Behind the Photo: The ‘Vanity Fair’ Men of Better-Than-Ever Late Night at Their Most Uncensored

Vanity Fair

The October 2015 issue of Vanity Fair has a story titled “Why Late-Night Television Is Better than Ever.” The piece highlights 10 humans, who — as the title suggests — are responsible for late-night television being better than ever. The 10 humans are Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Trevor Noah, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Larry Wilmore, Jimmy Fallon, and Bill Maher.

The article has words, but atop those words is a photo of the 10 men, all wearing suits together, and looking very much like 10 men in suits enjoying being 10 men in suits.


The following exchange is not in the article, but is the conversation that preceded the shoot, probably. It’s our best guess.


Fallon: “Wait, where’s my glass? Why don’t I have a drink? Even that guy Corben has a juice box, WTF.”

Kimmel: “Fuck you, Fallon.”

Corden: “Hey, guys, I’m James. And it’s James CORDEN, with a d. Didn’t really get to introduce myself the past few times.”

Maher: “Nice to meet you, James. Why are you wearing a suit like the rest of us? People are going to think you’re a late-night TV host.” [Runs over to Kimmel; they chest bump.]

Conan: “Not to be that guy again, but isn’t it weird it’s just 10 guys here? All dudes, again.”

Kimmel: “Fuck you, Conan.”

Conan: “I’m just saying, I feel like this group is going to be problematic if it gets out.”

Colbert: “Conan’s right. Ten white dudes is just not going to go over well.”

Wilmore: “Ummmmm, hi?” [Looks at Trevor Noah; Noah looks away, grabs phone, texts Wilmore: “Don’t fuck this up for me, this is my first meeting.”]

Colbert: “Sorry, Larry. I didn’t see you. You know I love you, man. And loving the new show.

Oliver: “Can we get this shoot over with? I actually have a good show to work on.”

Kimmel: “Fuck you, Oliver.”

Oliver: “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Roger Federer? That’s not even an insult, just a question.”

Kimmel: “Yes. Yes, they have.”

Fallon: “Seriously, why don’t I have a drink? WHY WOULD NINE OUT OF 10 PEOPLE HAVE A DRINK AND I NOT HAVE A DRINK? Is it because of my hand? Get me a juice box like Corben, that looks fun!”

Maher: “That was impressive stuff, Other Jimmy. You didn’t break out into laughter or giggle once through that bit. To Jimmy Fallon!” [The other nine men toast with their drinks.]

Conan: “I can’t lie, I love you guys. This is the best part of my week, every week.”

Noah: “This happens every week?”

Fallon: “Absolutely. Tuesdays at 6 a.m. Welcome. It’s kind of like that movie The Skulls, but no one dies at the end.”


Maher: “Was that a reference to your show, Seth?”

Oliver: “Bill, stop. We talked about this.”

Seth: “Thanks, John. At least someone here isn’t a complete ass.”

Oliver: “But seriously, Seth, was that a reference to your show?”

Colbert: “Cot DAMN, SETH, how does John Oliver’s ass taste, Larry?”

Wilmore: “What? I wasn’t even speaking, that was Seth.”

Colbert: “Not important. What matters is your show, which I DVR and watch twice, every day, and can’t get enough of.”

Noah: “At what point do we let a photographer come in to take our picture?”

Corden: “We shoot the shit about being men for about three hours, and then they take a picture, and then we leave.”

Maher: “What’s more rare: two blacks or two gingers in the same room?”

Conan: “Can I leave before the punch line?”

Maher: “Neither. ONE WOMAN.”

Kimmel: “Wow, that actually wasn’t offensive. Cheers to you, Bill.”

Colbert: “Kind of reminds me of my writers’ room. Only two away — I’m so CLOSE.

Fallon: “You’ll get there, baby. We all will.”

[A photographer walks in, takes one picture on an iPhone, leaves 30 seconds later.]

Oliver: “Anyone have anything else? I really need to go make another really good episode of television.”

Colbert: “I have one final thing.”

Kimmel: “Please make this quick.”

Colbert: “How come they haven’t replaced my show?”

Wilmore: “Are you serious right now?”

Colbert: “I am so dumb — blame it on the Bulleit, as they say. Larry, I mean this from the bottom of my heart: I love Black-ish.

Wilmore: “That’s not my show anymore. I have my own show. It’s in the exact spot of your old show, on the same network. And people like it. STOP ACTING LIKE THEY RETIRED YOUR TIME SLOT.”

Colbert: “Sure thing, Larry. You’re my best friend, love ya.”

Filed Under: TV, vanity fair, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, stephen colbert, James Corden, Larry Wilmore, Trevor Noah, john oliver, Bill Maher, Seth Meyers

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert