Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of November 28

Some shows remain off this week following the Thanksgiving holiday.  Of this week’s repeats (many of which are not yet announced), you can see Thandie Newton talk playing a robot on Tuesday’s Late Show.  The same night you can see Benedict Cumberbatch’s (who plays a surgeon in Doctor Strange) last appearance with Jimmy Kimmel.

For new content, we start again with Star Talk.  Tonight’s (Monday’s) new episode features Buzz Aldrin.  What more needs be said for you to tune in?

For this week’s new shows we start with Monday’s edition of Ellen, where actor James Marsden was on to discuss being a ‘host’ (android) on the HBO series Westworld.  The rest of the week consists of humans playing a doctor, an engineer and a scientist.  Ken Jeong, who was a practicing medical doctor and plays one on TV, is making the talk show rounds.  He appears on Wednesday’s edition of The Late Late Show and Thursday’s edition of The Talk.  Also on Thursday you can watch Simon Helberg talk with Conan.  He plays an engineer on The Big Bang Theory and the actress playing his scientist wife, Melissa Rauch, is on Friday’s episode of The Talk.

With many of this week’s repeat lineups still a mystery, check this post for any possible late additions.

Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of November 21

The American Thanksgiving prompts most late night shows to take off this week, or at least Friday (and Thursday).  Conan is pre-empted all week, and many shows will be pre-empted on Thursday.

Of this week’s repeats, one is from the various segments from last week that I couldn’t (or didn’t) mention last Monday.  On the November 14th edition of @midnight, the #HashtagWars segment was #ScienceCelebs.  Contestants (and the audience) would suggests celebrity names that have been ‘scienced’ up, such as ‘Bunsen’ Bernie Sanders.  The audience winning entry (announced on the 15th) was Quantum Tarantino.  You can watch the whole episode again on Wednesday’s rerun.  There is censored swearing.

The other reruns of note this week are on Thursday.  Adam Conover’s recent appearance on The Late Show is scheduled.  He hosts a show on TruTV that tests common assumptions about things.  That night on The Late Late Show  you can see Neil deGrasse Tyson’s appearance from September.  Speaking of Tyson, tonight (Monday) on Star Talk is actor Ben Stiller.  At least part of the episode deals with the science of comedy (a topic the show addressed before when Larry Wilmore was the guest).

I was wrong about not including a couple of guests last week.  On the November 14th edition of The Daily Show, both Nate Silver and Adrian Grenier were guests.  Silver was on to try and explain how he really didn’t get things wrong about the election (and host Trevor Noah did try to hold his feet to the fire).  However, Grenier was not on to discuss his acting roles, but his Lonely Whale Foundation, which is focused on education and awareness around the ocean environment.  On Thursday the 17th, both The Late Show and Conan had unexpected science content.  Stephen Colbert welcomed bear expert Jeff Watson.  No bears were shown live in studio, and the segment was – at least for me – focused on the science of bears and bear attacks in a way I didn’t expect.  An excerpt of their conversation is available online.  On the same episode, Colbert discusses President-elect Trump’s prospective climate change policies.

Also of note from last week is Conan O’Brien’s visit to a YouTube Virtual Reality lab.  It aired during his November 17th broadcast.  As is his custom, O’Brien makes it weird and awkward.

There are a couple of new guests to note.  Michael Weatherly is on The Late Show tonight (Monday).  He plays a jury consultant on Bull who uses technology to analyze actual and potential jurors.  On Tuesday Stephen will welcome James Marsden, who is a star of the HBO science fiction show Westworld.  He may or may not play a robot (I’ve not been watching the show)

Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of November 14

There were two guests on The Late Show last week that I should have included.  On November 7th Don Cheadle was on in part to promote his episode of the National Geographic series Years of Living Dangerously.  His episode focuses on the drought in California and how it could be linked to climate change.  On November 10th Thandie Newton, who plays one of the androids on the HBO series Westworld, sat down with Stephen Colbert.  Throw in the one appearance on The Late Show I did note – Neil deGrasse Tyson on the 8th – and it was a strong week, especially in the midst of an election.

A repeat of note this week – Kumail Nanjiani’s October appearance on The Late Late Show will be rebroadcast on Friday.  Nanjiani plays one of the tech company employees featured on Silicon Valley.

