tv Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC February 4, 2016 12:37am-1:37am EST
[ cheers and applause ] >> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers." tonight -- alan cumming, from the new york mets matt harvey, author alexander chee. featuring the 8g band with russell simins. [ 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 ] that's fantastic. in that case, let's get to the news. ted cruz and hillary clinton
monday's iowa caucuses. cruz celebrated by giving a speech to his supporters, and hillary celebrated by moving her stuff into the white house. [ laughter ] on the republican side in the iowa caucuses, ted cruz came in first. donald trump came in second. and jeb bush is still lost in a corn maze. [ laughter ] ted cruz told supporters that hillary clinton told supporters on monday that after her close sigh of relief. unfortunately, when she did, she burned down an old barn. [ laughter ] breathes through her nose. president obama today made his first visit to a mosque while in office. he visited a mosque. which means he's officially entered the phase of his presidency known as "come at me,
[ laughter ] after donald trump finished second in the iowa caucuses, an old trump tweet spread across the internet, in which he quoted golfer walter hagen as saying, "no one remembers who comes in second." and that's not the only old trump tweet that looks embarrassing now. for instance last year he tweeted, "'star wars: the force awakens' will be a huge box office dud." [ laughter ] and the year before that, he tweeted, "nothing quenches my thirst like a tall glass of flint water." [ laughter ] back in 2012, he tweeted, "'the cosby show' is great and will endure forever." [ laughter ] got to be careful. they come back to haunt you. they save those tweets. recently released documents show that former new york governor eliot spitzer donated $50,000 to martin o'malley's presidential campaign. it's not the first time spitzer spent that much on something that only lasted an hour.
okay. now i know. i didn't know before i told it. i had to tell it to find out. [ light laughter ] public education officials in san francisco are considering a new proposal to distribute condoms to middle schoolers to promote safe sex. or as it's known to middle schoolers, balloon day! [ laughter ] a police officer in the u.k. said over the weekend that he was mistaken for a male stripper after accidentally walking in on a 50th birthday party. meanwhile, across town, a male stripper had to dance his way out of a hostage situation. [ laughter ] and finally, according to a new report, americans spent more money last year on legal marijuana than they did on doritos and cheetos combined. or as pot smokers call that, a salad. [ light laughter ] ladies and gentlemen, we have a fantastic show for you tonight! [ cheers and applause ] he is one of the stars on cbs' "the good wife." he's also one of our favorite guests, alan cumming is on the
[ cheers and applause ] any new york mets fans in the house tonight? [ cheers and applause ] pitcher matt harvey is joining us! [ cheers and applause ] looking forward to talking to him. and we have with us tonight author of the new novel, "the queen of the night," alexander chee is on "late night" this evening. [ cheers and applause ] a fantastic show. but before we get to that, with the iowa caucuses behind them, the g.o.p. candidates have moved on to new hampshire, and they're facing a whole new campaign due donald trump's second-place finish. for more on this, it's time for "a closer look." [ applause ] >> seth: so despite polls that showed him ahead, trump did not win the iowa caucus, which was good news for republicans hoping to coalesce around a strong and now the question is, who will that challenger be? well, there's the guy who won the iowa caucus, ted cruz, and then the guy who acted like he
finisher, marco rubio. >> so this is the moment they said would never happen. the people of this great state sent a very clear message. after seven years of barack obama, we are not waiting any longer to take our country >> seth: that's right. not a single registered republican in iowa voted for barack obama! [ laughter ] but don't worry, the media was more than happy to jump on board with the rubio surge. >> it was a big night for marco rubio. >> it's obviously big momentum for marco rubio. >> here is a new word for your political vocabulary. it is marcomentum. >> seth: no. [ laughter ] i am not adding "marcomentum" to my vocabulary. i just learned bae and i'm pretty sure i'm using it wrong. [ laughter ] it's not short for "maybe," right? nonetheless, the media's desperate for a rubio surge to counter trump, and rubio getting more attention also means he'll get more attacks from his rivals, rivals like chris christie, who has criticized rubio for not taking
a new nickname for rubio that he's trying really, really hard to make stick. >> kind of reminds me of the boy in the bubble. >> let's get the boy in the bubble out of the bubble. >> the boy in the bubble's gotta get out of the bubble. >> when the boy in the bubble gets here -- >> let's get the boy in the bubble out of the bubble. >> i'm not the boy in the bubble, okay? we know who the boy in the bubble is up here. >> seth: this comes from chris christie, a.k.a., "the bubble." [ laughter ] also, someone should tell chris christie that the boy in the bubble is a sympathetic character who needs to stay in the bubble to live. maybe not the best analogy. that's like saying, "marco is like a beloved grandmother on life support and i'm thinking it's time we pulled the plug! who's with me?" [ laughter ] now christie and rubio are both fighting for what pundits call the establishment lane in the primary -- a battle that also includes candidates like john kasich, and unfortunately for jeb bush, jeb bush. [ laughter ] jeb limped into new hampshire after getting just 2.8% of the vote in iowa. but don't worry, according to jeb, that's actually a victory.
