Meghan Markle and Prince Harry interview: Late night TV reacts

Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Photo by Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images)
Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Photo by Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images) /

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down for a revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey over the weekend, offering a rare look behind the scenes of the British monarchy. Late night TV hosts including Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and James Corden shared their thoughts on Monday night.

The special event interview certainly lived up to the hype. Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, shared her experiences joining the royal family, dealing with attacks from the British tabloids, coping with a lack of support, and defending her son from racist commentary.

Revelations from the interview elicited strong reactions from people in the U.S., Great Britain, and around the world. There was an outpouring of sympathy for Meghan Markle and criticism for Prince Harry’s family.

On Monday night, late night TV monologues weighed in on the interview. Hosts offered their own blend of humor and commentary as they shared their reaction to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert calls Meghan Markle’s interview “shocking” and “heartbreaking”

Stephen Colbert is used to spending his monologues responding to American political scandals. Last night on The Late Show, Colbert admitted he was happy to leave American celebrity culture behind for a night to tune in to Oprah’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Colbert spent about 80% of his monologue reacting to the interview, offering support for Meghan as she detailed the racism she encountered. The late night host wasn’t entirely surprised given the British monarchy’s history.

Colbert’s strongest reaction came in response to Meghan’s story about apparent concerns over her son’s skin tone. She refused to identify who had these conversations with Prince Harry, saying it would be very damaging. Colbert joked “clearly, the last thing Meghan would want to do as she exposes her in-laws as racist, emotionally abusive captors is damage anyone.” He goes on to say that Prince Harry’s characterization of the conversation as “awkward” is an understatement. Instead, Colbert calls it “royally [expletive].”

Jimmy Kimmel was captivated by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview

17 million people in the U.S. watched the primetime interview on Sunday night. It was one of the most-watched television events of the year.

Jimmy Kimmel confessed that he had no interest in watching Meghan Markle and Prince Harry talk with Oprah. But as the Duchess revealed more and more about her life with the royals, Kimmel was hooked.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! was able to use the interview to take another shot at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who is dealing with his scandals here in the United States. He may have been talking about British royalty but Kimmel couldn’t help but remind his audience of the problems at home. The monologue even closed out with Kimmel saying “you know things are bad at Buckingham Palace if they came to America to get away from racism.”

Kimmel spent the opening of his monologue saying that marrying a prince hardly sounds like a fairy tale based on Meghan Markle’s experiences. The late night host went on to joke about Buckingham Palace’s HR department, the lengths the monarchy would go to silence Meghan, and the hypocrisy of worrying about skin color.

James Corden avoids getting into the details of Meghan Markle’s interview

Nobody in late night TV should have a better perspective on the royal family than James Corden. The Late Late Show host is, of course, British but is also friendly with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It was just recently that Corden released one of his show’s most popular videos: a day spent in Los Angeles with Prince Harry. The clip, seen by over 18 million people on YouTube, also featured a cameo by Meghan Markle via FaceTime.

But that friendship may have prevented Corden from giving the Oprah interview the same amount of attention it received from other late night TV hosts. Instead of getting into the details and shocking revelations, Corden’s monologue focused on details about Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding which the comedian attended.

Jimmy Fallon applauded Meghan Markle for her bravery

Jimmy Fallon opened his monologue on Monday night by joking that the royal family is just as messed up as everyone else.

Before getting into any more jokes about the interview, Fallon took a moment to applaud Meghan Markle for her bravery in discussing her mental health. It was a nice gesture by Fallon that emphasized a positive takeaway from the interview rather than just highlighting the more salacious aspects.

Fallon’s take on the interview was to try to relate it more to the stories and headlines in America. The Tonight Show host jokes about Prince Charles on Dr. Phil, compares Meghan and Prince Harry to the stars of WandaVision, imagines an ABC show titled “royal-ish,” and sets up another bombshell interview between Oprah and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.

Amber Ruffin breaks down the Meghan Markle interview in one minute

Late Night with Seth Meyers almost ran out of time before it could react to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview. But writer/performer Amber Ruffin only needed one minute to get her thoughts across to the audience.

Ruffin could have more to say about this story on the next episode of The Amber Ruffin Show. So even if last night’s response was just a preview, it certainly hit the mark:

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Which late night TV host had the best reaction to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.