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tv   Late Night With Seth Meyers  NBC  August 3, 2016 12:37am-1:38am EDT

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[ cheers and applause ] ?? >> announcer: from 30 rockefeller plaza in new york, it's "late night with seth meyers." tonight -- craig robinson, creator of "the get down", director baz luhrmann, author yaa gyasi, featuring the 8g band with fred armisen and mary timony. ?? ladies and gentlemen, seth meyers. >> seth: good evening. i'm seth meyers. this is "late night." how is everybody doing tonight? [ cheers and applause ] very good to hear. let's get to the news. donald trump tweeted a picture of himself on his plane last night eating kentucky fried chicken while reading "the wall street journal." you know, like normal people do. [ laughter ]
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"the wall street journal" is the ceo of kfc. [ laughter ] by the way, you could tell trump has never eaten a bite of kfc in his life, because if look right there, he though he might need salt. [ laughter ] you're good. that's right, donald trump ate kfc, yesterday, despite the fact that the bucket was clearly endorsing bernie sanders. [ laughter ] when asked about possibly despite his age, vice president joe biden, this weekend, told interviewers that if he didn't know how old he really was, he'd guess he's 44. and if he didn't know what time it was, he'd guess it's miller time. [ laughter ] [ applause ] that would be his guess. eric trump appeared -- eric trump appeared on cbs this morning, today, and defended his father's ongoing feud with the family of a veteran saying, "what i think this country needs is a fighter."
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did bravely fight off all five of the army's attempts to draft him. [ laughter ] it is being reported that two senior aides were recently fired from the donald trump campaign. "oh, no! which two?," yelled eric and donald jr. [ laughter ] hillary clinton's campaign is reporting that their average donation amount for july was $44. said bernie sanders, "oh la la! [ light laughter ] vice president joe biden, yesterday, performed a same-sex wedding for a pair of long-time white house staffers. said the staffers, "but we're just friends." [ laughter ] "come on, it'll be fun! it's miller time! [ laughter and applause ] do this!" yesterday donald trump said of
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when told that it should be "well," trump said, "oh, sorry. well, they don't know how to write good." [ laughter ] a recent study found that bouncy houses have the potential to be as dangerous for children as sitting in hot cars. then again, i'm pretty sure if you ask a kid how they want to go, 10 out of 10 are saying bouncy house. [ light laughter ] i apologize. yeah, well, you know, lesson a woman's car recently crashed into a wal-mart in west virginia after her dog shifted the car into drive. even more impressive, they reset the clock for daylight savings. [ laughter ] and finally, officials released their list for the ten most stolen cars in 2015, with the 1996 honda accord at the top. and the least stolen car is the 2008 pope mobile. [ laughter ]
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[ cheers and applause ] from the film "morris of america", our friend craig robinson is back on show. [ cheers and applause ] always a delight talking to craig. creator of netflix's "the get down", it's a fantastic new show, baz luhrmann is here tonight. [ cheers and applause ] and she is the author of an incredible new novel that i love called "homegoing." yaa gyasi is here tonight. [ cheers and applause ] and um -- yeah, really looking forward to that. before we continue, however, as i mentioned last week on our show, donald trump, despite being a year into a presidential campaign, has refused to release his tax returns and says he has no plans to do so. as i also mentioned last week, i think i know why. donald, i think you're not releasing your taxes, because you don't have any money. i think you're broke. and last night you tweeted out a photo that only confirms my theory.
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i mean, you're eating kfc. did you even buy that bucket or did you just trade your tie to get it? [ light laughter ] and you're using a knife and fork. this is a tell-tale sign of a man clinging to the last vestiges of his once- great wealth. "fine, i'll eat the poor people food, but i'm not using the spork. no one ever comes back from the spork." [ laughter and applause ] now -- now you might say, "yeah, sure i mean, kfc, but at least i'm on my private jet." because that looks to me like the captain's chair in a conversion van. [ light laughter ] you know, the kind you're divorced uncle bought as a lark and then had to live in after he mishandled the divorce? i wouldn't be surprised if this was the exterior shot. [ laughter ] i mean, no wonder you're behaving so erratically. you're a man keeping a secret that if exposed will ruin you. you're like walter white in "breaking bad", staying one step ahead of the truth. by the debates, you're gonna have a shaved head and goatee.
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unsnaps, but it's an expression. [ laughter ] all in all, this is a sad portrait of a ruined former billionaire who is afraid to release his taxes and we here at "late night" just can't stand to see you like this. but there is another option, donald. because we recently made you an offer that still stands. if you drop out of race, nbc will give you a scripted 13-episode series where you will star as the president of the united states. [ laughter ] in this fictional show -- which nbc in no way approved or even heard about before i mentioned it on the air, you would be able to be the president you want to be. but without the bothersome irritations of the press, voters, or the pesky constitution. our only caveat is that in keeping with nbc programming policy, your white house would be based in chicago and the show will be called "chicago president." [ laughter ] this show could be the cash cow you need to get back on your feet.
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be $400,000 a year. but as the star of "chicago president", nbc can go as high as $410,000 a year. [ light laughter ] and that doesn't even mention the perks. for example, you'll get to meet the cast of nbc's "superstore", but only the ones you actually want to meet. [ light laughter ] and the best thing about "chicago president" is not only will it let you show the world what a great president you are, it will have flashbacks that show how great you always were. a lot of criticism for attacking the father of a soldier who died in combat. he said you never sacrificed. you said you did sacrifice. and then it was pointed out that you didn't serve in vietnam after getting a medical deferment for bone spurs in your foot. at one point last year you were even asked which foot. >> which foot did you have the bone spur in? >> you'll look it up in the records. it's in the records. [ light laughter ] >> seth: now some people -- some people are saying if you couldn't remember which foot, maybe that was a phony foot injury. but on "chicago president" we
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scene from an episode of "chicago president", which takes place in 1968, when a doctor gave you the terrible, terrible news that you would be unable it fight in vietnam. >> new york city, 1968. a doctor waits in his office. a nurse enters. >> mr. trump is here. he is very young and handsome. >> send him in. >> donald trump enters the office. the nurse was right. he is young and handsome. >> seth: hello, doctor. i'm here for my clean bill of health so i can join the army and serve my country. i'm going to build a better future in vietnam and i'm going to make the vietnamese pay for it. [ laughter ] >> maybe it's best you sit down. >> seth: oh, no, what is it, doc? >> i don't know how to tell you this, donald, but have you bone spurs in your feet. >> seth: bone spurs in my foot? that's impossible. i have the best feet.
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>> i'm afraid it's true. >> seth: but what about vietnam? >> you can't go. and it breaks my heart to tell you that, because i know you really want go. >> seth: i wanted to sacrifice for my country. >> surely there are other ways to sacrifice. >> seth: you're right. and i will dedicate my life to that sacrifice. i will build buildings and put my name on them. i will become incredibly rich and buy nice things for myself. you know, sacrifice. [ laughter ] >> may i shake your hand? >> they shake hands. the doctor notices something. >> huh. >> seth: what is it? >> i've just never in my life seen a more normal-sized hand. [ laughter ] >> seth: so it's not too small? >> too small? ha-ha-ha! only a fool would say that. a fool who was jealous of its perfection. do you mind if i photograph it? i'd like to put it in a book so people can know what a hand is
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i don't like attention. [ light laughter ] >> you are very noble. >> seth: i should go now. i have to ask my father for $1 million to start my business. >> only $1 million? can you really succeed with such a small amount of money? >> seth: i have to. to ask for more is beneath me. >> trump goes to leave, but turns back at the door. >> seth: if you don't mind, which foot was it that had the bone spurs? in case someone asks. d >> seth: no. i guess not. only a very bad person would ever ask me that question. [ laughter ] and thank you, doctor. for everything. >> thank you. >> the nurse reenters. she is flustered as she has never seen anyone so young and handsome. >> i can't believe someone so perfect has bone spurs in his foot. >> he doesn't have bone spurs in his feet. i just didn't have the heart to
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medically unfit for vietnam. >> what was it? >> his penis is too big. [ laughter ] >> i have a feeling that's not the last we'll see of that american hero. >> i hope you're right. i hope you're right. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: this show will be huge! why would you not want to do this show? th [ cheers and applause ] ?? t-mobile never stops improving. and we doubled our lte coverage. that's right! our coverage stacks up with anybody, including verizon and at&t. and only t-mobile gives you more than just great coverage. now you can stream