I continue to neglect Star Talk, now on Mondays.  Last week’s episode focused on mathematics, with Tyson talking with Jeremy Irons, who played one of the mathematicians in the film The Man Who Knew Infinity.  (Dev Patel stars with Jeremy Irons in the film, and will be a guest on The Late Show Wednesday.  He may or may not discuss that film as he has a new project out soon.)  Tonight’s main guest will be Andy Weir, author of The Martian.  It marks a return engagement, of sorts, as Weir was on a previous episode of Star Talk, (Larry Wilmore was the main guest) though in that case Weir appeared by videoconference.

We start off the week with The Late Show, as Alton Brown is one of Stephen’s guests tonight (Monday).  Brown is the only cooking guest I feature here as he typically includes a demonstration or some other knowledge about food and how to prepare it that is lacking in other food segments.  Brown is touring with his new stage show, so I expect to see a demonstration of some ridiculous cooking apparatus.  Also of note tonight is that Nate Silver will sit down with Trevor Noah for a segment (Adrien Grenier is also a scheduled guest).  Expect Silver to tap dance throughout the segment about how his website still got some things right in predicting the outcome of last week’s election.

On Tuesday CNN medical reporter Sanjay Gupta will appear on Late Night.  Over on Harry, Jeremy Renner will talk up Arrival, where he plays a mathematician trying to figure out the aliens who have arrived on Earth.  Amy Adams will promote the film (where she plays a linguist doing the same thing) Thursday on The Late Show.


Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of November 7

The election will suck much of the joy out of late night programming on Tuesday.  Many programs are in repeats or simply pre-empted.  Stephen Colbert is doing a show on Tuesday, but it is available only on the Showtime cable network.  CBS will air an edited version of the program on Friday.

There is some science-fiction movie promotion going on this week.  Arrival, premiering Friday in the United States, stars Amy Adams as a linguist called on to help figure out what arriving aliens are trying to say.  On Thursday you can start the day with Adams on Live with Kelly and end it with Adams on The Tonight Show.  Jeremy Renner plays a mathematician in the film, and he visit the same shows on Friday.  Passengers is another science fiction film, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as astronauts who have woken early on a sleeper ship.  They will visit Ellen DeGeneres on Thursday.

Wednesday’s a big night for science and technology guests.  Neil deGrasse Tyson visits The Late Show that night, and a little bit later, Alton Brown is on Last Call.  Brown is the only cooking guest I list in these posts because it’s usually a lock you’ll learn something about cooking and/or technology in his segments.  He’s touring the country with a live show and has made noises about developing an online cooking show that is of kindred spirit to his landmark program Good Eats.

In other listings, Ken Jeong, who plays a doctor in Dr. Ken and was a licensed physician, visits with Jimmy Kimmel on a rare non-repeat Friday show (thank the election night pre-emption for that).

There were some items of note last week that I didn’t note in advance.  Bill Maher had President Obama on his latest edition of Real Time.  Genetically modified organisms and climate change were covered during the lengthy conversation, which the show has posted on YouTube.  The Daily Show tackled male sexual health in it’s November 1st edition, and not just the recent reports about a male birth control study that had problems retaining participants.

Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of October 31

Occasionally shows will record interviews and edit them for time (The Daily Show does this a lot).  However, some shows save them for later (this happens often with musical guests).  It’s possible that one such interview might finally come to light this week.  Ron Suskind was booked for The Late Show in July.  A journalist often focused on matters of policy and politics, he is also the father of an autistic child.  Life, Animated is the story of how the Suskind family dealt with their youngest son’s autism and discovered how to engage with him.  Suskind is still telling that story and it’s not clear how that will shake out on Thursday’s edition.  It’s possible that it is a new interview, depending on how much politics was discussed in July.  If the focus was on Suskind’s son, the show may just run the July segment.

There is a repeat of note.  Evan Rachel Wood, one of the android characters on Westworld, was recently on Late Night, and that appearance will air again this Friday.

Back to the rest of this week’s goodness.  StarTalk is *not* on tonight, being pre-empted for the television debut of Before the Flood, a climate change documentary produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.  While today is Halloween, the show did a zombie episode last week, with creator of The Walking Dead (the graphic novels that spawned the television show) Robert Kirkman.  Preview clips have mentioned the CDC zombie preparedness paper, so there will certainly be some public policy discussed.  Next week (November 7) the show returns and will focus on The Man Who Knew Infinity, the 2015 film that chronicles the story of Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.  Jeremy Irons, who plays Ramanujan’s mentor in the film, is the guest.  (The White House recently hosted a discussion on the film.)