of the pack here, still clings to hope. >> can jeb bush be a surprise story here on caucus night? >> yes, since the expectations are so low. >> well, you have succeeded there, governor. >> mission accomplished. >> seth: mission accomplished. even worse for his victory speech, he tried to parachute onto an aircraft carrier, but missed and landed in the ocean. [ laughter ] also, if you're a bush, don't of course, the big story in iowa is trump finishing a disappointed second. and in describing trump's second-place finish, the media relished the opportunity to use one word in particular. >> donald trump left iowa last night with a title that he is not used to holding -- loser. >> as for donald trump, he has a new title tonight, loser. >> some of today's headlines now calling trump a loser. >> donald trump is a loser! [ laughter ] >> seth: oh, man. you could tell everybody has been holding that one in for months. [ laughter ] still, it's not as sweet as hearing it from the original, which is why the entire nation assumed trump would take the stage monday night and burn it
>> we finished second, and i want to tell you something. i'm just honored. i'm really honored. >> seth: what? [ laughter ] what a huge disappointment. that was so rational. trump immediately reached acceptance, which doesn't make sense. the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance. but we forget, trump isn't like the rest of us, he plays by his own rules. he grieves in reverse. [ laughter ] trump's first stage was acceptance. he came on stage humbled and gracious, but for trump, acceptance is followed by depression. how do we know trump was depressed? he stopped tweeting. according to "the hill," he didn't tweet for an unprecedented 15 hours. [ laughter ] can you imagine a trump so sad he didn't have the energy to tweet negative thoughts? [ laughter ] i'm sure melania was talking to him through the door, "do you want to tweet about how jeb bush has low energy? [ laughter ] how about how ted cruz has no friends? do you tweet mean things to
that always makes you smile." [ laughter ] and when it came to stage three, bargaining, that's when trump supporters took over. >> one reason many trump supporters here don't feel badly about his loss to ted cruz, is that they don't think much of the iowa caucuses. >> i just don't like it. i think that you can talk people out of things. you may have, like -- you might go in really wanting to vote for trump and then someone can change your mind at the last minute. >> seth: how unfair is that? [ laughter ] someone can change your mind. by talking to you. [ light laughter ] which explains trump's new campaign slogan, "cover your ears and vote trump." [ laughter ] so for trump, bargaining is, of course, followed by anger. and today trump's anger was back. >> donald trump unleashed. >> started off his rant with this. this is from donald trump. quote, "ted cruz didn't win in iowa, he stole it. that's why all of the polls were so wrong." >> seth: trumpy's back, everybody! [ laughter ] but, of course, after anger came denial.
denial is there than refusing to accept the results of the election? >> trump has been on something of a twitter storm this morning. he is even calling for a new election in iowa, or the results to be nullified. >> seth: a new election? [ laughter ] do you think there's going to be another iowa caucus? no one wants to go back to [ bleep ] iowa! [ laughter ] and no one in iowa wants you back! those poor people had to watch campaign ads for months, they had to stand in a high school gym and argue with their neighbors! they had to go to a starbucks one town over because chris christie was holding court in theirs. and you think they're going to stand for another election? they will bury you in the corn, and no one will ever find the bodies! you'll be out there with those dead baseball players. [ laughter ] it's not heaven, it's iowa. in the end, trump's grief of finishing second can be blamed on those who raised his expectations. those who would ever make it seem like second was less than
people, i guess, like this. >> unless i win, i would consider it a big, fat, beautiful, and, by the way, very expensive waste of time. >> seth: this has been "a closer look." [ cheers and applause ] alan cumming! [ cheers and applause ] performance... ...reimagined. style... ...reinvented. sophistication... introducing the all-new lexus rx and rx hybrid. agile handling. available 12.3-inch navigation screen and panorama glass roof. never has luxury been this expressive.
