Late night shows have long been entertaining couples. Ever since television became popular back in the 50’s and 60’s, the late night format has held on. Even now, cuddling up on the couch before bed, there is always a least one show that will get Matthew and I laughing and, sometimes, thinking too. When Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling’s clever new movie Late Night was released, we decided it would be fun to create a date night kit that took advantage of late night television.
Immediately you might be thinking: “what if we don’t have cable?” or “what if we don’t stay up late?” Don’t worry. Thanks to the modern invention of YouTube (you may have heard of it), access to late night shows is easier than ever, whenever you feel like watching. Not to mention, nowadays there are a ton of late night TV shows to choose from. Some hone in on political issues while others focus more on entertainment news. Many of them include games or segments that keep you coming back for more.
See our recommended late night fare below and scroll to the bottom for a step-by-step run down of this date night, including a free printable or digital date night kit.
For our date night kit, we spun off three games from The Tonight Show: Box of Lies, Best Friend Challenge, and 5 Second Summaries. While we have adapted the rules slightly to accommodate for playing at home, the games are no less entertaining. Above we have posted our favorite examples from each of the games. Between each game, watch a few videos from late night shows of your choosing. You can stream our suggestions from several different late night shows below.
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon gets flack for being too "fluffy” for late night, filling time with celebrity interviews and games instead of thoughtful political satire. While that may be true, his segments get me rolling on the floor sometimes. If you want some light humor and don’t want to be stressed by the topics of today’s news cycle, watch a few of the segments we have selected below, from Mad Lib Theater (where celebrities fill in a Mad Lib script and then perform the scene with Jimmy Fallon) to Bad Signs (where viewers send in photos of botched signs.)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Combatting The Tonight Show for most popular late night show is The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Both funny and challenging, it doesn’t hold back with regards to showcasing the issues. We selected a few tame videos to get you started, but be sure to check out ones on their channel that spark your interest.
The Late Late Show with James Corden
Another show that sticks to the light and funny is The Late Late Show with James Corden. If you are just looking for a few laughs, look no further than his segments of Carpool Karaoke (where he invites famous musicians to jam out in the car with him), Take a Break (where he learns how to work in a variety of different jobs), and Crosswalk the Musical (where he puts on a mini musical in the time it takes to cross the street).
More Late Night Shows
Late night has several shows with a dedicated following, most of which focus less on games and entertainment than politics and news. But that doesn’t make them any less funny. Conan could be the funniest of them all, especially when it comes to interacting with the real staff on his show. He has particular chemistry with producer Jordan Schlansky. John Oliver does mini exposés on a variety of issues, all of which are interesting and funny despite how depressing the subject matter. Trevor Noah has a particular knack for highlighting world news while Seth Meyers (previously on SNL’s “Weekend Update”) and Jimmy Kimmel (more cynical but still funny) tend to stick to the U.S.
Now that you have seen the enormous selection of late night content available to you, it’s time for your date night. We lay it out step-by-step below and give you a list of materials you will need, including our downloadable date night kit.
Late Night Date Night
Time: 1+ hours | Cost: $ | Location: At Home | Level: Easy
Late night shows are great, especially in the day and age of YouTube. Each show breaks its episodes into segments and posts them online so you can watch the bits and pieces you like the best and laugh all the more. On this date, you’ll watch different late night show sketches and play popular games inspired by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Despite the name, you can do this date night kit from home at any time of day.
Printable (or Digital) Invite
Printable (or Digital) Scoreboard & Order of Events
Printable (or Digital) Late Night Games
Streaming Access to Late Night Shows
Snacks and Beverages
Download the free printables below--including the invite, scoreboard, order of events, and three games--and print. Cut out the pieces (we recommend using a portable paper cutter). Otherwise, download the digital date night kit to your tablet. Then, gather your materials.
Deliver the invite to your date. If you’ve printed it out, you could leave it out on the counter one morning, send it via snail mail, pin it to your fridge, or come up with something else creative. If you downloaded the digital date night kit, screenshot the invite to send as a text with a note stating when and where, as well as how excited you are for date night.
When the evening arrives, get out your snacks and beverages. If you want the night to heat up with a little competition, decide on a prize for the winner of the evening (perhaps a special dessert, an exemption from a chore, or a bedroom treat).
Then get going! Alternate funny videos from your favorite late night shows with our play-at-home games. Watch some of the suggested videos above to see our favorites and to get inspired to play the games.
Settle the score on the scoreboard to see who won. If you decided on a prize, deliver it now.
Check back on our blog for your next date night idea! Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on your favorite social channels to keep up with our latest dates.
To use the Printable Date Night Kit, download and print the first PDF file. Using a portable paper cutter or pair of scissors, cut out each of the pieces (besides the photos for the game—keep your eyes off of those!). To use the digital date night kit, open the other PDF file on your phone or tablet. It is best viewed when you download it to your books or PDF reader app.