughter ] >> you know what a group of black people is called? >> seth: what? >> a riot. >> seth: oh. [ laughter ] wait, wait. then what's a group of white people called? >> congress. >> seth: oh, right, right, right, right.
[ cheers and applause ] it's my bad. abc announced recently that for the first time the lead on "the bachelorette" will be african-american. >> still no word on when they'll have their first black viewer. [ laughter ] >> seth: so, amber, you're not excited about the black bachelorette? >> if i wanted to see a black woman who can choose between any white man she wants, i'd just look in the mirror. [ audience oohs ] [ cheers and applause ] [ light laughter ] >> seth: that's definitely one i couldn't tell. [ laughter ] i would like to do this after my punchlines, though. >> you could probably get a couple white guys. [ laughter ] >> seth: that's a question for jenny! >> i think for sure. >> seth: okay, thank you. d.c. comics announced recently they are bringing back their lesbian superhero, batwoman. >> she's just like batman, except her parents aren't dead, just disappointed. [ audience ohs ]
>> seth: adele recently won the grammy for album of the year over beyonce. amber, what's the joke? >> that is the joke. [ audience ohs ] [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: i need you to know, i'm dancing to adele. [ laughter ] >> hey, seth, why don't you tell one? >> seth: no, i couldn't! >> oh! >> come on, bud! >> seth: i feel like i'll get in trouble if i do. >> no, you can do it. >> come on! do it! >> seth: all right, all right, i trust you guys. i trust you both. >> you should. >> seth: you're my friends and i trust you. you wouldn't lead me astray, because i trust you. i trust you both so much. >> yeah, you should. >> seth: a man recently became the champion of philadelphia's wing bowl after eating 409 chicken wings in one sitting. said black people, "amateur!" >> how dare you! >> seth: you told me it would be okay! >> seth, how could you? >> seth: black women and lesbians are liars! [ light laughter ]
>> seth: we'll be right back with aubrey plaza, everybody. [ 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. hello moto. moto is here. the moto z with moto mods. visit verizonwireless.com/droid to discover today's hot deal. ♪ ♪ ♪
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[ cheers and applause ] also back with us tonight, he's a drumming hero whose world-renown playing can be heard with such iconic artists like frank zappa, herbie hancock, sting, and jeff beck, to name just a few. vincent colaiuta, everybody! [ cheers and applause ] how are you, vinnie? >> good seth, thank you. >> seth: thank you so much for being here! >> thanks for having me, man. >> seth: you know our first guest tonight from her work on the hit comedy "parks and recreation", and films such as "dirty grandpa" and "mike and dave need wedding dates." she stars in the fx series, "legion", which airs wednesday nights. let's take a look. >> kid, hey kid! [ whistle ] it's sweet, really. they think they can save you. >> what is it? >> the speech center of his brain is active, but he's not talking. >> you can't be here. >> what are you doing, kid? >> stop. >> do you think you're safe here? with these clowns?
you? >> no, no, i'm not sick. i have abilities. >> hmm. >> they're showing me my past. i have powers. >> oh. oh no, that's good. i'm happy for you. >> seth: please welcome back to the show, one of our favorites, our friend, aubrey plaza, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> seth: welcome back, friend. >> why, thank you. >> seth: it's so wonderful to always have you here. >> i know, i'm just always here. >> seth: you're always here. [ light laughter ] congrats on this show. >> thanks. >> steve: this show is very unique. this is like, half a superhero show, half a sci-fi show. would you say that's accurate? >> yeah, it's kind of psychedelic, psychological. >> seth: it is! >> psycho-style. >> seth: it's a lot of psycho stuff in it. >> superhero show. >> seth: it's sort of from the "x-men" universe. >> it is. >> seth: dan stevens plays professor xavier's son.
