tv Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC January 7, 2020 12:37am-1:39am PST
[ cheers and applause [ cheers and applause ♪ >> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers. tonight -- senator elizabeth warren creator of broadway's "american utopia," artist david byrne, music from h.e.r featuring the 8g band with caitlin kalafus. ♪ [ 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 yeah that's fantastic to hear in that case let's get to the news well, happy new year, everyone it's 2020.
[ cheers and applause let's see. what do we got going on? a new "star wars" movie came out to mixed reviews everybody's talking about the musical "cats." and a president who is facing impeachment just launched a bombing run in iraq. you know what, actually, let's hold on a second yeah, that's what i'm talking about! [ cheers and applause that's where we're at. president trump yesterday dismissed concerns that iran might retaliate for his strike on a military leader, saying quote, "if it happens, it happens." [ light laughter ] wow, you're talking about the possibility of world war iii and you sound like courteney cox talking about a "friends" reunion. [ laughter ] look, if they want to do it, i'll show up [ light laughter ] a missouri pastor is facing six months in prison after allegedly asking for sexual favors from men on the dating app grindr in exchange for an arby's gift card [ laughter ] which is ironic since grindr's slogan is also, "we have the meats."
[ laughter ] [ applause ] a 600-pound tuna was sold at an auction in japan yesterday for almost $2 million. no word on how a cat got that much money [ laughter ] a company has developed a new product that men can wear between their legs to prevent premature ejaculation. it's called skinny jeans [ laughter and applause and finally, a man in florida was arrested over the weekend after he allegedly bit a police dog while naked and high on crystal meth [ light laughter ] on the plus side, as a florida man, he's already achieved his 2020 resolution. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ladies and gentlemen, we have a fantastic show for you tonight she is a united states senator from massachusetts and a democratic candidate for president. senator elizabeth warren is back, everybody! [ cheers and applause always happy to have her here. he is an iconic musician and
artist whose broadway show "david byrne's american utopia, which is fantastic, is currently running at the hudson theater here in new york city through february 16th, david byrne is in the house. [ cheers and applause and we will have music from a two-time grammy winning artist who was also nominated for another five grammy awards later this month h.e.r. is here, you guys [ cheers and applause so it's a fantastic show i'm so glad you're here. a quick word to our cue card guy, wally if you watch the show, you know wally. wally is a patriots' fan and i just want to send my regards on the patriots losing. [ audience groaning i grew up in new england i am not a patriots fan. i don't care for the patriots. but i do want to say that i am sorry on your behalf >> thanks, seth. >> seth: yeah. >> it didn't sound very true that you were saying that, but i appreciate it. >> seth: yes >> you know. listen, i just want to forget about it >> seth: okay. >> as long as there's no more mentions of it during the show or anything like that, then i'll be good. >> seth: yeah. >> okay? >> seth: well, we won't -- we're gonna do "a closer look" now and that's about politics. >> yeah.
>> seth: you don't have to worry. >> it's all news, great. >> seth: all right, and again, i do feel bad. you know, it breaks my heart [ laughter ] >> yeah, okay. [ laughter ] >> seth: well, it looks like 2020 is off to a great start for more on this, it's time for "a closer look." [ cheers and applause ♪ >> seth: i'm just [ bleep ] with you. 2020 is already the worst. [ laughter ] the sky in australia is blood red thanks to a climate crisis republicans are trying to rig the impeachment trial. and the president is threatening war crimes on twitter. we're less than a week into 2020 the world is like your friend who tells you this is the year he's going to quit drugs and take up yoga, and then on january 6th, you see him trying to sell his mat for crack. [ light laughter ] i mean, we should have at least been able to come together and enjoy the patriots getting knocked out of the playoffs -- [ cheers and applause in the first round at home i mean, finally, bill belichick
was as sad as his outfit [ laughter ] for a guy who's supposed to be good at clock management, he always looks like he woke up five minutes before game time. [ light laughter ] and yet we couldn't even take 24 hours to savor that small victory, because the president spent the weekend threatening war crimes against iran after ordering the assassination of a top iranian general. and then, in an orwellian fashion, claiming he did it to stop a war >> breaking news this morning, the u.s. has carried out the assassination of a top iranian military and intelligence commander. the president ordered this it was carried out by drone last night in iraq. >> his name was qasem soleimani. he was iran's top military commander. >> i went to a state department briefing today, a background briefing, and the officials basically said, "the ball is in iran's court and we are trying to de-escalate." actually one official said, "this was an act of de-escalation." >> we took action last night to stop a war we did not take action to start a war.