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?? [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back to "late night," everybody, and please, give it up for the 8g band right over there. [ cheers and applause ] also, joining us this week, she's a and songwriter from washington, d.c. based band, ex hex, mary timony, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] and be sure to check out the debut album from ex hex, "rips," on merge records available now. thank you so much for being here, mary. >> thanks, seth. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: and everybody, fred armisen is also here. give it up for fred. [ cheers and applause ] and fred, i'm so happy that you're here. it's so nice because we get to talk backstage, and one of the things we always catch up on is what tv shows have we been
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you always ask me, and i always mention a couple of shows. and then i ask you what you've been watching, and you always answer the same thing. you say, "i watch all the shows." >> i do. >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> yeah. >> seth: even with all the television that's on now you stand by the statement that you watch every episode of every show? >> everything. >> seth: okay. >> in realtime. >> seth: in realtime. [ laughter ] so you don't even tivo stuff. you just -- >> oh, no. >> seth: okay. so in that case, it's time once again for "fred armisen's extremely accurate tv recaps." [ cheers and applause ] ?? >>h: i'm gonna mention a tv show, and you're gonna tell us what it's about, okay? >> fred: great. >> seth: all right. "pioneer woman." >> fred: oh, "pioneer woman" is so good. have you seen it at all? >> seth: no. >> fred: not the pilot, nothing? >> seth: i haven't seen anything, no. [ laughter ] >> fred: well it's this -- it's like a courtroom documentary. [ laughter ] >> seth: "pioneer woman" is a courtroom documentary? >> fred: and it's a real case that happens.
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and then, there was a prosecution, but the prosecution didn't -- they didn't show up. [ laughter ] right? >> seth: okay. >> fred: they didn't show up. but for fairness, the defense had to be the prosecution too. [ laughter ] like, they had to run across the courtroom and act like the prosecutors, and then run back and be the defense. and they were -- >> seth: really? >> fred: yes. >> seth: they didn't just -- the judge didn't say, "let's wait until tomorrow and see if the prosecution shows up." >> fred: he said it, and they ignored him. [ laughter ] so, it is a very famous case. >> seth: okay. >> seth: okay. >> fred: everyone knows this case. >> seth: what is the name of the case? >> fred: "mckinley vs. the people." [ laughter ] >> seth: it is very famous. now that you say it. >> fred: david mckinley, and so it was about a pioneer woman, and it was about -- [ laughter ] >> seth: is her name is mckinley? >> fred: yes. >> seth: okay. >> fred: uh, and -- >> seth: and what did she do that the people were so mad at her? >> fred: she was just a pioneer. >> seth: okay. >> fred: you know. [ laughter ] you know, just pioneering things and just pushing for things and
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and, and, and they tied. it was the only case in america where it is a tie. [ laughter ] and they said, "congratulations everybody." >> seth: okay, that's great. >> fred: yeah. [ applause ] >> seth: give it up for fred armisen, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] now, according to tv guide, "pioneer woman" is a cooking show on the food network. [ laughter ] >> fred: that's not right. that's a misprint. >> seth: okay, got it. [ laughter ] you know our first guest tonight from nbc's "the office," and films such as "pineapple express" and "this is the end." he stars as widower and faer in the upcoming film, "morris from america," which is available exclusively now on directv and in theaters august 19th. let's take a look. >> i do hate it here. >> come on, man. i know. check it. i know you don't want to hear this right now, but one day when you're lighting the hip-hop world on fire, it'll be because you have a unique perspective. and when you are collecting all
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>> source awards? >> mm-hmm. >> is that as far as i get in your dreams? >> all right. all right. you right. >> i don't get a grammy or something? [ laughter ] >> nobel prize, how about that? >> seth: welcome back to the show, craig robinson. [ cheers and applause ] ?? >> seth: i'm so happy to have you here. >> it's always a pleasure. thank you. >> seth: that was a very funny clip, but this is more of a serious acting role for you. >> yes, yes. it's coming-of-age drama with some comedy in it. >> seth: and you actually went to germany to shoot it? >> yeah. we were in heidelberg. it was, you know -- heidelberg's a nice, quaint -- >> seth: mm-hmm. >> you know, quiet, beautiful town. and then, we went to berlin. >> seth: and you, uh -- >> it was just the opposite. >> seth: i heard you had -- [ laughter ] but i heard you add lot of fests, on-set fests.
