This past week we went to the daytime for our new science and technology related content. Matthew Gray Gubler was on The Talk April 9th. He plays an F.B.I. agent and behavioral scientist with multiple doctoral degrees on Criminal Minds.
In repeats of note, the April 11 episode of The Late Show re-aired the March 15 episode that opened with a riff on Bill Nye the Science Guy. Commenting on proposed budget cuts to the National Science Foundation and other research agencies, the show brought us Nye’s ‘replacement,’ Ted Rye. Host Stephen Colbert made reference to the cuts in the monologue later in the show.
I’d have mentioned the Ted Rye sketch back in March if I wasn’t so far behind in watching the show. In other Late Show content that fits here, the March 19 edition discussed a recent news article about exposure to space reactivating viruses like herpes. Besides covering it in the monologue, the program opened the show with a Star Trek scenario that addresses such a possibility.
The previous week got me all excited, but I was hoping the crash wasn’t going to be so soon. To butcher the old saying, March went out like a lion for science and technology related content in late night. April…came in like the barest sketch of a lamb.
The best I can come up with is the appearance of Zach Braff on the April 2 edition of The Late Late Show. But that’s for what he used to do – play a doctor on Scrubs, and a podcaster on Alex, Inc. The other ‘used to’ for this post is Sandra Oh. She played a doctor for years on Grey’s Anatomy but is currently getting notice for a different program.
With any luck this week will provide more recent examples to share.
Sure, I’m counting the repeats, but this past week was a welcome break from the relative lack of science and technology guests I’ve noticed over the last two years.
Several programs were in repeats this past week, for either some or all of the week. Repeats of note were all last Friday, March 29. The Tonight Show, reran the recent episode that included writer Malcolm Gladwell. He was on promoting the documentary he was involved with on autonomous cars. Also that night was a February repeat of Late Night with actor Jesse Eisenberg. He was on promoting a heist film that revolved around high-frequency trading. Star Trek: Discovery lead Sonequa Martin-Green (who plays a scientist on the show) was on The Late Late Show in a rerun of her January appearance. And finally, Ellen reran her January episode with the main cast of The Big Bang Theory, many of whom play scientists or engineers on the show.
In new episodes last week, you could have seen Maggie Siff on the Monday edition of The Late Late Show. Her character on Billions is a psychologist. Tuesday marked the return of “Science Bob” Pflugfelder to Jimmy Kimmel Live. On the Wednesday edition of The Daily Show psychology professor Jennifer Eberhardt discussed her recent book on unconscious racial bias.
A rare appearance in these posts of The Tonight Show. Malcolm Gladwell visited the program on March 18, promoting a documentary film called Autonomy. The film focuses on self-driving cars, and Gladwell was an executive producer.
On the March 20 edition of Full Frontal, Sasheer Zameta presented a segment on Afrofuturism and technology’s racial bias.
Regrettably, recent events have kept me way behind on watching the late night programs. Here are some recent clips worth passing along.
The late February news about climate change doubter William Happer being appointed to a presidential panel on climate change sparked some late night comments. The Daily Show addressed it on February 21st (along with news about Google ‘inadvertently’ spying on its customers and new foldable smartphones)
The Late Show mentioned the appointment twice during its February 22nd episode. Once in the cold open and again during the monologue. And the show touched on the current state of the debate over renaming non-dairy ‘milks’ during its Meanwhile… segment.
Finally, Lewis Black had a few choice words for those who choose not to vaccinate on the February 27 edition of The Daily Show. Given the recent outbreaks in the U.S., I can empathize with him.
A bit of a curveball this week. The Hummingbird Project is a recent release in the United States that focuses on high-frequency trading. While that’s the core of what is essentially a heist movie, it certainly qualifies as a project worth noting in these posts. Jesse Eisenberg, one of the leads, was on with Seth Meyers on March 11 to promote the film.
That same night, Freddie Highmore was on The Tonight Show. He plays an autistic savant doctor and title character on The Good Doctor.
I’ll start with a rare mention of a politician on The View. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who is running for President on a single issue campaign over climate change, was on the March 4 edition of the program.
The next day saw Chiwetel Ejiofor visit The Late Late Show, where he discussed his directorial debut, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. The film covers the story of William Kamkwamba, a young man who led his village in building a wind turbine.
Finally, on March 7, Jason George visited Jimmy Kimmel Live. He is on the firefighter show Station 19. He plays a former doctor turned firefighter on the show.
It’s now almost surprising when I have items of substance to pass along here. But this week I can do more than just post about those who play doctors on TV (Ellen Pompeo from Grey’s Anatomy was on Jimmy Kimmel Live on February 28).
Chiwetel Ejiofor is an actor who recently completed his first feature as a director. It’s an adaptation of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the story of a young Malawi boy who built a wind turbine for his village. Ejiofor was on The Daily Show on February 25th. The boy who built the windmill, William Kamkwamba, was featured on this blog back in 2009.
I’ll close with the March 1 edition of The Talk, which featured an actor from Star Trek: Discovery who plays a scientist. Ethan Peck was on the program, and he plays Spock on the CBS All Access show (available on Netflix elsewhere in the world).