Late night TV explains the GameStop, Reddit, and Wall Street story

GameStop in New York City (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
GameStop in New York City (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) /

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, chances are you have heard a lot about GameStop, Reddit, and Wall Street. For those out of the loop or struggling to keep up, late night TV did its best to explain last night.

Stock prices for the video game retailer have increased by as much as 700% over the past few weeks. The surge is thanks to amateur investors coordinating through WallStreetBets, a discussion board on Reddit.

The jump in price was catastrophic for hedge funds attempting to short sell GameStop stock by betting that the company would be bankrupt sooner than later. The saga gained more attention when trading app Robinhood halted purchases of GameStop, drawing criticism from politicians and the public.

It can all be very complicated to follow if you’re unfamiliar with the stock market and terms like “short squeeze.” It is even more complicated if you’re unfamiliar with Reddit.

Last night on late night TV, hosts tried to break it all down for viewers. Some couldn’t help but smile at seeing millionaire and billionaire investors beat at their own game.

Stephen Colbert says Redditors used GameStop to spank Wall Street

Stephen Colbert was among those who had no sympathy for the hedge funds that lost big on GameStop. Last night on The Late Show, Colbert’s monologue offered a quick synopsis of the story before taking a few shots at Wall Street.

Colbert sides with the Redditors at WallStreetBets and the GameStop fans of the world in pushing back against what he calls “hedge fund bros.” In response for Wall Street crying foul and asking for help, Colbert says:

"Oh, you’re all for unfair capitalism unless you lose? Come on guys, there’s no manipulation. It’s just the invisible hand of the market extending you an invisible middle finger. But don’t worry, hedge fund managers. I’m sure, over time, all the money these Redditors accumlate will eventually trickle down to you."

Jimmy Kimmel called in an expert to break down the GameStop saga

Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue last night closed out with the GameStop story. Kimmel did his best to come up with an analogy to explain the situation but it may have gotten away from him a bit. Bascially, Kimmel compared GameStop to a high school movie where football players bet that the weird girl will never become prom queen so the nerds use a computer to make the weird girl prom queen.

If that didn’t exactly clarify things for you, Kimmel took things one step further. He invited a video game expert on to the show for a better(?) explanation:

Maybe a video game character from 1981 wasn’t the best choice to explain a story about Reddit, short sales, and hedge funds. Then there is the whole Italian stereotype concern that Kimmel brings up.

James Corden is pretty sure he understands what’s going on with GameStop

Nobody in late night TV summed up just how confusing this story can be for outsiders as well as James Corden did. The Late Late Show tried to put up the facade of understanding it all but it was clear that Corden, Reggie Watts, and everyone else was just as out of the loop as many others trying to keep up with the story.

Even a very simplified explanation didn’t help Corden. He admitted that he was even more confused about the intricacies of the stock market. But if the experts say that it cost hedge funds billions of dollars, that’s all Corden needed to hear.

The story also gave The Late Late Show a reason to talk about Ja Rule. The rapper blasted Robinhood on Twitter and in return, got roasted by Corden with a Fyre Festival joke.

Trevor Noah called out the hypocrisy exposed by GameStop’s stock price

The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah also wasn’t shedding any tears for hedge fund managers. Sticking up for the average investor, Noah called out the hypocrisy coming from Wall Street billionaires complaining about GameStop:

Noah points out that almost nobody is taking the side of Wall Street and Robinhood. It even got Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ted Cruz to agree on an issue. Noah echoes James Corden by joking that if Ja Rule of Fyre Festival infamy thinks you’re doing something shady, then you really must be doing something wrong.

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Did late night TV help you understand the GameStop story? Which host had the best jokes? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.