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the middle of the shoot fest -- >> seth: okay. >> so i get the -- >> seth: so this is like oktoberfest, but it turns out they do it for everything. >> mid-way through fest, i don't know the name of it. and we left heidelberg the next week. and we had heidelberg fest. >> seth: uh-huh. >> and then, following week, i left and we had craig fest. >> seth: what was craig fest like? [ laughter ] >> it was -- well, it was fun. i mean, it was just us getting together again. the fun was supposed to be the middle of the shoot fest. >> so this is something they do in germany? they, like -- the middle of the t? it just -- i just took it as normal. but the middle of the shoot fest, i think is where everybody is supposed to make out with each other, but i missed that part. [ laughter ] >> seth: you didn't make out with anyone? >> no, i missed it. >> seth: oh, i'm sorry to hear that. >> yeah, me too. >> seth: yeah. >> i found about the next week. i was like, "what?" [ laughter ] >> seth: oh, well, they should tell you before the fest. they shouldn't tell you after the fest. >> i guess it just happened. i just got on the plane, so i was tired. >> seth: right, exactly. >> oh, man. >> seth: so you play the father of a 13-year-old son in the film? >> yes.
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>> seth: but you have turtles? >> i have two turtles. yes, yes. >> seth: what are your turtles' names? >> it's just as much as little kids. >> seth: yeah, exactly. [ laughter ] >> haag and priscilla. it was haagen-dazs, but dazs left us. >> seth: oh, no. [ laughter ] now this is an interesting thing. did you buy haagen-dazs at the same time? >> i bought -- well, my sister bought haagen-dazs, and then, they live in vegas, and so she couldn't take them on the plane. >> seth: okay. >> so i was left with these turtles, and then, one of them passed. and then >> i got a friend for that one, so -- >> gotcha. >> i'm invested in these turtles. >> seth: it's tough. [ laughter ] the problem with haag is there, nothing goes with it other than dazs. so weird to find, yeah. >> but yeah, i was going through, and then i said, "oh, this is priscilla." [ laughter ] >> seth: sometimes you just go look and know. >> yeah, pretty colors. >> seth: so, as we mentioned, you know, serious role. this film's in sundance. and you actually won an award for your acting. >> yes. >> seth: but you had left sundance. >> i left to go to boston.
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boston trailer. >> seth: oh, yeah, boston accents. >> dude, i was sending that everybody. >> seth: oh, well, thank you very much. >> it was hysterical. >> seth: i appreciate it. because yours was not great that you just did. [ laughter ] say "boston" again the way you said it. >> bah-ston! >> seth: uhh. >> bah! baah! >> seth: boston. >> bah-ston! >> seth: boston! >> you like your mouth is swimming. >> seth: yeah, exactly. >> boh-ston! >> seth: it's surrounded by water. they're very aquatic people. [ laughter ] >> seth: but, uh -- >> boston. >> seth: so you're in boston, and you find out that you won an award. actually, i went to boston, and then went to l.a. and chad hartigan, director called me and said, "they want you to come back and give you an award." i was like, "i have to see this." so i went back, and sure enough. >> seth: that's fantastic. you're doing some other -- you took out another series. you're on "mr. robot." >> yes, sir. >> seth: you're just finishing "mr. robot." fantastic show. >> thank you very much. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: and -- there you are with rami there. >> mm-hmm. >> seth: you -- you had, now,
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are you -- >> well, i, i -- my character doesn't know much about computers. >> seth: okay, good. >> i need elliott's help -- >> seth: got it. >> to, you know, figure some things out. >> seth: and now, have you ever been hacked in real life? >> i was hacked. i got one of those -- this, like, i don't know, seven, eight years ago. i got one of those messages. and it was yahoo! official. >> seth: yeah. >> it was like, "hey, you got to reset your password. oh!" and then, next thing i know, people are like, "you got hacked, bro." >> seth: yeah. >> >> seth: i was almost like, where you look and it's like -- >> i hacked myself. >> seth: yahoo!@xyj9. you like, "wait, this isn't a real yahoo!" >> yeah. >> seth: i've been on the phone once almost giving someone my credit card info when i realized, "wait a second." and they'll, like, finish, and they say, "and we need your social security." and i'm like, "oh, sure. it's oh, hey, hey, hey, hey." >> the phone company did that to me. they blocked everything, and i couldn't use the internet. so i called the number, and i was like, "oh, what's going on?"