>> seth: and you play lenny. and lenny is a pretty interesting cat. how would you describe lenny? >> lenny -- lenny busker is the name. and it's really hard to describe without giving away the entire plot of the show. >> seth: that's true. >> which i'm not allowed to do. but um -- >> seth: we can say -- >> she's a very mysterious -- >> seth: can we say what happens to your character? because you're still on the show. >> yeah. oh, yeah, yeah. >> seth: i mean, that's allowed, right? >> yes. >> seth: yeah. because you died. >> that's right. >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> yeah. >> seth: but -- >> but -- just watch and see. [ laughter ] i don't know how to talk about it. it's so hard to talk about it. >> seth: you're still on the show. >> i'm on the show, and my character does die in the first episode. but then i keep coming back, and something's not quite right. and you're like, "what is going on with this crazy character?" >> seth: i would say the first thing that's not right is when a dead person keeps coming back. that's usually a red flag. >> well, not to lenny. [ laughter ] and um -- >> seth: so, lenny is just a normal thing. >> she's a
>> seth: and len -- was "corn flakes" the middle name in the script? >> yeah, corn flakes was the middle name in the pilot script, but that hasn't really paid off and i don't think it ever will. >> seth: gotcha, but you used it as inspiration. >> except for in my own mind. >> seth: it's -- so you, to prepare for the character of lenny "corn flakes" -- what was the last name? >> busker. >> seth: lenny "corn flakes" busker. it's a great name. >> yeah, it's like a stripper name. >> seth: what -- stripper name? [ laughter ] >> i don't know. >> seth: i would not -- >> but -- >> seth: if i was in a strip club and they said, "up next, lenny 'corn flakes' busker." i'd be like, "i'm going to go get a drink." [ laughter ] >> i would be like pulling corn flakes out of my vagina -- woo! [ laughter ] take a couple of these. >> seth: you guys like fiber? >> yeah. [ laughter ] i live on the street. >> seth: but you used your corn flakes as inspiration. >> yeah, i use my corn flakes -- [ laughter ] in a lot of ways. >> seth: yeah. >> i -- yeah. i had a lot of inspirations for
david bowie was one of them. >> seth: that makes sense from what i've seen. >> the character was originally written as a middle-aged man. >> seth: uh-huh. >> in the pilot script and then when i came on board, it changed, because -- >> seth: yeah. >> and then -- yeah. so -- but the lines didn't change. >> seth: how? >> so the gender changed, but not dialogue. so i kind of -- >> seth: that's really cool. how did -- i mean, what an interesting casting process, that they would go so far afield of how it was written. could they just -- >> that's noah hawley. >> seth: yeah. >> he's a really interesting guy and he makes really cool choices, i think. >> seth: noah hawley created the show. he also created "fargo." >> yes. >> seth: the great fx series. he's a great author. and -- >> and an identical twin. >> seth: does he really have an identical twin? >> i think so. [ laughter ] >> seth: okay. >> i don't know. maybe i shouldn't have said that. >> seth: yeah. >> it's a secret. >> seth: oh, got it. >> now it's not. >> seth: so not only does your show have spoilers -- >> his twin is evil. no, i think he's identical -- i don't know if he's identical or fraternal, actually. so don't quote me on that.
i'm going to do a long interview about noah hawley's twin after this. >> well the thing about his -- yeah i don't know anything about it. [ light laughter ] at all. >> seth: but this -- the first episode. i watched the first episode twice of this show, because it is -- it's very complicated and that seems negative. >> yes. >> seth: but it's -- i would say it's intricate. >> no, i think, you know, the show -- it's great that it's on the air. it will be, i think even more for fun for people that have missed it and that will end up binge-watching it. because it's such a -- it's such a complicated show, it has many layers and it's trippy, man. >> seth: yeah. >> so you've got to just -- you know. >> seth: were you confused -- when you read the script the first time, was it hard to follow? >> yes. i read it -- i had to read it so many times. even when i was shooting it, i read it over and over again, because i was like, "i am not smart enough to be in this show." [ light laughter ] everyone else is smart, except for me. so i had to really read it and really go, "yeah, i get what's happening." >> seth: dan stevens, who is your co-star, great actor from "downton abbey." we knew him from that. >> yeah.
