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Stephen Colbert Is Not Asking the Russians to Help Him Become President


Stephen Colbert returned to the air after spending much of last week in Russia.


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.

Back From Russia, With No Love Lost

Stephen Colbert said he was glad to be back from Russia, where he spent four days taping what will be a week’s worth of “Late Show” episodes. While he was there, he announced on a Russian talk show that he was considering running for president in 2020.

“I thought it would be better to cut out the middleman and just tell the Russians myself,” he said in that interview. “If anyone would like to work on my campaign in an unofficial capacity, please just let me know.” But on Monday, he offered a slight clarification.

“To be clear, all I said in the clip there is that I was considering a run. If I decide to run, obviously I’m not going to ask the Russians to help my campaign. I’d have my son-in-law ask them.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

Video by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Mr. Colbert also responded to a tweet President Trump posted Monday, in which he said he deserved an apology from those who had accused his campaign of colluding with Russia.

“I’m a big enough man to apologize, and I think I speak for the majority of Americans when I say: I’m sorry you’re president.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

‘Two People Not Doing Their Jobs’

Video by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Mr. Colbert said he saw little difference between how Russian leaders dealt with the news media and how the Trump administration did. He was particularly bothered by news that the White House continued to ban the airing of its press briefings.

“Spicer banned cameras from last week’s briefings, and then banned them again today. Evidently, while I was in Russia we turned into Russia.” — STEPHEN COLBERT, referring to Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary

“With cameras banned from the briefing, CNN sent a courtroom sketch artist to cover Spicer’s briefing. Something tells me it won’t be the last member of the Trump administration we see in a courtroom sketch.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

“On the right side, you can see the artist even included a drawing of the cameraman who was not allowed to film this press conference. So counting Sean, that’s a sketch of two people not doing their jobs.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

Seth Meyers on Senate Republicans’ Health Care Bill

Video by Late Night With Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers took a look at Republican senators’ new health care bill, which the Congressional Budget Office on Monday estimated would cause 22 million people to lose their health insurance.

“I think I’m starting to see a pattern here, because if you recall, the first version of the House health care bill was projected to leave 24 million uninsured, the second version of the House bill left 23 million uninsured, and now this Senate bill leaves 22 million uninsured. So basically Republicans are just 21 drafts away from breaking even. Republicans take more missed shots than Shaquille O’Neal.” — SETH MEYERS

And Mr. Meyers wasn’t impressed with the Republicans’ explanations of why the bill should pass.

“Nobody spins like Kellyanne Conway: We don’t see them as cuts. We see them as reverse-increases — and we’re gonna give so many reverse-increases to Medicaid that Americans will have more none of it than they’ve ever had before!” — SETH MEYERS

The Punchiest Punchlines (Third Marriage Edition)

Video by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

“Yesterday President Trump said that Obama copied him by calling the Republican health care bill ‘mean.’ And then Obama said Trump copied him by spending the last six months doing nothing.” — JIMMY FALLON

“Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin got married this weekend for the third time. And the wedding was officiated by Vice President Mike Pence. Because if there’s one thing Mike Pence stands for, it’s the sanctity of a third marriage.” — SETH MEYERS

“A new study found that people who have sex more frequently experienced improved brain function as they got older. So who knows, maybe he will solve climate change.” — SETH MEYERS, showing a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio

The Bits Worth Watching

Could Jimmy Fallon pull off an upset victory in the “Name That Song Challenge” against an 11-time Grammy winner?

Video by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Mr. Colbert probably wouldn’t make the best spy.

Video by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

What We’re Excited About on Tuesday Night

Video by The Ellen Show

On Tuesday, Jimmy Fallon will talk to Steve Carell, who’s promoting the new film “Despicable Me 3” — but has been getting more attention online for his newfound status as a silver fox.

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Thom Yorke of Radiohead in the 1990s.

Scarlet Page/Camera Press, via Redux

Play around with this interactive feature, which lets you hear each track from Radiohead’s landmark album “OK Computer” alongside some of the music that inspired it — and songs that drew upon its influence.

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