>> seth: trump thinks we can't accuse him of rushing into a war if he reads his teleprompter super slowly [ laughter ] you can't just kill a top general of a sovereign nation and call it de-escalation. that's like getting drunk and driving your car into a k-mart and then telling the cops, "i did it to stop my car." [ laughter ] trump and his allies are lying in the exact same ways the bush administration lied us into a catastrophic war in iraq nearly 17 years ago and the exact same people are doing it. after the attack, fox news decided to turn to their stable of lumpy white guys who've been wrong about anything like lindsey graham, a champion of the iraq war, and former bush officials and serial liars, ari fleischer and karl rove. why are these the best experts we can get this is like doing a segment on organizing music festivals and interviewing billy mcfarland and ja rule. [ laughter ] and the same people are trotting out the same lies they did 17 years ago for example, vice president mike pence lied and tried to link soleimani to 9/11 in a tweet that was not supported by the evidence and if that sounds familiar to you, it's because it's right out
of the playbook of george w. bush and donald rumsfeld, who repeatedly linked saddam hussein al qaeda and other terrorist groups without providing any evidence >> the reason i keep insisting that there was a relationship between iraq and saddam and al qaeda, because there was a relationship between iraq and al qaeda >> there are reports that there is no evidence of a direct link between baghdad and some of these terrorist organizations. >> reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns there are things we know, we know we also know there are known unknowns that is to say we know there's some things we do not know [ light laughter ] but there are also unknown unknowns the ones we don't know we don't know >> excuse me, but is this an unknown unknown? [ laughter ] several unknowns - this is an unknown unknown >> i'm not going to say which it is
>> seth: oh you're not gonna say? so it's unknown whether it's an unknown unknown? but one known that we do know is what trump knows, which is a known unknown, because he unknows what he doesn't know meaning we know, he knows no knowns [ laughter ] it's amazing [ cheers and applause it's amazing that we found a way to elect people who think these guys had the right idea. it's like if 17 years from now someone made a movie called "cats 2," this time with genitals [ laughter ] so pence lied just like bush and rumsfeld lied. but hey, at least this isn't the first time mike pence has been wrong about a disastrous war in the middle east. >> i am here to report, as the united states military confirmed in iraq on monday, weapons of mass destruction have been found in iraq. >> seth: it's fitting that 16 years later, pence is telling the same lies because 16 years later, he looks the exact same i mean, i'm pretty sure he's just a stock photo business man
come to life when he takes off his shirt, it says getty images across his chest. [ laughter ] so the trump administration tried to link soleimani to 9/11. they also claimed they were stopping an imminent threat. but if that's true, they haven't presented any evidence of that threat to congress or the public in fact, a "new york times" reporter tweeted that the evidence for such a threat was razor thin and "the times" also wrote that national security experts and even other officials at the pentagon said they were unaware of anything drastically new about iranian behavior in recent weeks but that's not good enough for "fox & friends" host ainsley earhardt, who said today that we just have to trust the intelligence agencies. >> so interesting that people are critical of the president's decision, of our intelligence community's decision, our general's decisions. >> they want details >> general tata said -- well, they can't have it they can't -- everything can't be made public we heard pompeo over the weekend saying everything that we have, the intelligence community has -- he said, "i ran the cia at one point, we can't release everything." we can't release all of our intelligence information we'll release as much as we can,
but you just have to trust us, basically. >> seth: oh, we just have to trust them i'm sorry, but i'm not inclined to trust an administration that lies about everything, even the dumbest things let's not forget, this is the same guy who literally drew a circle on an official weather map in sharpie to claim that alabama was gonna get hit by a hurricane and then pretended he had no idea how it got there [ laughter ] can you imagine if trump actually tries to present some evidence against iran? "i have it right here, the top secret intelligence briefing that proves i was right. it says, 'iran bad,' right there. [ laughter ] right there. [ applause ] so, there you go." you heard "fox & friends." we have to trust our intelligence agencies. i wonder though, if she felt the same way back in may when the intelligence agencies were investigating trump. what no, she didn't oh, and the next clip proves it. well, why are you telling me you ruined the surprise. all right, well let's just show it anyway. >> there was a fox news poll, and folks were asked how likely intelligence agencies like the fbi broke the law to investigate