have -- because everybody must be confused by the script. but you try to -- try to -- you tried to tell him that you know more than he does. >> well, yes, i did. because my character is appearing to him in the show. and so -- and his character, the premise is that he's schizophrenic, and he's in a mental hospital, and he thinks he's crazy, but really he has super powers. so he never knows what's real or not. so when we weren't shooting, and i'd always be like, "dan, you know that, you know -- that this character is going to end up doing this to you." and he would be like, "are you serious? no one told me that." and i'd be like, "oh, yes." and i wouldn't know anything. and i would just constantly mess with him. like all day long. [ light laughter ] and for me, i felt like it was my job to do that. >> seth: oh, yeah. that's where -- [ laughter ] >> so just, psychologically kind of -- >> seth: that's what corn flakes does. >> yeah. [ laughter ] typical corn flakes. spreading her corn flakes all over the place. >> seth: if you -- >> just making a real mess. >> seth: if you -- iu
power, what would your super power be? >> um, i don't know. i said once that i would want it to be something where you put something in your mouth and it's so spicy that your head explodes. >> seth: uh-huh. >> i and i would call that, "muy caliente." [ light laughter ] and so it would be kind of like a pleasure and pain scenario. >> seth: so your -- you would -- i'm sorry, you would make other people -- [ laughter ] >> that's not a good answer. i don't know why i said that. >> seth: well how -- >> can i do it again? >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> now i don't -- >> seth: but i want to talk about muy caliente. >> wait, i don't want to talk about her anymore. she died. [ laughter ] >> seth: oh, she died too? >> yeah. >> seth: is she died, dead dead? or does she come back too? >> she -- she dead. >> seth: she dead? [ light laughter ] when you died on the show, you had to wear a harness, right? >> yep. >> seth: and had you ever done that before? >> no, i'm now in the marvel harness club. >> seth: oh, that's a thing? >> which i -- well, in my mind. i created it. >> seth: okay, got it. >> but i only had to do it one time. but now i know what it feels like. and ke
>> seth: oh, yeah. >> and -- [ laughter ] >> seth: who wouldn't like a very tight diaper? >> i actually would rather wear a diaper at all times. [ laughter ] >> seth: here comes lenny corn flakes wearing a diaper. [ light laughter ] she's got a diaper full of milk! >> ooh, yeah. look at those soggy corn flakes dripping down her thighs. man, i'm turned on by that. >> seth: yeah. i want to congratulate you on something else. you produced two films that were in sundance? >> that's right. >> seth: that's really amazing, well done. >> thanks. >> seth: that's so exciting. >> yeah. >> seth: were you in both? >> i was. thank you. [ laughter ] mom. [ cheers and applause ] >> hey, you didn't have to -- >> seth: you -- one of the films, you play a nun, correct? >> yes. both of the films, i believe, will come out this summer. one is called "the little hours" where i play a nun and one is called "ingrid goes west." >> seth: gotcha. and for the nun, is it true, i
by actually -- you were actually reading the bible. >> yes, i was. there's prayer services in the film, so i was for some reason put in charge of writing those services and coming up with all of the responsorial psalms. so just i went back to my catholic roots and stole a bible from my hotel room. [ light laughter ] and just -- just started from page 1, and i was like, "this is interesting stuff." >> seth: yeah. >> i mean -- >> seth: how do you think the church feels about stealing bibles from hotel rooms? where do they land on that? >> i think that they would love it. >> seth: yeah. >> i mean, don't they want everyone to read it? >> seth: yeah. >> in my mind, stealing a bible is like what they secretly want you to do. >> seth: yeah. >> because they're like, "yeah, now you're going to read it and do everything it says." and i'm like, "no i won't." but -- >> seth: yeah. it must be such a bummer when you get to "thou shalt not steal" and you're like, "oh, [ bleep ]." >> yeah, then i just immediately convert to judaism. [ light laughter ] yeah.
like, being a producer, which is so different. did you ever run into problems with either of the films being a producer? >> yeah. i mean -- yeah, it was really interesting kind of being with both projects from the very beginning to the very end. and kind of seeing what goes on, you know, not as an actor. and it's really interesting also when you're an actor and you're producing, because it's like a conflicting thing. where sometimes, you know, as an actor you're put in weird situations where you're like, "i don't know if this is safe." or, "i don't know if this is okay." but as a producer, you're like, "it's safe. do it. do it. you gotta get the shot." so i was like constantly kind of in my mind going like, "i don't know if i should be doing this." "you should be doing this. we've got to make the picture." and i'm like, "but it's my health." and then you're like -- just screwed either way. >> seth: so, you're basically dan's character on "legion." >> yeah, pretty much. >> seth: you're a schizophrenic. >> yes. i mean that's how i feel most of the time. >> seth: oh, that's good. >> especially when i'm working. but, yeah, it was really interesting. we had a lot of like crazy things. like, on "ingrid goes west" we had one scene where i was
house and our locations guy actually got a condemned house. so when we showed up in the morning to shoot, we found that squatters had been in there and they had just gone to the bathroom all over the floor. >> seth: oh, that's not great. >> which was where i was supposed to be all day. so that was like one of those of times where i was like, "i don't want to sit in the floor in the thing." and i was like, "but you're going to." [ laughter ] >> seth: i can't wait to see both of them. congrats on "legion." >> thanks. >> seth: always great to have you back on here. >> thank you. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: aubrey plaza, everybody! "legion" airs wednesday nights on fx. we'll be right back with whoopi goldberg and dustin lance black. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ hey ramirez! un poquito mas rapido, no? [instrumental music playing throughout] [wheel squeaking] beautiful bike, just beautiful. ha,ha,ha. [pumping of bike tire] [pumping of hospital ventilator]
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♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back, everybody! our next guests are both academy award winners. you know her from her work in "the color purple", "ghost", "sister act", and as co-host of "the view." he's best known for writing the screenplay of harvey milk's, "milk." their mini-series, "when we rise", which chronicles the history
let's take a look. >> the silence of city hall is about politics. >> it's about the community. your community. not panicking. and, yeah, a little bit is to try to stem the tide of more anti-gay backlash. >> why would we panic? >> listen, man, i work for the department of health. and nobody wants to get this more right than i do. >> you represent our community in city hall. >> i'm not going to say anything until i know that we have a treatment and a cure. but we don't know how long that's going to take. >> seth: please welcome to the show whoopi goldberg and dustin lance black, everybody! [ cheers and applause ] ♪
>> seth: thank you both for being here. what are you -- what have you got? >> well, this is -- this is from the green room. >> seth: yeah, we put taffy in the green room. >> it's really good and i'm afraid i can't put it down so -- >> seth: oh, you just brought it out. >> i just brought it out with me. >> seth: that's great. >> yeah, man! >> seth: you know, you could -- nobody would have taken it. you could have just left it in the room. >> well, but you don't know that. >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> you know. you know. >> seth: yeah, that's true. >> you know. >> seth: so first of all, i want to say this. you guys -- as i mentioned, you two are both oscar winners. did you watch the oscars? >> it's true, yeah. >> i did not. >> seth: you did not watch them? >> no. >> i did. >> seth: you did. >> yeah. >> seth: what did you think? >> i mean, you know, the ending was -- interesting. >> seth: sure! >> but i've got to say -- "moonlight" -- has anyone seen "moonlight" in here? [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: it's fantastic. >> oh, my, it is a masterpiece. >> yeah. >> and i've got to say, "moonlight" winning that award sends such a message of hope to so many communities that have been underrepresented in films for so long. [ cheers and applause ] broke down walls. >> seth: what were you doing? just too busy to watch t
>> seth: oh, you were sick? >> yeah. >> seth: i'm sorry. are you feeling better? >> actually, yeah. >> seth: okay, good. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> seth: because i don't want to find out that you're toughing it through and bring your germs in here. [ laughter ] >> too late. >> seth: but this is -- this project sort of came together almost because you guys met in 2009 when you won your oscar for "milk." >> that's true. >> seth: that's the first time you met. >> well that -- yes. that's -- yeah. >> seth: how did it go down? >> well, when you win the oscar, you go from the stage into a pressroom. but in between, that year, they had this room with all of the previous oscar winners. and i'm already stunned. i couldn't breathe. i walk in, and there is whoopi goldberg. like, my mom's favorite actress in the world. [ light laughter ] and she looks at me and she grabs me, puts her arms around me and says, "when is the valencia street movie, baby?" because that's where the women's movement was in san francisco. >> yeah. >> you had performed up there. >> yeah, i lived up in san francisco in the bay area for a long time. and watched a lot of this sort of come together.
and watched this fight that the gay community began. you know, and the splintering and the coming together. and then aids, you know -- everybody having to figure out why people were dying when no one would -- no one would talk -- nobody would say, this is what's happening. and the woman that i play is a woman who was really trying to, you know, do her best to try to not freak everybody out. but it was just -- it's -- it's such a great piece. and i loved "milk" so much. you know, i loved the film. and i -- so i just said, you know, when are you going to do -- really, the rest of the story. >> seth: i'm so glad you said that. but also, i can't believe he just won an oscar and you wouldn't even let him get to the pressroom -- >> see! >> seth: before you were saying, "i have your next project and you need to get started." >> but that's my style. >> i just said that to him this morning. >> that's why we like each other. we've got to get going. this thing's not done. >> yeah. >> you know, i knew "milk" wasn't the end of the story. >> no. >> i knew there was more. and it was the best reminder saying, "hey, you got that trophy, but that's not the end of your road." >> yeah. >> and that's what she said to
>> i mean, it's, you know, it's one of those things where you hope that people will tell the stories that are out there. but sometimes they, you know, sometimes they don't -- there goes my earring. >> seth: oh, my goodness. [ light laughter ] >> you know what that means? >> seth: what does that mean? >> i just lost four ounces. [ laughter ] i just farted into your seat. [ laughter ] >> seth: here's the bad news. i'm pretty sure each piece of taffy is eight ounces. >> oh, oh. >> well, here comes the rest. [ laughter ] >> seth: so you decided to tell the story, sort of through four different activists that were key to the lgbt community. are they -- did you know of them before you started doing your research and work on "milk" or were they people who came through that? >> i knew of one. one is featured in "milk." i just didn't -- cleve jones, who was harvey milk's political aide -- i was using him more as somebody to help me find other real people. >> right. >> like, i traveled the country, i made calls around the world for about a year looking for real people. and originally, i heard the name roma guy. everywhere i went in the country people were talking about this activist who had been fighting
for women's equality. everybody knew her name. i had never met her. i called cleve and i said would you introduce me to this roma guy, and he did. she was the first to sign on and say yes. but i realized in that research how rare it is that someone is a lifetime activist. >> yeah. >> seth: yeah. >> like cleve jones had been. that someone who fights from their teenage years all the way until now. which is what all these characters do. and that they never give up that fight. it's incredibly difficulty work. my mom called cleve jones the gay forrest gump. >> seth: uh-huh. >> as a film maker i call him the gay zellig? because he was literaly at every -- >> everything, yeah. >> single critical moment in the movement. and he always tried his best to do the right thing. and we could use a lot more cleve joneses and roma guys and ken joneses in this world right now. >> well, i think it's happening. i think people are standing up, you know. [ applause ] 'cause, really, you know -- whoever you are, wherever your mind is, everybody's rights are
and if they can take those guys' rights away that means they can come take your rights away. so we all have to sort of band together to make sure that everybody has civil rights, because it -- if one doesn't have them, nobody's got them. >> seth: sure. >> that's just the way it is. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: it's a -- a show like this -- i feel like when you hear the premise of the show and what it's about -- it's a four night mini-series and you think, "oh, this sounds like an hbo show or this sounds like a netflix show." it was very important to you to have it on abc. >> yeah. >> seth: explain that for us, lance. >> i mean i was shocked when i heard abc was interested in a lgbt history story. because i grew up in texas in a southern, mormon, conservative, military home, right? as a gay kid, that was a lot. >> seth: yeah. >> and uh -- [ light laughter ] >> seth: that's the hat trick right there, yeah. [ laughter ] >> and i was allowed to watch abc. i was allowed to watch network tv, because it told family stories. and i thought, boy, this is such a great opportunity to introduce my lgbt family to my family in
the south. and to say, in these divided times, we got a whole lot more in common than you might think. and i worked really hard to use that common language. i learned in the south, you come to dinner and talk about politics and policy and science. mm-mmm. you're going outside. but if you tell an emotional story, you tell a family story, you tell a story about love, you might get somewhere. you might change a heart. you change a heart, you can change a mind. you do that, you might change the world. i wish we could start figuring out how to use some language we got in common more in this world than all this divided language. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: it's great that you're setting out to do that. and you know, i think one of the things -- post-election we keep coming back to is are we just telling the things we believe to other people who believe them? and i think it's so lovely that you're trying to do it in a forum on a channel that is in everyone's home and hopefully, yeah, hopefully you can change some hearts and some minds. i want to ask real quick, you were just in london doing stand-up, whoopi. >> yes, i was.
