“You know things are bad at Buckingham Palace if they came to America to get away from racism.”
With 17.1 million viewers, it was the biggest thing on television that didn’t happen on Super Bowl Sunday, and people were still talking about it throughout the day on Monday.
Certainly, late-night television had plenty to say about Oprah Winfrey’s explosive interview — and “CBS This Morning” follow-up — with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Stephen Colbert took a deep dive into some of the explosive allegations, while Jimmy Kimmel admitted he was a reluctant viewer who quickly found himself sucked in, a sentiment shared by several online.
Jimmy Fallon praised Meghan’s bravery in opening up about her mental health struggles while she lived as a senior member of the royal family, while James Corden couldn’t seem to get over the fact that the wedding he attended was apparently a sham wedding three days after the couple actually wed.
Stephen Colbert was absolutely flabbergasted when Meghan said that she knew nothing of what she was walking into when she married Prince Harry. He also seemed a little skeptical of the claim, joking that she should consider this amazing technology called Google.
“Over there, I think it’s called lorry,” he said. “It’s filled with useful information, like, it turns out your husband knew Princess Di. That might have been a hint that this was gonna be a rough gig.”
Prince Harry himself suggested he was seeing parallels of his mother’s tragic story with Meghan’s struggles with the British tabloids, the royal family and even her own mental health.
But Colbert didn’t stop there, figuring while Meghan was online, she “might want to try the combo Andrew, island and Epstein. It’ll give you an idea what the royal family is okay with.”
He also added a “Huh?” to Oprah’s instantly iconic “What?!” when Meghan revealed that a conversation happened in the palace about what her child’s skin tone might turn out to be, as she is biracial.
“I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that there is a possibility, just a possibility, mind you, that this medieval selective breeding program might be … racist!” Colbert marveled. “Also, it’s never good when the British ruling class thinks someone is too dark. They steal their land and make them play cricket.”
When Oprah pushed Harry to reveal who it was, and he wouldn’t do so, either, about the best she could get out of him was just how awkward the conversation was, but Colbert didn’t think that went far enough.
“Awkward is four people in the back seat of a car. Awkward is forgetting your friend’s child’s name,” he said. “One of your relatives asking you to place your child on the Sherwin-Williams color wheel is royally f—–.”
But he had to laugh at Meghan saying she wouldn’t name who it was because it might be “damaging” to them. “And clearly the last thing Meghan would want to do, as she exposes her in-laws as racist, emotionally abusive captors, is damage anyone,” he said.
“Good on Meghan Markle for being brave enough to talk about her own mental health struggles and all the struggles she had to deal with,” said Jimmy Fallon at the top of his monologue.
He even joked about his emotional reaction to the emotionally wrought interview. “My wife walked in and asked why I was crying and I was like, ‘The NBA All-Star Game is really good this year.’”
By this point, Jimmy was in full joke mode, delivering rapid-fire setup/punchline jokes about some of the higher points of the broadcast, including its very high Nielsen ratings.
“17 million people tuned in. CBS celebrated until they learned that more than 600 million watched a TikTok about feta cheese,” he said.
He did agree with many critics and viewers online that Oprah Winfrey was an outstanding journalistic interview, even if this was definitely a soft interview with a friendly subject.
“We learned quite a bit,” he said of her chat with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. “Like what we’ve been missing the past year wasn’t a normal life, it was Oprah.”
“It was a big event, mainly because they revealed the baby’s gender in California without burning down an entire forest,” Fallon joked. Meghan and Harry revealed that their second child will be a girl, due sometime this summer.
Jimmy Kimmel, too, was impressed with that aspect of the special, describing it as “what will surely go down in history as the most shocking gender reveal of all time.”
He also admitted that he’d originally thought he had no intention of watching it. “Then my wife put it on, it was like, ‘Wait, rewind that. What did he say?’”
It was certainly that kind of must-see appointment TV, with stunning accusations lobbed at the royal family and heartbreaking stories of the challenges they seemed to face from the moment they decided to become a couple.
He commiserated with Meghan sharing that she even attempted to go to HR at Buckingham Palace to try and get help for her mental health struggles, only to be rebuffed and told there was nothing they could do.
“It’s funny that the Royal palace has HR and it’s just as unhelpful as HR everywhere else,” he said.
As for the charge that the royals were concerned about the possible skin tone of the baby that would turn out to be Archie, Jimmy wondered, “Imagine after centuries of inbreeding these people are suddenly worried about the color of his skin.”
Ultimately, though, he had to agree that the situation for Meghan in the UK had to have been positively unbearable. All the proof he needed is the fact that they found themselves in Los Angeles.
“You know things are bad at Buckingham Palace if they came to America to get away from racism,” he said. “That’s like trying to get some peace and quiet at Chuck E. Cheese’s.”
Considering he was in attendance at their wedding and he’s originally from the UK, we really expected a lot more in-depth reaction from James Corden about the interview. Instead, he mostly avoided the content of it almost entirely.
Instead, he made the rounds with his band and crew to see who had tuned in, focusing instead on the wedding gift he’d given them and the ratings success of the special.
He then got off on a weird tangent about three rich people hanging around with chickens and the notion that rich people slowly stray back toward farming. You know, nothing really at all about the content, meat and substance of the interview.
It was an interesting choice, but perhaps James didn’t feel comfortable talking in depth about it as a citizen of the UK still, or really talking about it at all. Certainly, the official response across the pond is far less enthusiastically in support of Meghan and Harry.
Let’s just say the same kind of press they were purportedly fleeing by coming to the United States (by way of Canada) is once again laying into them for each and every assertion they made in the interview.
Rather than pick a side, James apparently opted to focus on minutiae related to him specifically and then minutiae related to absolutely no one at all.