Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of December 12

We have not yet entered the Christmas break for various shows.  Listings here might increase next week with the December 21 release of Passengers, a science fiction film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as passengers on a sleeper ship that wake up decades ahead of schedule.  Lawrence will appear with Jimmy Kimmel tonight (Monday) with James Corden on Tuesday, and on the episode of Chelsea released on Friday.  Pratt can be seen with Corden tonight (Monday) and on Tuesday’s edition of Conan.

Tonight’s (Monday’s) episode of Star Talk features comedian and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno.  Leno also hosts a car show online and on CNBC called Jay Leno’s Garage.  Tyson is featured on that show this week (which airs on Wednesday’s) when the two drive a jet propelled car.  Cars and comedy will be themes in tonight’s Star Talk episode.

The big news is that The White Rabbit Project is now available on Netflix.  Hosted by Kari Byron, Tori Belleci and Grant Imahara (the MythBusters Build Team), the show takes deep dives into various topics like jailbreaks.  They are ranked (which raises the same kinds of questions and challenges that faced Craig Ferguson’s Join or Die program on The History Channel).  I have not yet watched the show, but the hosts have been making the rounds, and will appear really late Tuesday on Last Call with Carson Daly.  You can watch all of this season’s episodes now via Netflix.

In related MythBusters news, Science Channel has announced the premiere for MythBusters: The Search, a reality competition show that will somehow find the next hosts of a new version of MythBustersThe Search premieres on January 7, probably the last day of the now annual MythBusters mega-marathon (which starts December 23).

This is actually a pretty active week, because there’s more.  Mr. Robot star Rami Malek is visiting Jimmy Kimmel Tuesday and Jim Parsons is on with Ellen this Friday.  Parsons plays a scientist on The Big Bang Theory, but he is also in the upcoming film Hidden Figures.  This film follows the efforts of several of NASA’s human computers, many of them African-American women, as they work on the early space missions.

I’m a bit behind on some of the late night programs, but I must note that during Vice President Joe Biden’s December 6 appearance on The Late Show, he talked about the 21st Century Cures act (not yet signed by the President at the time of the taping) and the Cancer Moonshot.  Colbert lets the Vice President just talk, probably out of a combination of deference and a relative lack of knowledge on either topic.

There were also two series that have featured science and technology topics as part of episode plots.  The Supergirl episode “Changing” featured a climate change researcher as a key character (and much more will be spoiling things).  As is often the case, Elementary has used science, technology, and practitioners of both as key drivers of its stories.  In the current season the strongest example of this is the episode “Henny Penny the Sky is Falling” which concerns asteroid research.


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