Queen Elizabeth II was remembered by late-night hosts with a combination of humor and solemnity.
Indicative of the latter sentiment was James Corden, the British host of CBS’ The Late Late Show. (Check out all the clips below).
Opening the show in silence, Corden, seated at his desk, said the Queen “represented good in this world, living a life of honor, a life dedicated to service, dedicated to bettering the lives of others. But it’s always felt as if she was there for all of us.”
“For 70 years she never wavered,” he continued. “She was never political. She didn’t need us to hear her opinions. She never gave an interview, never posted on social media. It was never for her about her own PR, and maybe that’s why she was as beloved and respected by a president as she was by the guy who lives down the street, and she would treat both of them equally, too.”
Corden closed out his tribute by noting, “We will always celebrate her life, remember what she stood for, and we will always be thankful for her sacrifice.”
On Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, the South Africa-born host Trevor Noah opened by noting the variety of public reactions to the Queen’s death at 96, “everything from ‘How will the kingdom carry on?’ all the way to ‘You shouldn’t have colonized India, bye bitch.’”
Taking a more comedic approach to the news than Corden, Noah measured Her Majesty’s longevity in pop culture terms: “She came to power in 1952. That means she’s seen Adam West as Batman, Michael Keaton as Batman, Christian Bale as Batman, Ben Affleck as Batman, survived that, and then saw Robert Pattinson as Batman.”
Noah also aimed some jokes at King Charles. “The world wasn’t made for an old prince,” Noah said. “I can tell you now there’s no one in a Disney movie who’s like ‘Someday my prince will come, and he’ll wear orthopedic shoes and eat cottage cheese for every meal.’ Charles is so old he’s going to be the first royal to ascend the throne in one of those motorized stairlifts, that’s how old he is.”
Noah’s section on the Queen arrives at the 9:44 mark below.
On ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, host Kimmel also used a pop culture timeline to measure the Queen’s reign. She met, he said, The Beatles and the Spice Girls, JFK and J-Lo, The Iron Lady and the Iron Throne. As two photos were shown – one of WWII vintage, the other of Queen Elizabeth II walking behind Donald Trump – Kimmel quipped, “She stood up to fascists and she stood behind them.”
“This week,” he said, “she saw Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine and said, ‘Ok I’ve had enough.’ ”
NBC’s Jimmy Fallon addressed the news by noting on The Tonight Show that he’d always been “a fan,” and that he “admired the way she conducted herself always with class, grace and dignity but also she had a great sense of humor.”
CBS’ Stephen Colbert taped his Late Show before the Queen’s death was announced, but the show offered a silent tribute via a title card that read, “Tonight’s Late Show was recorded before the sad news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with her family and her subjects.”
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