On Wednesday, Amazon officially announced its purchase of the legendary Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), the 97-year-old home of such classic films as Legally Blonde, Thelma & Louise and the Rocky movies.
The purchase of one of Hollywood’s golden-age studios is “such a billionaire move”, said Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night. “Next [Jeff Bezos] is going to buy Kellogg’s just so he can make the MGM lion fight Tony the Tiger.”
The $8.45bn deal – more than 40% more than other prospective buyers, including Apple and Comcast, thought the studio was worth – secures Amazon a treasure trove of IP, including the James Bond franchise. “First up, changing Die Another Day to Die in Two Days Free with Amazon Prime,” Colbert joked.
“Why would one of the world’s richest men pay almost twice the value for a struggling movie studio that recently went bankrupt?” the Late Show host continued. “Well, it could be that Jeff Bezos has an ongoing feud with the former president” and MGM owns all the outtakes of The Apprentice, Donald Trump’s 2000s reality show that aired on NBC.
“Holy mother of DVD extras!” Colbert exclaimed. “The private footage of a TV billionaire is going to belong to an actual billionaire!
“You see, for years, there have been allegations of outtakes from The Apprentice where ‘the slobfather’ uses racist language,” Colbert continued. Or, to quote Tom Arnold, who claimed in 2016 to have seen the outtakes personally, Trump said “every dirty, every offensive, racist thing ever”.
“So, on brand,” Colbert said. “And if this is true, someday soon Bezos may release the most racist thing in the MGM catalog – other than Gone With the Wind.”
In Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel discussed a law signed by Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, this week which would fine social media companies for removing or censoring anyone running for office in the state.
“According to this law – which they know won’t hold up – banning a candidate from your platform will result in fines of up to $250,000 a day,” Kimmel explained. “Gee, I wonder who lives in Florida and is banned from Twitter and may have had a tiny hand in this?”
Though DeSantis claimed in a press conference that the law was “for every Floridian”, he showed his hand with a factually inaccurate rant about Twitter’s ban of Trump after he incited the 6 January attack on the Capitol – “when you deplatform the president of the United States but you let Ayatollah Khomeini talk about killing Jews, that is wrong,” said DeSantis.
“The ayatollah died in 1989, by the way, 17 years before Twitter,” Kimmel corrected. “But we get it, Ron. You know how when you go on a road trip and you have to stop to pee at some like sketchy gas station in the middle of nowhere and the toilet seat has like a swastika carved into it for some reason? And you think, ‘Why would anyone take the time to carve anything into toilet seat, let alone something horrible like a swastika?’ Anyway, Florida is that toilet seat.”
And on Late Night, Seth Meyers celebrated another pandemic milestone: the US has officially vaccinated half its adult population. “And they expect that by the end of September, they will have vaccinated the other 7 or 8%,” he joked.
In other news, Joe Biden is expected to meet with Putin next month in Switzerland for their first in-person summit. “I just hope it doesn’t come down to a staring contest,” said Meyers, “because both of those guys have had a lot of Botox, could be a long one.”
And Google announced it will open its first brick-and-mortar retail store in New York this summer, “although it will be weird to ask a salesperson a question and get 1.3m answers”, Meyers quipped.