>> seth: that's exciting. how does london feel about what we have done over here? >> they couldn't really say very much because of brexit. >> seth: sure, right, yeah. >> it seems that everybody is having one of those movements. but you know what, we have been through this before. this is not the strangest thing we have seen. it's the one we've gotten most recently. >> seth: sure. >> and you know what, it really comes down to this. do you care about the constitution? if you care about the constitution, pay attention! if you don't care about the constitution, then whatever you get you'll be happy with. it's that simple. you know? so i'm hoping that, you know, more and more folks -- whether you agree or disagree, as long as it's done within the law, you know, i will bitch about stuff that i don't like -- >> seth: yeah. >> but i will come after you if you mess with the constitution. >> seth: all right. well, that sounds like a plan. [ cheers and applause ] congratulations on the show, guys. thank you so much for being here. always a pleasure. [ cheers and applause ] whoopi goldberg and dustin lance black, everybody! "when we rise" airs all this ek
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you here. >> i'm such a huge fan of yours. >> seth: thank you. i've been a fan of yours for a very long time as well. and this show is great. you go and you talk to people about their religions all over the world. >> well, i don't talk to them, i actually join them. >> seth: you join then. >> i immerse myself into their communities. do what they do. >> seth: i'm glad -- i wanted to let you explain this clip from the first episode. this is -- you go to india. >> yes. >> seth: and so is -- the aghori, they are a -- >> they're a 500-year-old sect of hinduism. they reject concepts of purity and pollution. and so the way that they prove that is by taking part in these kinds of -- well, theatrical displays of self pollution. >> seth: gotcha. and so they covered you -- is it in this clip you're covered in human ashes? >> i'm covered in the ashes of the dead. >> seth: okay. >> yes, that's right. >> seth: and this -- this interaction did not go great. [ laughter ] you were talking to someone and he did not seem to like the questions. >> not a fan of my questions. s
impressed at how you keep your cool. >> why -- why do -- [ speaking in foreign language ] >> i feel this may have been a mistake. maybe we just, like, somebody distracts him and then i just leave. [ light laughter ] [ applause ] >> seth: so, did they all go like that or were there some where you stayed. >> there were easier interviews than that one. >> seth: yeah, there were easier interviews. >> you know what's funny is that the director there, ben selkow, afterwards said, "i thought you were kidding!" and i was like, "no." and i realized, we don't have a safe word on the show. >> seth: right. [ light laughter ] >> we have to come up with a word that i can use that says, "no, really, get me out of here." >> seth: yeah. but, also do research and make sure that the safe word in that religion doesn't mean something completely different. >> vgo
what the belief is, is kind of remarkable. you know, hinduism in many ways is obsessed with issues of purity and pollution. and, of course, a great part of the caste system in a lot of indian society is predicated on, you know, how polluted you are as an individual. and with the aghori do by rejecting that notion, is that -- their argument that is there is no caste system. like, nothing should separate us. and so, yes, some of them take part in these displays where they do things, like, for instance, eat dead people. >> seth: uh-huh. >> and others express their faith by opening orphanages or taking care of leprosy patients. so there is something really beautiful about the belief system itself. >> seth: and in general is it safe to say that what you're finding of these very disparate religions is how much is similar at the core of all them? >> i mean, yeah, i don't want to sound, like, too fluffy or anything.