family today. points, points, our points. there has got to be a way to redeem our hotel points. i just want to take a vacation. this seems crazy. oh really? tell us something we don't know, captain obvious. ok. with hotels.com, when you collect 10 nights you get one free. oh. so you only need to know how to count to 10 to earn a free night at places like that nudist resort. yeah i don't know how that got there. because you stayed there, took a selfie and hung it prominently on the wall. hm?
[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back, everybody! and please, give it up for the 8g band over there! [ cheers and applause ] always happy to have them. and very happy this week, we're big fans of drummers here at "late night," and sitting in with us all week from the john spencer blues explosion, russell simins is here! [ cheers and applause ] thank you so much for joining us, russell. >> thank you. >> seth: so happy to have you. >> thank you. anytime. >> seth: our first guest tonight is one of the stars of the hit show "the good wife," which airs sunday nights on cbs. his new album, "alan cumming sings sappy songs," will be available on february 5th. and he will be performing at carnegie hall on monday, february 8th. please welcome back to the show, our friend, alan cumming!
how are you? >> very good, thank you. >> seth: you look like a million dollars, as always. >> oh, thanks. >> seth: and this is very exciting. carnegie hall, this is a big deal for people. >> yeah, it's a big deal for me. >> seth: are you excited? >> i am very excited. actually it's more like when people say, you know, "you're playing carnegie hall?" that makes you more scared. i'm actually really looking forward to it, 'cause i have played, like, i've been a guest on other people's things before, so it's a really beautiful room to play. and also, it's like -- it's a great thing this show that i've you know, made up, i'm actually doing at carnegie hall. it's a pretty big deal. >> seth: that's exciting. >> yeah. >> seth: so you, that's interesting, you get some -- people make you more nervous than you are. >> well, i mean, in this instance. like, you know, like, remember when i hosted "saturday night live," actually. >> seth: yeah. >> i remember thinking, you know, oh, i'm doing this, i didn't really know, i didn't understand the importance of -- the portent of it. until i was -- and everybody is like, "you're hosting "saturday night live," holy sh -- sugar. [ laughter ] and, so yeah. but i still get nervous in real life.
for things, you know. >> seth: but you must feel very prepared for this. >> i've done this show, i've done it before and i've got -- it's a little different. i've got some guests. but, yeah, i've kind of worked it. >> seth: so i want to talk about this album. so, i'm going to show the cover in a second. "alan cumming sings sappy songs." first tell me about the album a little bit. how did you come to this idea? >> well, the show is called "alan cumming sings," it's like a live version of my show. and i -- it was like songs i've always -- i've realized that people in this country, especially, always want to know what something is before they make a judgment about it. music. and i thought that was really weird. and often a lot of songs i really connect to are really sappy songs that when i hear who it is, i was like, "who?" and so -- >> seth: you mean, who sings it, or? >> yeah. >> seth: gotcha. >> or who wrote it. you know, so, for example, there's a miley cyrus song on my record, that i've got, "the climb." i love the song. i think it's such a beautiful song. and so i just thought, "i'm going to sing that in my show. i'm going sing it at carnegie hall on monday night. and i'm gonna -- [ laughter ] and i'm going to put it on my record." >> seth: that's fantastic. >> and so it's all songs like that, that i have this kind of
and a lot of them are songs i never really thought i would sing. and some of them are scottish ones, a french one, all over the place, really, kind of stylistically, but -- >> seth: and so, this is a show you originally did at the carlisle, is that correct? >> and the cafe carlisle, yeah. >> seth: okay. >> yeah, i did it last june i did it. >> seth: so your album cover is -- you took it outside the carlisle. >> yeah. >> seth: and this was not planned, right? so we have to post it. [ laughter ] there's -- these not only are you fully-- [ cheers and applause ] i am -- >> and that's not the magnum, you know, that's -- >> seth: i've checked with the censors, i am allowed, i am so there you go. [ light laughter ] >> that looks worse. hanging out. >> seth: that does look worse. so how did this come about? >> right, it's a crazy story. >> seth: so you are fully naked outside the carlisle? >> i'm fully naked. jeroboam. [ laughter ] >> which is bigger. thank you. [ light laughter ] so there's this really good photographer called jordan matter and he takes photos of dancers, and they're really beautiful pictures. and he asked -- he was doing this thing called "dancers after