president trump. look at that, 58% said, "extremely, very or somewhat," and only 31% said, "not at all"" >> and you get your -- >> so that just shows you -- >> up the first three. >> that's pretty scary that we can't trust the fbi. >> seth: what? [ light laughter ] we can't but that lady on the news just a second ago said we can [ light laughter ] wait a second! oh my god, one of two things is happening here either trump supporters are self-serving hypocrites who defend intelligence agencies when they want to bomb other countries, but attack them when they investigate the president's crimes, or ainsley earhardt has an evil twin ♪ [ applause ] now, if you're a trump supporter out there, claiming anyone who opposes this act of war is siding with the enemy, let's just remember this is the same president who literally he said and kim jong-un, a brutal dictator who starves and tortures his own people, quote, "fell in love because of kim's
beautiful letters." [ light laughter ] trump actually said that about a brutal dictator. he sound likes a southern belle meeting suitors at a cotillion "my dear beauregard, i fell in love with you after your beautiful letters!" [ laughter ] i'm pretty sure most people hadn't even heard soleimani's name until recently and that includes trump himself, who was asked about him in a radio interview in 2015 and clearly had no idea who he was >> are you familiar with general soleimani? >> yes [ laughter ] go ahead give me a little go ahead, tell me. >> he runs the quds forces >> yes, okay right. >> do you expect he'd be - >> and i think the kurds, by the way, have been harshly mistreated by us >> no, not the kurds, the quds forces, the iranian revolutionary guards, quds forces, the bad guys >> yes, right. >> do you expect his behavior to change as a result - >> oh, i thought you said kurds. [ laughter ] >> seth: i love -- i love how trump tried to pretend he know who he was even though he clearly didn't "do you know general soleimani"" "yeah -- no, i do but i want to see if you know
who he is." [ laughter ] clearly, this was a reckless act by an impulsive president who hasn't thought through any of the consequences, but a lot of people, including prominent democrats, are also asking, why now? why would a president who is facing an impeachment trial and mounting evidence of his guilt, suddenly start a war with iran as he heads into an election year i wonder if 2011 to 2012 donald trump had anything to say about that when it came to president obama >> i say that he starts a war in iran before the election, which will make it very hard for the republican to win, okay? and i've said that and i predicted that he doesn't talk to anybody he'll start a war. you know, lives will be wasted for no reason. i happen to think that the president is going to start a war with iran. i think it'll be a short-term popular thing to do and i think he's going to do that for political reasons. our president will start a war with iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. he's weak and he's ineffective so the only way he figures that he's going to get re-elected, and as sure as you're sitting
there, is to start a war with iran i believe that he will attack iran some time prior to the election because he thinks that's the only way he can get elected. isn't it pathetic? >> seth: yes, it is. [ light laughter ] the thing about trump is that he never tells the truth about himself in the present, but he always tells the truth about himself like ten years in advance. when he accuses people of crossing the border illegally, that means ten years from now he's going to get caught climbing over his wall trying to flee to mexico [ laughter ] "damn it, why'd we make it so tall?" [ laughter ] so it's already terrifying that the president is possibly lurching into an unjust and immoral war. and then on sunday, he decided to go even further and threaten war crimes against iran with a truly psychotic tweet that he genuinely thought counted as some sort of official legal document here is the very real tweet the president of the united states sent out on sunday these media posts will serve as notification to the united states congress that should iran strike any u.s. person or target, the
united states will quickly and fully strike back and perhaps in a disproportionate manner. such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless that's right the same guy who brought you such tweets as "robert pattinson should dump kristen stewart" - [ light laughter ] and, "i have never seen a thin person drinking diet coke," now thinks his tweets serve as official legal notice to congress i don't think this tweet counts as legal notice to commit an act of war, but i do think it counts as legal notice to have you committed. that tweet sounds like something that could be scrawled on the walls of a psych ward. [ laughter and applause let this serve as a legal notice that i know you're hiding pills in my applesauce, and i will find them sue you for malpractice. by the way, threatening a disproportionate response is a war crime, just like when trump tweeted the previous day, that if iran strikes any americans, or american assets, we have targeted 52 iranian sites, some at a very high level, and important to iran and the iranian culture. and those targets and iran itself will be hit very fast and very hard. first of all, it's not