Last week I mentioned Bryce Dallas Howard’s role in a recent episode of Black Mirror.  Alice Eve co-stars with Howard in that episode, and she is on The Late Late Show tonight (Monday).  Also today, you might have caught the third appearance by YouTube science experimenter Science C on Harry.  Clearly we can expect to see more from Science C on this show in the future.  And to add to the Halloween goodness, former doctor currently playing one on TV Ken Jeong visited The View today.

Christian Slater, one of the computer hackers on Mr. Robot, is busy with shows this week.  He is the guest co-host on Live with Kelly this Thursday and Friday.  But if you can’t wait until then, you can catch him on Late Night on Wednesday.  And because it’s been just a few weeks since he’s been on somewhere besides The Big Bang Theory, Kunal Nayyar will visit The Talk on Wednesday.

In related news, the forthcoming Netflix show Bill Nye Saves the World finished shooting its first season.

As it won’t air until 2017, you can expect it to be about as topical as StarTalk, rather than another Netflix talk show, Chelsea.

Enjoy your Halloween, everyone.

Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of October 24

A brief note on the dramatic decrease in posts this month.  There have been a combination of outside factors that have limited my posting (including a flood) and it seems likely I will be posting just once or twice a week for a little longer.  Apologies.

This is the biggest list of science and technology guests in recent memory.  It’s certainly my longest post on the subject in a while.  And doesn’t count any of the continued joking about the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

This week’s most tenuous listing may be Mary-Louise Parker’s appearance on The Late Show Thursday.  She stars in a new Broadway play, Heisenberg.  It’s a screwball comedy, which may or may not have some connection to the scientific work of the physicist whose name graces the play.  Given his work on uncertainty, please excuse the meta-ness of it all.

The CBS high-tech hospital drama Pure Genius premieres this week.  Dermot Mulroney plays the lead doctor in the show, which follows a high-tech, high-innovation hospital funded by a tech billionaire.  Mulroney will be on The Late Show on Tuesday, and he will be joined by his co-star Augustus Prew (who plays the tech billionaire) on Thursday’s edition of The Talk.

Adam Conover visits The Late Show tonight (Monday).  He hosts Adam Ruins Everything, a show that digs into ‘hidden secrets’ behind various things.  Some episode focus on science and technology topics, like nutrition and voting.  He will double dip tonight with an appearance on Last Call.  Also on Monday, Evan Rachel Wood visits The Tonight Show.  She plays a cyborg character on Westworld, the HBO series examining life on an adult theme park.  Wood is also on Thursday’s episode of Late Night.

While Nick Offerman may be best known for his acting, he is also an accomplished woodworker, and has a new book out focusing on his woodworking shop and woodwork in general.  He was on The Late Show discussing it on October 18, and will be on Monday’s edition of The Late Late Show promoting it.

Monday is just full of guests, including Bryce Dallas Howard, who visits Conan.  She’s in one of the episodes of the latest series of Black Mirror.  Her episode explores issues around online rating systems.  I really can’t say much more without disclosing plot points.  Howard will also be on Tuesday’s edition of The Talk.

The Daily Show is airing a clip show tonight, probably to give host Trevor Noah additional time to recover from a serious respiratory and ear infection.  But on Wednesday John Dell Volpe, a polling researcher at Harvard’s Institute of Politics is the guest.

Chelsea, available on Netflix, continues to bring on science and technology guests.  In the episode dropping Thursday, host Chelsea Handler talks with genomics pioneer Craig Venter about her genome test.  And if that’s not enough, “Science Bob” Pflugfelder returns to Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday.


Pacifist’s Guide… Sets Cancer Stories To Music

A new U.K. musical is focused on cancer.  Perhaps not the first subject considered for a ‘song-and-dance’ play, A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer examines five stories of cancer and is currently playing at London’s National Theatre through November 29 (H/T New Scientist).

Both the title and the notion of a cancer musical suggest a work that will also explore the meaning of the ‘war on cancer’ metaphor.  And while policy around cancer can be focused on a top-down, 30,000-foot perspective on the disease, individual stories can help provide a different perspective on what it means to fight cancer, and circumstances in which framing the matter as a fight or a war may not be helpful for patients, or for understanding the disease and how it affects those who have it.

But better to let people involved with making the play speak to its subject.

Or maybe you just want to hear some music?