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card, and then, we will turn it off." right? so, yeah, i was about to do that same thing. but then, i didn't, and it went way. >> seth: okay, good. [ laughter ] that's, uh -- i think that's, like -- >> i had to turn to turn it off three or four more times, and then it went away. but it was completely -- >> seth: i think that's a good lesson. before you give anyone your personal info, just unplug it and plug it back in a few times. [ laughter ] [ blows ] yeah, blow on it. [ laughter ] that's very fortunate. now, you mentioned you were in bah-ston! you also went teach me. come on. what is it? >> seth: boston. >> boston. >> seth: meh. >> boh -- [ laughter ] boston. >> seth: well, see, no -- you're doing the bah -- that's for, like, car. that's for car. >> cah. >> seth: cah. >> fah. >> seth: park the cah. >> park the cah. >> seth: yeah, but boston is just "boston." >> "boston." [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: all right. let's do it. but, like, you have to be really honest for a sec. hey, craig, where you from? >> chicago. [ laughter and applause ] >> seth: no, you got to be an actor. you're an actor. you're playing a role. >> all right.
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give you a more boston name. your name's sully now. >> sully, all right. [ laughter ] >> seth: sully, where did you grow up? >> boston. [ laughter ] from fah away. >> seth: oh, it's from far away. >> fah. >> seth: how fah is boston from here? >> i just spat. >> seth: you spat? [ laughter ] >> seth: if you spit every time you say boston, people are going to know you aren't from boston. [ laughter ] you did seem to find a home in spokane, washington. you were in spokane doing shows? >> yes, doing shows at the spokane comedy club and followed >> seth: and then you -- but you've sent a photo. >> nine shows in six days. >> seth: nine shows in six days? and you went -- this is something you posted on social media. that is you surrounded by marijuana. [ laughter ] so what -- what went down there? >> yeah, i think i posted that, "i'm lost. please don't come find me." [ laughter ] we just got a tour of the warehouse, and then, we went to a dispensary.
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you can't have a warehouse and dispensary. >> seth: they've got to split it up. >> they've got to have one of the other. >> seth: got it. >> i think. i could become, like -- >> seth: did you -- well if they told you, i wouldn't blame you if you forgot. >> yeah. [ laughter ] >> seth: they gave me a lot of info and a pamphlet, but i didn't -- [ mumbles ] [ laughter ] >> seth: i'm also -- i'm starting to see posters for this animated film, "sausage party" -- >> yes. >> seth: which is fantasic. the looks -- the trailers look so funny. >> it's, like, the temperament of a -- "this is the end." >> seth: yes. >> but, it's a cartoon, so you can go further. >> seth: it's -- >> it's ridiculous. >> seth: a filthy cartoon. >> yes. >> seth: is it safe to say it is a filthy cartoon? >> it's a filthy cartoon. >> seth: um, what are you -- who are you the voice of in this filthy cartoon? >> i play mr. grits. >> seth: okay. >> i'm one of the nonperishable's. >> seth: okay. [ laughter ] >> and we are the elders of the grocery store. >> seth: okay, got it. right, because you can stick around forever. >> and we are, like, you know, protecting secrets that, uh --
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>> seth: well, there you go. well, i'm very happy, one, that you found your way into more serious acting and you're getting so much acclaim for it. >> thank you. >> seth: but i'm glad you're still in comedy, too, because you are just one of my favorite people when it comes to that. so, thanks for being here. >> hey, absolutely. >> seth: craig robinson, everybody. [ cheers and applause ] "morris from america" will be available exclusively on directv and in theaters august 19th. we'll be right back with baz lurhman.
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?? [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: our next guest is a visionary director of films like
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great gatsby." he is making his television debut with the new series "the get down," which will be available on netflix starting august 12th. let's take a look. ?? >> the grandmaster pinpoints the get down part. sometimes the drums only play for like ten seconds and the rest of the record is violins and singing [ bleep ]. won't play that bull [ bleep ]. so he plays the same record on two decks. while the get down plays on one, he cues the same part on two. ?? now i don't know how he knows exactly when to do it but in the moment one finishes, bang he puts in the mix-in, beat goes on and on. >> seth: please welcome to the show, baz luhrmann. ?? [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: hi, baz. >> hey, seth. >> seth: i'm so happy you're here.
