Home / Arts & Life / Patti Harrison, Transgender Comedian, Speaks Out on Trump’s Military Ban

Patti Harrison, Transgender Comedian, Speaks Out on Trump’s Military Ban


Patti Harrison told Jimmy Fallon: “I don’t necessarily want to serve in the military, but I want the right to serve. It’s like, I don’t want to go to your baby shower, but I want the invite.”


Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. What do you think of it? What else are you interested in? Let us know: thearts@nytimes.com.

‘I Want the Right to Serve’

The comedian Patti Harrison appeared on “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday to discuss President Trump’s announcement that morning that he would bar transgender people from military service. Here’s what Ms. Harrison, who is transgender, had to say:

“Now, I don’t necessarily want to serve in the military, but I want the right to serve. It’s like, I don’t want to go to your baby shower, but I want the invite. But you know, I don’t even think Trump knows what transgender means. He probably thinks transgender people are those cars that turn into robots.” — PATTI HARRISON

Video by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

“First I want to say that there are amazingly brave trans people who should be allowed to serve, like Kristin Beck, a retired Navy SEAL with a purple heart, bronze star and countless service awards. And yet Trump says transgender people in the military would be a tremendous disruption. And I get it: If you constantly draw attention to yourself, spend all day distracting everyone and cost taxpayers millions of dollars, the perfect job for you isn’t the military, it’s the president of the United States.” — PATTI HARRISON

Presidential Wake-Up Call

Trevor Noah, who interviewed two transgender military veterans on Wednesday’s “Daily Show,” said that he had been shaken awake by Mr. Trump’s early announcement.

“That was before 9 a.m.! You know, with Trump as president you don’t even need morning coffee. A little bit of him wakes you right up. And too much makes you [expletive] yourself.” — TREVOR NOAH

Video by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert wondered whether Mr. Trump ought to be deciding who can serve in the military.

“Keep in mind, this is what really stings: They are being rejected by a rich guy who during Vietnam sidestepped the draft with four deferments and a medical disqualification for bone spurs in his foot. I know. But they were manly bone spurs in powerful dude foot — that just got all ouchy when he put it in a boot.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

‘Postcards on Pennsylvania Avenue’

Video by Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee returned to the air on Wednesday, and quickly caught up with her colleagues by taking some opening shots at Anthony Scaramucci, the White House’s new communications director.

“Say goodbye to hedge skulker Sean Spicer, and say hello to hedge-fund manager Anthony Scaramucci, a.k.a. the Mooch, a.k.a. no really, please call me the Mooch, a.k.a. no it’s not a stupid nickname — you’re a stupid nickname!” — SAMANTHA BEE

Mr. Scaramucci this week threatened to fire staff members who leak information to the press, saying that they could end up selling “postcards on Pennsylvania Avenue,” rather than working “in the West Wing.” On “The Late Show,” Mr. Colbert gave some serious thought to those choices.

“Huh. That’s a tough choice. People who sell postcards don’t make much money, but they also rarely get subpoenaed. I’m not sure.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

The Punchiest Punchlines (Magic 8-Ball Edition)

“Another big story is Trump’s feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. When asked what will happen with Sessions, Trump said, ‘Time will tell.’ When asked if he was just stealing lines from his Magic 8-Ball, Trump said, ‘Ask again later.’” — JIMMY FALLON

“To be fair, I think our expectations are a little too high when it comes to wax figures. Because, let’s be honest, they all kind of suck. I mean, look at wax Leonardo DiCaprio. Look at that. It doesn’t look like him — it looks like his character from ‘Titanic’ got fished out of the ocean and then immediately punched by that bear from ‘The Revenant.’” — TREVOR NOAH, referring to protestations about the “whitewashing” of a Beyoncé figure at Madame Tussauds

The Bits Worth Watching

“Will it hot dog?”

Video by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

“I have my issues with your antebellum house elf, but Jefferson Beauregard Antietam Sessions is nothing if not loyal.”

Video by Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

What We’re Excited About on Thursday Night

Ms. Bee will pay Mr. Colbert a visit on “The Late Show” on Thursday. The amount of presidential outrage between them is going to be tremendous.

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