pictures of dancers after dark, but naked around new york city. and he asked me to do it. so i was like, "oh, my god, he thinks i'm a dancer." so i said i would do it. [ light laughter ] >> seth: i can't believe that's the part that made you say "oh, my god." [ laughter ] you're totally fine with being naked outside in new york. it was like, "a dancer? me?" [ laughter ] >> i know. i feel like it was very good insight into my character. but i was forced to go down -- i was doing my show at the carlisle, and i was forced to go back down to east village and take it there. but it -- some unexpected guests were in, and i was in my room you know, drinking. and time had gone by, and i said, "oh, jordan, can you just come up here and do it?" and he came up, and they were still there. and i said, "i can just do it outside the door of the carlisle hotel." and he said, "ah," and he saw, because i'd hosted the tony's, my agents gave me -- managers rather, gave me that big huge fat bottle of -- >> seth: your jeroboam. >> my jeroboam. and, so he said, "why don't we get two dancers to hold that in front of your -- junk." can i say junk? [ light laughter ] >> seth: you can say junk. >> junk. [ laughter ] and -- and then -- >> seth: not only can you say junk, but i'm going to show this person's butt. >> ew!
isn't it fantastic? >> seth: yeah, they'll have to blur it later. [ light laughter ] >> seth: because people at home, they'll see that -- like if kids are watching, they'll be like, "oh, my god." >> but like people right now, they could like, right as they're watching this could google alan cumming's album and you would see that image. >> seth: yeah. >> but you can't see it on tv. isn't that weird? >> seth: it's very weird. especially, like, butt crack. i mean, this is on at like 1:00 in the morning. like, who cares? >> i know. [ laughter ] who has not seen a butt crack by now? >> seth: exactly. if it's 1:00 in the morning and you haven't seen a butt crack today, you're doing it wrong! >> what's wrong with you life? [ laughter ] so anyway, so jordan said, "let's get two dancers to pose the bottle like this." >> seth: what time is it? >> it's 2:00 in the morning. >> seth: okay. >> and so we start texting people. and the next morning, i got all these texts from my friends going, "i got this text asking me to come to the carlisle and get naked and take a photo in front, on the street." [ light laughter ] anyway, these two dancers, raven and lisa, came over, and we did it. and i'm a little drunk, and we went down and we kind of practiced with our clothes on and the security man from the
to my friends." >> seth: right. because you had no permission to do this. >> zero. >> seth: okay. [ laughter ] >> and then, and then we sort of practiced, you know, the pose, and got all ready. and you know, it's that funny thing when you're about to go skinny dipping or something, where you don't -- you think, "who is going to be the first one to do it?" and we're standing there waiting and i thought, "oh, screw it, i'm gonna just --" so i just took my pants off, and then, of course, once i'd done it, everyone took their clothes off. because you had -- >> seth: now, this is interesting. and i don't want to belabor this. you go pants-first? [ laughter ] >> i did, yeah. >> seth: see, that tells me more about your character than the other thing because -- [ laughter ] i would definitely do -- i would pants last. [ laughter ] i guess i've never -- you had a jeroboam with you. so, okay -- >> so we did that. and once i had done it, everyone -- the other two did. and we didn't -- we weren't naked for very long. like a minute or so. but i was actually thinking, you know, we're on the street in new york city. luckily, it was pretty safe where no one is up after 10:00,
[ laughter ] but it was quite scary, someone could have come out any second. and then, because i had done that photo, when i was coming to do the live version of my show, i went back to the carlisle, purely to have that photo on the cover of the album. >> seth: that's fantastic. >> thank you. >> seth: i think the other thing -- [ cheers and applause ] i like -- i like to think that when this came out, they called that security guard into the office and the manager said, "hey, gary, can you explain how this happened?" [ laughter ] how three people got fully naked outside and did a photo shoot? >> the carlisle has been very, very nice about, like, you know. i actually think it's a good thing for the carlisle. >> seth: absolutely. >> and also i think in a way it sort of represents my spirit, in a venue the carlisle which is quite, you know, kind of, you know, traditional. and then there's me with my clothes off. >> seth: there you go. [ laughter ] >> says it all. >> seth: you recently had a birthday. happy birthday, belated. >> thank you very much. 75. [ laughter ] >> seth: you look fantastic. now you have -- you got a tattoo for your birthday.