reassuring when the president tweets in all caps like a lunatic who sees his ex-girlfriend posting photos of herself with another guy, and texts her at 3am, "who is brad and why are you in cabo? i will hit him very fast and very hard. a war with iran would be unjust and immoral, cause mass death and suffering, and destabilize the region and the world and trump obviously hasn't thought about, or doesn't care about those consequences, because by all accounts, he made this decision impulsively, to the surprise of his own top military officials "the new york times" reported that they were stunned, flabbergasted and alarmed when trump chose the option of killing soleimani. apparently trump's military advisers put the option on one powerpoint slide to make the other options seem more reasonable, not actually thinking he would pick it. one briefing shown to trump listed several follow up steps the u.s. could take, among them targeting soleimani. unexpectedly, trump chose that option oh, did donald trump do the unexpected instead of the reasonable [ light laughter ] did you guys not get a briefing on him [ light laughter ] you can't expect the reasonable
choice from the guy who stared into an eclipse, and when his umbrella got caught, just left it on the stairs [ laughter ] congress must do everything in it's power to stop an unjust immoral war with iran that will have disastrous consequences that's why thousands of protesters took to the streets over the weekend in cities across the country to say no to war with iran. we have an impulsive lawless president, threatening war crimes, who thinks his tweets count as official legal documents. you got to ask - >> isn't it pathetic >> seth: this has been "a closer look." [ cheers and applause ♪ we'll be right back with senator elizabeth warren, everybody! [ cheers and applause ♪ >> announcer: for more of seth's "closer looks," be sure to subscribe to "late night" on youtube. the wait is over. t-mobile is lighting up 5g nationwide. while some 5g signals go only blocks,
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♪ [ cheers and applause >> seth: welcome back, everybody. give it up for the 8g band right over there [ cheers and applause happy new year, 8g band! joining us on drums this week, she's the drummer for '80s icon cyndi lauper, who just released her very first solo project under the name b. kind, which can be found on all major music platforms. caitlin kalafus is back, everybody! [ cheers and applause thanks so much you for being here, caitlin. >> anytime happy new year >> seth: happy new year to you our first guest tonight is the united states senator from massachusetts and a democratic candidate from president please welcome back to the show senator elizabeth warren, everyone
[ cheers and applause ♪ ♪ >> seth: how are you >> i'm good. how are you? >> seth: i'm impressed i'm well i'm impressed with your energy >> you bet >> seth: and you had a very -- >> today's a good day. >> seth: you had a good day because -- >> i did >> seth: one of a -- one of your former, i guess, competitors for the nomination, julian castro, endorsed you this morning. >> yes, he did >> seth: that's really nice. >> it really is. [ cheers and applause >> seth: it must be specifically night to get an endorsement for someone who, you know, shared a stage with you, has gone through the first few months of this process with you how do you find out about something like that happening? >> well, you know, julian and i have been friends for a long time because we fight for a lot of the same things he has this remarkable story about his life and how he ended up in public service and we're out there fighting for people who don't have a voice in
our government we both see an america that's working great. it's rich. it's powerful. you have an army of lawyers and lobbyists. but it's not working so great for everybody else and we feel like we've got this chance in 2020, this real chance to be able to build an america that works for everybody and julian is just -- just a great partner in this fight. >> seth: you mentioned partner because of course, any time anyone endorses somebody else, they go, "oh, potential running mate." what do you have to -- >> way too presumptuous -- >> seth: yes, of course. sure, sure, sure [ light laughter ] >> to be talking about that sort of thing >> seth: yeah, you don't rush into things. >> you don't >> seth: you want to go slow with stuff like that i want to talk about someone that we're both, i believe, fans of it's her birthday today, kate mckinnon, who does an impression of you on "snl. [ cheers and applause and i was wondering -- i was wondering how you feel about the impression what is it like seeing yourself on "saturday night live? how do you feel kate is doing? >> you know, i have to say she is really fabulous she's smart. she's engaged. you know, she brings a lot of