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>> seth: this show takes place in the bronx in 1977. >> yes it does. >> seth: it's about the birth of hip-hop. >> not just that. it's really about new york city through music in that period. because we -- hip-hop is a big part of it but we also have, you know, disco is reigning. >> seth: sure. >> there's salsa in it, punk comes into it. but it really is -- it really scoots towards the birth of hip-hop. >> seth: now, you are not from the bronx. and -- >> excuse me? [ laughter ] >> seth: i have a very good ear. i have a very good ear for accents. >> you must be from out is that right? >> seth: but now, what -- >> i know. why me? >> seth: why were you drawn to this? >> why would an australian guy get involved like this? do you know i have asked myself that question for ten years. >> seth: yeah. >> for ten years. i'm not even american. i'm from far, far way. i think of myself as switzerland actually. >> seth: really? >> yeah. the truth of it is, is that i had no intention of doing this at all. i was -- what really happened was i was in a restaurant in paris.
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paris with a scintillating friend. >> seth: okay. >> so scintillating i -- i looked over their shoulder and there was a picture in a gold frame and there were two kids like this. you know, hip-hop looking kids. it was a jamel shabazz photo, probably from the '80s. and right in that moment, it popped into my head, you know, like, how do they pure a new idea that would go in and change it. or how did that get born? and it was just answering the question. that's all i wanted to do. >> seth: so really the perwe for being so boring that you just drifted off to a photo in the background. [ laughter ] >> i thank them everyday. i'd say, you know -- if you weren't this boring i wouldn't be doing this. [ light laughter ] >> seth: you hit such a jackpot with your casting. these are all very young actors. and you discovered, for most of them, this is the most high profile thing they've done. >> yeah, you know so the thing with this, when i got involved to do it to do it honestly, it had to be told from the kid's point of view.
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african-american latino actors and we had to -- they were going to be relatively unknown. i mean, i mean, some have a profile but mostly are not. it had to be that way. and i think we're blessed. i think we found, there are many, many careers in there that are exciting. >> seth: and is it true you found someone just rapping at a subway stop? >> yeah. we have -- we have actors who have done their first film. jaden smith's in it. >> seth: yep. >> he is known. but one of the leads, our fantastic casting team, was going through the subway in the bronx and there was a little fellow there, 14, rapping with his little -- she gave him a card and the next day he was in a show called "the get down." very soon, in two weeks, in one hour, a button will be pushed and he'll be seen in 190 countries around the world. >> seth: that is incredible. >> yeah. and he's incredible. [ cheers and applause ] tj -- tj brown. >> seth: my only fear is that that will give such false hopes to so many other people in the
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them. let's be honest. >> well you know, yeah. you know i'll keep away from the subway. >> seth: well i think yeah, you should because they'll be like, hey man, look. >> yeah, yeah. in fact, we live in that world, but i think what a great thing about our cast is it's so diverse. >> seth: it really is. >> it's giving such opportunity. we're doing it at a high level. you know, and i'm just so -- we're just so lucky. >> seth: i want to speak to you about the high level. because, again your films have been big in scope and scale. this is a series though, so it's more hours. it's a longer story. moha you've done? >> it's certainly the most exhausting thing i've ever done. i mean, it is, what i think of as a 360 production in that it never stops. i mean, in the last three years, not to whine, but i have not had a weekend off in the last three years. because, it takes -- you have to be involved in every aspect of it. and i never meant it to be that way. i was always gonna just sort of be uncle baz. and, uncle baz is here. i think it's like a hip-hop show, now go make it work.
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mechanism already in place that i give the first vision. i direct the first piece and it makes itself. it could never work. because it's not just a show about music. it's told through music. so there is no precedent. no mechanism for it. so increasingly, our financiers would come to me and say, well can you get more involved? can it get more involved? and so we've been building the process as we go along. >> seth: now it looks like a very expensive show. is that your fault? >> it is my fault. >> seth: yeah, okay. [ light laughter ] >> it is my fault. you blame me. i am the one who says -- i'm the one who says when flash, grandmaster flash. >> seth: yeah. >> says to me, baz -- that's -- we're gonna -- i don't believe -- you know, that's not correct. i'm the one who says, we've got do it again. we owe it to the culture, to the subject, to everyone who's collaborated on this. it's almost a community project. i mean, and it's as much, you know, puerto rican as african-american in the story telling. it's everyone involved. we owe it to get it right. so yes, blame me. it's not the most expensive show ever. >> seth: okay, good. >> that's not true.