>> seth: not your first tattoo. >> no, seth, thank you for bringing that up. >> seth: your first tattoo, please. >> okay so -- >> seth: everyone needs to know this. >> it's a terrible story. >> seth: it's a cautionary tale. >> i'll say. so about 16 years ago, i met this boy, and he and i had this very tempestuous relationship. and two weeks after knowing each other -- two weeks -- we had our names tattooed on each other's bodies. by our groin -- in the groin area. [ light laughter ] and i thought that was the most sensible thing i'd ever done in my entire life. [ light laughter ] so then, four month after that it was over. we just repelled each other away. and i had -- his name was raven, and i had "raven" written on my groin. and, so all my friends who though i was crazy were saying, "you could put o-u-s on the end to make it ravenous." >> seth: oh, that's smart. [ light laughter ] >> or c to make it craven. or once somebody said take the n off an make it and make it raver. things like that. but i didn't. i kept it and then eventually i got it removed, and everything. by laser. it was horribly painful but then about a year after that i met up with raven again and he was like, "still have your tattoo?" and i was like, "no, i had it wrenched from my body."
yours?" and he pulled his pants down and where it used to say alan, it now says balance. [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: he couldn't he couldn't get rid of you. >> no. i'm a part of bringing balance to raven. >> seth: there you go. >> that's the beautiful thing. >> seth: there you go. "alan cumming sings sappy songs" will be available on february 5th. [ cheers and applause ] "the good wife" airs sunday nights on cbs. and you're going to stick around, right? >> i'll be here. >> seth: we'll be right back with more alan cumming. [ cheers and applause ] piano music. i'm glad you finally made it, dad. you have to experience this city. that's what you always say. you were right about the food. hi john. hey kevin. spent the day with an astronaut. one more. it's beautiful, isn't it? how about a baseball game next time? done! done. book priceless experiences around the globe with...
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back to the show. i'm here with alan cumming. and alan, you have been in numerous broadway productions over the year. and this is very exciting. i hear that you are working on a new musical. >> yeah, i am, actually. it's this one i've been work shopping it for a while, and it's a new musical. it's called "hoover dam: the musical." >> seth: "hoover dam: the musical." that's fantastic. well, tell us a little bit about it. >> well, i play the hoover dam's chief designer, he's called john l. savage. and he's a very tormented soul, and he's full of self doubt. because, you know, he compares himself to beavers, which, as you know, are naturally the best dam makers.
>> seth: he compares himself to beavers like the animal the beaver. >> uh-huh. [ laughter ] 'cause, i mean, they're pretty much the gold standard of building dams. and my character is very worried that by going forward with designing the hoover dam, his work will be compared to what beavers could have done. [ light laughter ] >> seth: so -- so he's in a tough spot. >> yeah, you know, he's absolutely, he really is. and the big number of the show is called "damned if i do, damned if i don't." [ laughter ] and i think it really perfectly encapsulates, you know, how he's wrestling with all the pressure and, you know. >> seth: well, that's fantastic. and i'm very excited about this. and everybody here should be very excited, because i hear you're going to preview it for us tonight. >> yeah, that's right. i'm going to, and i wrote it. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: you wrote it? >> absolutely. >> seth: ladies and gentlemen, here is, for the very first time, alan cumming singing "damned if i do, damned if i don't," from "hoover dam: the musical." [ cheers and applause ]
a mere mortal man wondering if i can build some big ass dam and i'm scared scared out of my mind terrified that i will find that i'm not as good as the beavers that the beavers will take me to school how could i outdam the beavers building dams what they naturally do they carry mud and stone with their beaver forepaws timber in their mouths with their beaver strong jaws then there's me with my little weak arms i can't carry a thing in my mouth they ask me for a dam i can't mask who i am
i'm damned if i do i'm damned if i don't non-believers compare me to beavers there's no chance they won't no chance they won't no chance they won't you can't beat us you will never beat us stop it beavers stop this torment you can't beat us you will never beat us get out of my head you're not even real we are real so very real you're shattering my damn dam confidence damn you to hell to hell damn you to hell to hell >> no! i see something in you john savage something quite beaver-y
believe in yourself but you've made a believer out of me >> here, take this wood. you're going to need it when you build that dam. >> well, thanks. but actually, the hoover dam is going to be built out of concrete, not wood. it's gonna to be way more complex than anything you guys could ever do. your dams don't harness electricity whereas as this one will be an arched gravity dam that produces 4.2 billion kilowatts of electricity each day for the greater las vegas area. it will be a marvel of human engineering. so, i don't need your little piece of wood. >> okay. screw you, then. [ laughter ] i'm damned if i don't because i'm destined to do if you want to stay dry then just look toward the sky
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back to "late night," everybody. our next guest tonight is a starting pitcher for the new york mets, and mlb all-star. he's also an ambassador to the council of fashion designers of america for new york men's fashion week. please welcome to the show, matt harvey.
