It’s a long post today, as much about last week as this week. Buckle in, everyone.
I have to start with last night (Sunday). The bulk of this week’s edition of Last Week Tonight focused on scientific studies and how the media cover them (or not cover them). There will be swearing, and it’s over 19 minutes, but I encourage you to put on your headphones and watch the segment in full.
On to this week’s listings.
While no shows are off this week, there is a repeat of note. This Friday on Jimmy Kimmel Live you can see Emily Deschanel’s recent appearance. She plays an anthropologist on the TV show Bones. (Yes, Dr. Mehmet Oz is on the show as well, but I’m rarely sold on doctors actually providing science content when appearing on a late night program.)
Tonight (Monday) one of the teams from America’s Greatest Makers will be on Conan. Both programs are on TBS, and there have been several ads for America’s Greatest Makers on the Conan program. The team appearing tonight has advanced to the finals, which should air on May 24. They may provide a demonstration of their product, a tracking device for use in football helmets to give real-time information on concussion-level hits. Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist and adviser to the U.S. Geological Survey, will be on with Conan O’Brien Tuesday night.
Simon Helberg, who plays an engineer on The Big Bang Theory, is busy with promotions this week (he also has a movie coming out later this year). Wednesday he will be a guest on The Late Late Show and Thursday he will be a guest co-host on The Talk.
On Wednesday you can also see Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of numbers site FiveThirtyEight.com, on The Daily Show. You can close the week by catching Silicon Valley actor Zach Woods on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
It was a big week last week in non-guest science and technology content on The Late Show. There were also some guests I missed, only one of them an oversight on my part. Another Silicon Valley actor, Kumail Nanjiani, was a guest on the May 6th episode. Stephen had on Sebastian Stan on May 3, and the two talked about their mutual interest in space during the interview. The May 5th show was chock full of science and technology content, with a segment on astronaut ice cream that involved a high-altitude balloon, and designer Zac Posen talking about a fiber-optic dress he designed for this year’s Met Ball and about fashion’s early connection with computers via the programming of punch cards.
Then there’s Buzz. Second man on the moon Buzz Aldrin was a stealth guest on the May 4th episode. Aldrin gamely participated in a comedy piece about “Moon Scoops.”
May 5th was not just a big night for science and technology on The Late Show. The Nightly Show had another update on the water disaster in Flint, and The Daily Show covered selfies and the problems they can cause.
Finally, Jimmy Kimmel dived into climate change on his May 2nd and 3rd shows. In response to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin promoting an anti-climate science documentary, he used a technique he did last year in talking about vaccinations. He had some climate scientists talk to camera about how they aren’t making this up (this part starts around the 5 minute mark). There is (bleeped) swearing. As he expected, there was some angry feedback, and he read some of it on the air the following night (the same kind of feedback came after the vaccination segment).