energy we wear the same jackets >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] i want to give credit -- i -- quick credit to the "snl" wardrobe department who makes more jackets than you can believe to match candidates. >> that's exactly right. she does great and look, here's the deal. elect me president of the united states and we get eight more years of kate mckinnon on "saturday night live!" >> seth: eight more years of kate mckinnon. [ cheers and applause yeah you know, i -- i played john kerry and i think it worked against him. >> see >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] i think it worked against him. >> i just got to say seth, i know john kerry. you're no kate mckinnon. [ laughter ] >> seth: that's very -- that is very fair. one of the things as you fight big money in politics, as you fight corruption in politics, you stay away from big donors, large-dollar donors. so you have smaller-dollar donors >> yup >> seth: and you sort of famously call a lot of them personally >> i do. >> seth: but i would have to imagine a lot of them don't believe it's you >> it's true
>> seth: what is it like when you -- i mean, what are some of the things that people say when you call >> well, a lot of people really start with serious cuss words. >> seth: uh-huh. [ laughter ] sure >> and it takes a minute - >> seth: in the middle of dinner, you don't want a fake elizabeth warren calling you >> and they're -- no, they just keep saying things like, "holy, oh my, really? so there's a -- and then some of the best ones, i've actually been cross-examined to prove i'm not the newest version of artificial intelligence. >> seth: yeah, sure. [ light laughter ] >> and so i've had people ask me like, "okay, this could be a trick question when i say 'yes,' you have to say 'no.'" >> seth: wow >> you had me to verify. but you know, this is one of the best parts of running a campaign like this. i call people who make $5 contributions and $25 in fact, go to elizabethwarren.com tonight, make some contributions, i'll make some phone calls. >> seth: there you go! >> okay, let's do it [ cheers and applause
>> seth: i want to talk, obviously, about what's happened the last few days with iran. you know, i think one of the questions is obviously you have this country that, you know, is a sovereign nation, but in many ways a bad actor how do you -- would you go about -- if you were president, trying to deescalate the current situation with iran? >> well, you know, the first job of the president of the united states is to keep america safe and this president has gone in exactly the opposite direction and he started in three years ago when he tore up the iran nuclear deal that iran had agreed not to advance its nuclear program. our allies wanted america to stay in it but instead donald trump tore it up. and he's just had a series of escalating attacks and now with the killing of soleimani, we're in a place where we stopped our actions against isis we now have a president who is tweeting threats of war crimes
we've had to pull all of the americans out of the area, all the civilians. this is not making america safer. and what it's really doing, we really have to talk about this, this is moving us closer to the very edge of war americans don't want a war with iran and this is the moment americans need to speak up, need to speak up loudly and say no more war in the middle east. it's time to have peace in the middle east. we need to get out of this [ cheers and applause >> seth: it does seem like we're living in an era where there is an expansion of presidential powers you know, congress has less to say about what wars we're in, how those wars are fought. and you know, from president obama to president trump, a lot of what they ran on was no more wars, which has not been the case how do you as president actually go about, you know, keeping a campaign promise that has been
made now a couple of times about we're not going to do this anymore? >> well, part of it is you have to think about the use of our military we have the finest military on earth. all three of my brothers served in the military. our military will do anything we ask them to do they will make any sacrifice but that means the commander in chief has to understand that we should not ask our military to try to solve problems that cannot be solved militarily. we have to be willing to use our diplomatic tools we have to be willing to use our economic tools we have to be willing to work with our allies. we have to be willing to do the quiet, careful work of back channels to work together. remember, iran, yes, a nation that takes many bad acts but working with our allies, we got them to the negotiating table. we got them to agree to give up advancing their nuclear program. we can make diplomacy work, but it's hard work it's painstaking work. but it's something i will be
committed to as commander in chief. >> seth: i want to ask you about this as well [ cheers and applause we've actually had -- some of your -- i believe multiple former students of yours are actually in congress now >> yes >> seth: we've had some of them on the show. is it -- >> katie porter. >> seth: katie porter was here >> she was on not so long ago. she's fab. >> seth: she's fabulous. >> yup >> seth: and very well prepared when she -- when she questions people in front of congress. >> katie's always well prepared. >> seth: that's good was is it important as a student in elizabeth warren -- professor warren's class to be well prepared >> oh, yes, if you wanted to get out with your life >> seth: yeah. >> un-huh. [ laughter ] yeah >> seth: what's a worst case scenario hypothetically for a student in one of your classes who is unprepared? i mean is there a way to sit in the back and just not get called on >> ask joe kennedy that question >> seth: oh, joe kennedy [ audience ohs ] didn't go well for joe kennedy [ laughter ] >> it was -- >> seth: what's it like -- i mean must been proud - >> that first state law school was his whole life -