>> seth: how are you? >> good, how are you doing? >> seth: good. you look like a million dollars. >> thanks. >> seth: and it's tough to look that way when you follow alan cumming, 'cause he looks great too. >> i know, seriously. >> seth: it's fashion week, and so have you been going to any of these fashion shows? >> yeah, we went to a couple. we went to a couple. >> seth: now, do you -- i will say, i've gone to some fashion show, and the models walk out -- the male models, for men's fashion week. and i will say it's very rare that i see a piece of clothing that i think i could pull off. >> well, i think it was that, and i was wondering if they hadn't been eating in the last couple months. >> seth: they're on the thinner side of man. >> yeah. >> seth: yeah. did you see stuff that you thought, "i'm gonna rock that look"? >> yeah, there was a couple. >> seth: all right, that's good. i'm glad to hear it. how's your off season been? now you obviously -- congratulations on making the world series. it doesn't work out the way you want. how much time do you give yourself after that before you start working out again? >> we probably took about a
played a little golf. >> seth: that's nice. >> went to the bahamas a little bit. but no, it actually came quick. i'm looking at my watch, and it's february 2nd, and -- >> seth: you report fairly soon, right? >> spring training is in ten days, so -- >> seth: do you completely check out when you are not training for baseball? like, do you -- are you thinking about it all of the time? >> no, i mean, obviously we were disappointed with what we did, so -- >> seth: so is it a bummer i brought it up? >> yeah, a little bit. >> seth: i'm sorry. [ laughter ] that was super bad form by me. >> ruined the rest of my week. [ laughter ] >> seth: you have one of the great nicknames. "dark knight." people seem very enthusiastic about this in new york city. you have some relatives, some family, some younger family -- >> yeah, yeah. >> seth: -- that actually show up to the game, is this true? wearing -- >> yeah, my nieces and nephews really got a kick of it. so -- >> seth: gotcha. >> for me, everybody asks how do i feel about the name and this and that. but if the fans like it, my nieces and nephews go along with it, then i'm happy with it. >> seth: now, if you're the dark knight, which hitter in the national league is your bane?