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>> i know, so -- [ laughter ] do you want know which one it is? >> seth: yeah, what is? yeah, i thought so. i thought so. >> now there is one. not me. >> seth: so, i want -- you mentioned grandmaster flash. a legend, a hip-hop legend. >> amazing guy. >> seth: so not only is he helping with the show and making sure everything is accurate for to the time and era but he's a character on the show. so what is it like for the actor who has to show up with the real grandmaster flash on set and be grandmaster flash? >> well the other thing is that -- when i said to flash, look, we're gonna have mythical characters, but i want them to and it's a world where grandmaster flash, kool herc -- or all of these people -- or willie estrada. all these people have actually collaborated with us. you know crash and daze, the graffiti artists. they're in it as characters. but our characters, we threw all of them. so we had to find someone to play flash and we had this incredible young actor who just came straight out of yale called mamoudou, with a beautiful voice. >> seth: uh-huh. >> and he was going to play flash. and flash had to teach him to do the actual deejaying. >> seth: yeah.
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and day out. ? there's a good times ? ?? ? good time ? this goes on for three months. not good enough. you know. >> seth: wow. >> so he transfers him overnight into himself. it's an incredible thing to watch. >> seth: i can't believe you don't learn how to deejay at yale drama school. [ laughter ] how do they not already know. i want to ask about this. i know you are friends with anna wintour. you use to -- >> she is my dear friend and neighbor. >> seth: and you guys worked with her on the met before. >> yes. >> seth: and i've heard rumors that you two dream of dropping and just being party planners. >> yes. well -- bazzy, duffy, we really need a party and quick. right? >> seth: yeah. >> there's a bit of that. the great thing is that we have, i've always worked on the met doing -- with all sorts of others from, you know -- you know from frank ocean and -- >> seth: sure. >> and last year we worked with the weekend just putting on the show. it's voluntary. but we are always doing these events and we do often say to ourselves, you know i think we're gonna give this away and just do a and b productions. you know, weddings, bar mitzvahs.
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>> things like that. >> seth: i think like -- >> we'd be pretty good at that. >> seth: i think a baz luhrmann anna wintour bar mitzvah would -- you would get a lot of money for that. yeah. [ laughter ] >> do you mind if we put our card up? like if -- we'll take -- >> seth: yeah, we'll just -- we'll put a lower third. we'll put the address and then people can go to your website and that will be great. and thank you so much for being here. and congrats on the show. >> very good -- thank you sir. >> seth: thanks for being here baz. baz luhrmann everybody. "the get down" will available on netflix starting august 12th. we'll be right back with yaa gyasi. [ cheers and applause ] ?? inside the rack houses of jim beam thousands of barrels lay silent aging, building a fuller smoother flavor that only comes from being aged four long years at jim beam our history is made from the inside how will you make yours? now try jim beam apple poured over ice and serve with club soda
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?? [ cheers and applause ] >> announcer: this week on "late night with seth meyers" -- jonah hill --
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?? [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: our next guest greatly acclaimed debut novel "homegoing," is a "new york times" bestseller and one of the most talked about books this summer. please welcome to the show, yaa gy ?? [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: i'm so happy to have you here. >> i'm so happy to be here. thank you. >> seth: congratulations on this book. this is your first novel. >> yes. my first novel. >> seth: and this -- which is an incredible accomplishment in its own right, but this is not the book you set out to write. >> no.