>> seth: really? >> in front of him yeah, yeah >> seth: yeah, see, that's why -- see, i wouldn't even go to law school for that reason. that's sounds so terrifying. >> no. but it was fun >> seth: and is it fun running into former students as colleagues now >> see, you know, i think of this as one of these big divisions between donald trump and me the people from my former life are really rising stars in public service and the people from donald trump's former life are rising stars in prison >> seth: yeah, that's a difference [ laughter ] >> it's -- >> seth: that's a difference, yeah >> it's a -- [ cheers and applause >> seth: it seems like obviously it's been on pause we're in this situation where, you know, impeachment has happened but it is not -- it's in this weird sort of whatever you would call it -- >> i'd like to think impeachment is never normal. >> seth: yeah, it's not right. >> yeah. >> seth: it's weird how it's become normal. it's like, "yeah, there's an impeachment. whatever, it's -- live your life." [ laughter ] what -- do you feel there's any -- if you can picture a month from now, two months from
now, any chance the republicans in the senate are going to ever change their minds about what the president's been accused of? >> you know, i see the republicans in the senate thus far as spineless, as entirely captured by some combination of their own right wing and fox news and terrified of this president. but there are a whole a lot of people out there in this country. and the more people speak up, the more people bring pressure to bear, the more -- you at least try to get some basic fairness in this system. you know, right now donald trump is refusing to let people come in and testify and mitch mcconnell's backing him up on this, who had firsthand knowledge of what happened in the phone call with ukraine and then what happens subsequently and it makes no headlines right now. but the trump administration has refused lawful court orders now that they're supposed to produce
documents. you know, however you feel about the president, we got to have some shared notion that we all took the same oath and that's an oath not to an individual, not to a political party, but an oath to uphold the constitution of the united states of america. and that means we need to go forward with this impeachment trial. we need the witnesses. we need the documents, just so we can have an open and fair trial. and then let everybody vote. and here's the deal, live with that vote for the rest of your life >> seth: all right, sounds like a plan [ cheers and applause you have a lot of those. >> i do. >> seth: senator elizabeth warren, everybody! [ cheers and applause we'll be right back with david byrne. [ cheers and applause ♪ ♪ i'm your mother in law. and i like to question your every move. like this left turn. it's the next one.
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>> seth: our next guest tonight is an academy award-winning composer, a grammy award-winning musician, a rock and roll hall of fame inductee and former front man of talking heads he's currently starring on broadway and "david byrne's american utopia" at the hudson theater through february 16th. please welcome to the show, the legendary david byrne, everyone! [ cheers and applause ♪ ♪ >> seth: welcome to the show >> thank you >> seth: i was lucky enough to come to this show, and it put -- my wife and i keep talking, it put us in the best mood, which is a very nice gift to give to an audience now. and we felt as though that was not just true of us but everybody in the audience. is that one of the things you set out to do, is just to cheer everybody up a little? >> not just cheer but yes. there are we sort of -- there's a couple of gut punches -- >> seth: yes >> -- in the show. places where we get kind of
serious about issues and things like that. and then, we kind of -- there's a little bit of, like, yes, now we're going to feel good we're all together >> seth: yeah. >> yeah, we do want everybody to leave feeling, like, whew, yes [ laughter ] >> seth: the night i went, my friend amy schumer, who has seen the show multiple times, she called us up and said, "you're coming to the show tonight." and we went. and she invited a lot of other people and it was -- i'm not name-dropping. they were there to see you but jerry seinfeld and phoebe waller-bridge are you finding that you look out in the audience and see people you recognize often >> i'm terrible at it but the band -- the band will tell me, "guess who's out there tonight guess who's out there tonight? [ laughter ] >> seth: it must be -- that part of it must be nice >> it's really nice. i mean -- and, okay, a lot of funny people have been coming. >> seth: yes >> as in people who are -- >> seth: a lot of comedians -- fred armisen just went with natasha lyonne, a huge fan of