[ laughter ] >> seth: like, who has got your number? >> so i was actually not even in the big leagues yet. and i went to spring training, and jayson werth of the nationals hits one of the biggest, longest home runs i've ever seen and still has not landed yet. [ laughter ] so i would probably say that jayson werth is my bane and i really buckle down to face him every time. >> seth: now when something like that happens in spring training, do your teammates -- 'cause obviously, the stakes are lower, it doesn't actually count for the season. do you hear about it constantly? like, when you get back to the dugout, are people like, "wow"? >> yeah. it still hasn't landed. [ laughter ] that one -- that one literally is one that people will remember for a long time. >> seth: there you go. now, you live in new york city. this is a fantastic -- there's a great night life here. obviously, you're into fashion. there are beautiful people in new york city. versus the other cities, like, you've turned up in gossip columns. if you go on a date, people notice. has that been distracting or has it been the best? >> how did i know that this
up? [ laughter ] >> seth: because i'm married and i want to hear all about it. [ laughter ] >> you and it's literally, like every married guy on my team or somebody i work out with, they're like, "tell me your stories. let's go." [ laughter ] >> seth: "come to my locker. i've made tea. tell me everything about last night." >> what happened? i pitch once every five days. what happened the other four days? [ laughter ] no, i mean, i enjoy new york. i think it's a great city, and, you know, i'm young. i'm 26 years old. so i'm having fun. >> seth: yeah. you left out everything i cared about, but that was -- [ laughter ] yeah. [ laughter ] now, you obviously -- women are in locker rooms now, as they should be, with the people who cover baseball -- reporters should be allowed, no matter their sex. but you have a player on the team that sometimes -- jacob degrom -- is it true that from behind, you will sometimes think that there is a lady sitting at a locker? [ laughter ] >> yeah, when he actually first got called up, i -- we were
and i would walk into the locker, and people are allowed in at certain times. but walking into my locker and thinking that i can kind of do what i want to do. and then seeing just hair over the back of the chair, i was getting a little concerned there was a lady sitting next to my -- sitting next to my locker. but, no, he's got good flow. >> seth: and he's sticking with it, it seems like. >> he said he was going to cut it, but i don't think he has. we'll see what happens. >> seth: i think it's great. if i could do it, trust me. i'm always curious about music in the locker room, who is in charge of it. is this a power play by you, letting people know that you are -- you are fully in charge of it? >> yeah. [ laughter ] no, we actually -- i love music. music has been something i've listened to my entire life. my sisters are a couple years older than i am -- >> seth: i like that you had to say you have listened to music your entire life. [ laughter ] as if you've been like, "have you heard about music? [ laughter ] i'm just 26, so i just heard about it." [ laughter ] >> well, if you saw the music
the discovering factor. >> seth: gotcha. now, your off games are you in the regular dugout? or are you out in the bull pen? you don't spend your time in the regular dugout. cool. and i'm excited you guys re-signed cespedes. >> seth: who was a key, obviously, to your second-half surge. this is a photo that i also need some explanation. this is him with cra -- he's eating crabs. i shouldn't say -- he's eating crabs. [ laughter ] and -- did he eat all of those? [ laughter ] >> well, that's actually why we re-signed him, because we're not going back to baltimore. so we didn't have to worry about >> seth: that's true. you don't have to play them anymore. >> no, but i was actually definitely a part of that. >> seth: oh, you are a part of eating. do you enjoy the maryland crabs hammer? >> i do. i don't think anybody wants to say the little hammer. >> seth: well it's not like -- you wouldn't actually go -- i guess that's a regular size hammer. look, i use really big hammers, matt! [ laughter ] thank you so much for being congratulations on last year. can't wait for this next one.
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back to "late night," everybody. our next guest is a talented author whose highly anticipated second novel, "the queen of the night," is available in bookstores now. please welcome to the show, alexander chee! [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: how are you? >> good, thank you. >> seth: congratulations. your book just came out. i have never written a book. i'm always impressed that anyone can. but this is your second book. your first book came out in
>> yes. >> seth: why has it taken so long? [ laughter ] are you a slow writer? i -- i'm curious of your process. >> i wish i could say i was a slow writer. >> seth: okay, but you're not. >> no. last fall, after i turned in the manuscript, it was november, and it was "nanowrimo." and i thought, what the hell? i'll just -- maybe that works. and i wrote 100 pages in a month. >> seth: you wrote 100 pages in a month? >> of a new novel. >> seth: so you're already 100 pages into the new one? >> a little more than that now. >> seth: oh, my god. so what did you do from 2002 to two-thousand-now? >> that's a great question. [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah. >> i mean, i -- there was a lot of research. >> seth: now, that's -- so this is about a 19th century opera singer in france. >> correct. >> seth: and was this a world you knew? >> i knew nothing about it. i didn't. >> seth: okay. so that's the first mistake you made, when you picked that. [ laughter ]
actually. i -- you know, i think that -- i didn't know anything about being a woman then. [ laughter ] i didn't know anything about france at the time. i didn't know -- i knew some about opera and about opera singers. but i also knew that, you know, opera fans are some of the most intense fans in the world. >> seth: right. >> and it's part of what makes them really interesting. but it's also part of what makes it so terrifying to write anything for them. >> seth: i would imagine. because they're going to comb through whatever you write. like i -- if i wrote about opera singers, i would say "and then she sang the loud part. [ laughter ] and then she got quieter but you could still understand the words, and the crowd was entranced." >> exactly. >> seth: and that would be bad. >> and that would be really bad. [ laughter ] >> seth: and not only opera. but i've heard you say when you talk about paris, like, you were not the first person to write a book about that either. so -- >> correct.