but, i mean, if you spend enough time studying the religions of the world, if you immerse yourself in these different faith communities, you can't help but recognize how beyond -- you know, the external stuff, the myths and the metaphors -- that ultimately the faith that is being expressed is similar. it's familiar. that that really there is so much more that connects individuals across religions than actually divides them. >> seth: that's a very important message right now, which is why i'm very glad you're doing the show. one thing that's interesting to me is obviously you're seeing people do strange things, like rubbing the ashes of the dead on their face. but you must look so strange to them when you show up and you've got a guy with a boom mic and another guy with a camera. >> right. >> seth: how have people responded to you sort of showing up with your film crews? >> look, that's a very good question. because a lot of these communities are insular. some of them are, you know, kind of secretive. they're not all that friendly to outsiders in general, let alone, you ,
but i find that when you -- when you convince someone that their beliefs matter, that you're not there to judge them, that you're not there to make some kind of, you know, value judgment or to mock them, then they open up completely. and sometimes it was easier than others. we do an episode on the ultra-orthodox jews in israel. and, you know, these are people -- they don't even like other jews. >> seth: right. [ light laughter ] >> and here i am, like, you know, a muslim guy from iran being like, "hey, can i hang out?" [ laughter ] so it was hard, it was difficult. but i think the important thing is that when people feel as though you value their beliefs, they're open to sharing those beliefs with you. and the access that we got to a lot of these communities was truly remarkable. >> seth: i think, you know -- and you saying they have to trust you, because i believe religions -- religious people and i think to some degree they have a point to worry that they're going to be mocked. >> yeah. >> seth: and i think you do a
being open and listening to everything they to say. of course, not just mockery, but religions are under siege in a lot different ways right now. >> yeah. >> seth: you moved from iran in the '80s -- >> yeah. >> seth: to the united states. that was another time of real anti-muslim sentiment. >> yeah. >> seth: do you see parallels right now? >> no, everything is great now. >> seth: okay, good. [ laughter ] i'm so glad. >> yeah. >> seth: i was so worried you were going to be worrisome. >> yeah, no, it's all solved. >> seth: okay, good. >> no, it is funny. i came here during the iran hostage crisis. so this was a time in which -- you know, i was just a 7-year-old kid, but there was an enormous amount of anti-muslim and anti-middle eastern sentiment. i was called, you know, terrorist and rag head and constantly told to go back home. which i thought they meant, like, go back to your apartment. and i was like, "okay." [ light laughter ] >> seth: i don't love school. i'm out. [ laughter ] >> and -- but i will say this that -- although, you know, you hear a lot of those things again today. and it's true that, you know, anti-muslim sentiment, anti-semitic sentiment is at unprecedented levels. i thth
when i as a kid, even as a 7-year-old, i understood that i had the constitution on my side. i understood that no matter what kind of bigotry i was confronted with, that i could rely on, you know, the values and the ideals of the country. it's why we came here. we could've -- we fled iran. we could have gone to any country. we picked america, because we knew we would be protected here. and i have to say that what i think worries me is that those underlying values are what is under siege right now. like, you can't say with the confidence that i had as a kid that don't worry, the constitution will protect you. i just -- i can't say that with confidence any more. >> seth: it's interesting. you saying that as a 7-year-old you understood and appreciated the constitution. i -- there is a thing that people forget about immigrants. immigrants have, at a much younger age, an appreciation for these things. when i was 7 years old, i wasn't saying thank god for the constitution. >> yeah, right. >> seth: i was, you know, born here and just took it for granted.
perspective. i actually -- it took me a long time to become a citizen. i became a citizen at the age of 23. and that was a really great experience, because i was an adult. and so i understood what was happening. i understood the oath that i was making, the vow that i was making to the united states to protect it from its enemies, foreign or at home. and i also understood the promise that was being made to me. that as long as i accepted these values, these principles, as my own, that i am as american as george washington. i think that's what's beautiful about the american identity. but i also think that in certain times of stress like we're facing right now, it becomes hard to have, you know, unanimity about what those values actually mean. and unfortunately, so often the easiest way to define yourself is in opposition to another. i think a lot of people right now are having a hard time saying what it means to be american. but it's pretty easy to say what it doesn't mean, right?
not being a mexican. not being jewish. not being muslim. not being trans. and that's a destructive way of thinking. it's not what this country is predicated upon. we are a country that finds its unity in its diversity. and we need to be proud of that. we need to shout it from the rooftops. >> seth: well, i couldn't agree with you more. [ cheers and applause ] thank you for what you do. and i really think it's a perfect time for your show. it would be nice for all of us to have a little bit more respect for what everybody feels and believes. such a pleasure having you here. >> thank you, seth. >> seth: give it up for reza aslan, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] "believer" premiers march 5th on cnn. we'll be right back. [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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