yours. >> yes and so, i started thinking, "is there a reason for that? >> seth: are funny people coming to see you for a reason? >> yes, for a reason am i -- i mean, i get some laughs >> seth: yeah, you do it you do well. yeah, yeah, yeah [ laughter ] >> but -- yourself included. these people really know how to get laughs [ light laughter ] >> seth: yeah. >> so i don't think they're coming to learn from me. >> seth: no. [ laughter ] i think comedians who are some of the most, like, sort of -- we get jealous very quickly we get envious like if you see a joke that you really love, you think to yourself, "man, i wish i told that joke. whereas most of the things you do in the show, we think, "oh, i would never be able to do that in a million years." [ laughter ] >> okay. >> seth: so there's no core jealousy because we think to ourselves, "oh, this is just a way to release and not think, like, "man, if i just worked harder, i could be david byrne." [ laughter ] i think your innate talent is beyond what we have. >> i can demonstrate some of the dancing stuff is not that hard >> seth: that's true and i want to make sure you know that's not what i was talking about [ laughter ] at no point have i ever seen you
dance and thought, "how does he do that? [ laughter ] what is -- obviously, you've been on the road a few years you've done live performances for years. but now, you're on broadway. are there any surprises? >> yes, yes. it's really different. obviously, i get to go home every night, so that's really great. but it's different in that i know that a broadway audience expects something different. >> seth: yes >> they're not there -- like a concert audience, they'll dance and party for the whole show >> seth: yep >> broadway audience, you got to take us on a journey here. you got to give us a beginning and middle and an end. we want to know why we're here >> seth: right >> all of these things, which is great. i saw it as an opportunity i didn't know if i would succeed at it or not but i saw it as an opportunity to go, "okay, we're going to start slow, we're going to show you what this is we're going to kind of lead you into it little by little so you get what's going on and there's a story that i'm telling
incrementally and all of this kind of stuff. and by the end, it's a much more emotional experience than the concerts are the concerts are a great party >> seth: of course >> but this, you end up really feeing something deeply at the end. >> seth: i had great appreciation for a moment, not just that emotional journey, but at one point, you do let everyone know that you we are allowed to get up and dance. and i now realize, i've reached the age where i like to be told, when is it a good time to dance and when is it over? [ light laughter ] and so, that i think is a great gift that you give the audience. >> yes, and i mean, you must've had the same experience. so you're looking out and you might be going, "this person has not reacted to anything yet. >> seth: yes, of course. yeah >> do i focus on that person now and go, "i'm going to try to win you over?" >> seth: oh, now which do you choose because i will tell you on nights where i do stand-up,
there are nights where i think, "i'm gonna get them. and then, there are nights where early on, i'm like, "this is not going to happen" and i bail. do you go for it do you dig in? [ laughter ] >> a little bit. if i see like a crack, if i see a little reaction -- >> seth: yeah. >> i'll go, "okay, that's it." the door is open i can -- this person will join, with a little bit more [ laughter ] >> seth: you obviously, another difference between your concerts you do -- you tell jokes, you tell stories do you find that part of engaging with the audience -- do you like taking those breaks between songs that you haven't historically done? >> it was a learning curve, but i loved it >> seth: yeah. >> i loved it. it's so fascinating for me it's a little bit of what you do can i say that jerry seinfeld gave me a note >> seth: he gave you a note? i can tell you he gives me notes too. he's very -- [ laughter ] >> and it was spot on. >> seth: oh, what did he give you?
>> okay, the part in the show where i invite the audience to dance, i put a little joke at the end. and what i used to say was, see if i can get this right -- [ laughter ] "the fire department has asked you not to dance in the aisles because dancers in the aisles will have an unfair advantage in the event of a fire. and jerry immediately said afterwards, he said, "no, no, no, no, no, no you can't put the joke in the middle of the sentence the joke has to come at the end. so the unfair advantage is the joke." and he goes, "just swap those phrases around." [ laughter ] and damn, it worked. [ laughter ] >> seth: see, that's the upside to having comedians come to your show >> yes, yes, i could tell you. tell me what to fix. [ laughter ] >> seth: well, again, it was so wonderful. thank you so much for being here it was such a delight to talk to you. [ cheers and applause david byrne, everybody "david byrne's american utopia" is playing at the hudson theater
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