yourself? i mean, i'm very impressed that you chose to do this. was it just you found the subject so fascinating? >> it was some pretty extraordinary naivete on my part, i would say. [ laughter ] to use a french word. >> seth: yeah, very well done. you have done your research! [ laughter ] >> no, i just looked at the period and i thought, well, the singer at this time would be in paris. probably. if she was famous. if she was going to be, you know, a celebrity of the kind i was creating. so off we went. and, you know, it is one of the most popular settings for a novel. and it is also, for example, why my french rights haven't sold. because when -- >> seth: interesting. >> when americans write about france, the french are just like, "really?" [ laughter ] you think." [ laughter ] "oh, you obviously read from our attitude that we're just
>> pretty much. [ laughter ] >> seth: pretty much? yeah. it's interesting -- what's so wonderful about this is the idea of an opera singer as celebrity. and there was a real opera singer, is it jenny lind? is that -- >> jenny lind, correct. >> seth: and this is sort of loosely based on the idea of someone who is that famous for their voice, yes? >> yes. >> seth: and explain -- like, at the time, there were people who -- these opera singers were celebrities, and a lot of people hadn't even heard them sing. >> i think that -- so the amazing thing about jenny lind is that, you know, even now she has what an opera -- what you would call a "clack." the sort of intense fans who believe that she was amazing. she ended her career before the age of recording. no one has ever heard her sing who's alive now. but it is true that when she retired, the house of lords in london ceased business for two days.
contemporary entertainer that would cause a government to shut down when she retired. >> seth: yeah. >> so that was fascinating to me. to think about, like -- that level of passion and devotion. >> seth: i was thinking beyonce. but then i thought of our congress and i think a lot of guys probably aren't beyonce fans. [ light laughter ] they'd probably still go to work. >> it would be so much better if they were. >> seth: true. it would be better. congratulations on the book. i want to talk about something else that i'm very impressed with, which is, you started a -- i can't believe that this is true. but a writer's residency program on amtrak. the train. >> seth: how did this come about? >> i -- in an interview, i said, you know -- the question was something like "where are you most productive?" and i'm incredibly productive on trains. effect of, "amtrak should have a writers' residency" in the interview.
on twitter, and was put out there by, first by my friend maude newton, who's a big literary twitter presence, writer, who i love quite a bit. and that just kind of went haywire. and then three days later, amtrak sent me a little message on twitter. "we would like to try your idea, send us an e-mail." [ light laughter ] and i thought, what is going on? so then, now it's a real program. >> seth: and so how does it work? you basically get on the train and write? [ laughter ] >> kind of, yeah. for me. like, yeah. >> seth: you don't get -- a residency implies you live somewhere, but -- >> a little bit. you get a cabinette. >> seth: okay. >> which is a sort of compartment. >> seth: yep. >> with a bed and little desk. there's one plug with a shaver next to it. [ light laughter ]
you know, i think what i love about it, though, is also the way in which you're just -- you cannot avoid the people. >> seth: yes. >> which sounds like hell, but actually it's this incredible education in what's going on in america now that i think actually a lot of writers could do well by. >> seth: what's your longest train trip you've taken here in the states? >> oh, it was that amtrak trip i took from new york to portland, oregon. >> seth: and how long did that take? >> it took about three-and-a-half days. >> seth: wow. the thing that i think i would get a lot of work done is i bet for huge swaths of that, there's no internet. >> correct. >> seth: yeah. and then you're like, well, i might as well do some work. [ laughter ] >> sure. that is true. i was of a little shocked to learn that internet is really only on the northeast corridor. >> seth: yeah. >> yeah. >> seth: that's right. in the middle of the country, they haven't even heard of google. [ laughter ] they still use encyclopedias for everything.