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from stanford when i was an undergrad to travel to ghana and do research for a novel. and i had a different idea in mind. i wanted to kind of write about mothers and daughters and visit my mother's hometown which is in the central region of ghana. but when i got there that idea wasn't really speaking to me. and i was just you know, kind of bumming around, feeling sad. and a friend came to visit and we decided kind of on a whim to go visit the cape coast castle. and it was while taking this tour that i realized what my novel truly was. >> seth: that must be incredible moment to realize you have an idea that could sustain a book. especially after your previous idea didn't. >> yeah, yeah. absolutely i think -- [ laughter ] >> seth: and did you -- back to that -- did you like -- how soon into it -- do you get there and you think i'm writing this book. when do you know, as a writer, oh, this is not a good idea. >> i think it is once you realize that you -- that you can't focus on it for 300 plus pages. >> seth: yeah. >> you know, once you're kind of thinking about the length that a
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>> seth: yeah. cause you don't want get that novel grant money and then show back up with a short story. >> exactly. exactly. [ laughter ] >> seth: that's like -- and also you like widen the margins. >> right. exactly. >> seth: use a really big font. [ laughter ] so -- so this is such an interesting story-telling structure. because you sort of follow two half sisters through generations. you follow their off spring. it's 300 years of story-telling. it covers obviously slavery and the people who are involved, the people who benefit, and the by it negatively. did you plan on this interesting structure? did you plan on like 300 years, 300 pages? >> no, the structure came three years into the process. initially i had wanted to write a more traditionally structured novel. one that kind of took place in the present and then just flashed back to 18th century ghana. but the more i thought about it and the longer i worked on it, i realized that i kind of wanted to be able to track how slavery and colonialism and
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these things combined changed really subtly over a very long period of time. and allow readers to kind of see that through line as it moved. and once i realized i knew that i wanted a structure that would allow me to stop in as many generations as possible. >> seth: and speaking of those many generations, you did not outline this book but you had another way of keeping everything straight. how did you go about that? >> i drew a family tree that i put on my wall. it's look a lot like the one at the front of the book. characters names and then where they lived and a date and also one thing that was happening politically in the background during that time period. and i just kind of wrote from there. following that tree along. >> seth: and so when you mentioned, because you're 27-years-old. which seems very young. and i think a lot of people will be bummed out that you've written a book. [ light laughter ] but you also mentioned three years. how long did this take from beginning to end for you? how long was this process? >> almost exactly seven years from that trip to ghana to when the book came out. >> seth: so i feel better now. [ light laughter ]
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>> seth: you're also at the writers workshop at the university of iowa. >> yes. >> seth: and now that is the place, as i understand it, where you do a lot of your reading to the class, so other writers, you can get feedback from them. >> right. >> seth: did you get only good feedback? i would imagine you hear things from people that you don't want to use and is not helpful. >> yeah, i mean sometimes you get some silly feedback. like one thing i heard was not to name two characters, or not to begin to characters names with the same letter. which is something that i do in the book. and j don't really -- >> seth: because it's hard for readers to then separate them? >> right. right. readers will get confused. they won't be able to tell them apart. well you have friends with the same names and you figure it out. [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah. that's a very good way of putting it. so again this book has been talked about a lot. do you -- have there been writers that you respect? have there been people who have read it that you've been excited to hear have read it? >> oh yeah. i mean a big one for me was when i got the ta nehisi coates blurb. i had no idea that he even had the book.
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he turned to me and said you're about to lose your mind. because coates was tweeting about the book. >> seth: oh wow. >> that's how i found out that he had it. so that was a huge moment. >> seth: that's really great. also it's -- you know, and it is sort of social media at its best when you find out because literally someone's not just telling you they like the book, they're telling everyone. and you happen to be one of the people that hear it. >> exactly. it was beautiful. >> seth: now have you always known that you wanted to be a writer? was this something that you set out for at a young age? >> yeah. my secret ambition was to be a pop star. s that's totally fine. >> but other than that i kind of knew from a very young age that i wanted to be a writer. >> seth: yeah, cause pop star, you know, ultimately if you spend seven years trying to be a pop star and it doesn't work out, it is far more depressing. >> exactly. yeah. [ laughter ] yeah, very depressing. >> seth: at the very least you had an outline and that's fantastic. >> right. [ light laughter ] >> seth: and so now, you know, you have -- this is just a question and i'm always curious with writers. you finish a book, obviously you're happy with how it turns out. other people are happy. how long do you give yourself before you start thinking about
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i mean, i try to have something that i'm working on in between projects so that i can kind of get excited about the next thing once the first thing ends. but it's been -- it's been hard to kind of get back into the rhythm. >> seth: well at least you know how what you need to do when you have writers block, is just find a castle, walk around, and then wait for next story to find you. >> yeah, exactly. >> seth: thank you so much again. congratulations. >> thank you. >> seth: the book's fantastic. [ cheers and applause ] yaa gyasi everybody. "homegoing" is available in book stores now. we'll be right back. [ cheers and applause ]
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: my thanks to craig robinson, baz luhrmann, yaa gyasi, everybody! [ cheers and applause ] mary timony, fred armisen, of course the 8g band. stay tuned for carson daly. we'll see you tomorrow. [ cheers and applause ]
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