Don Lemon Fires Back at Stephen Colbert ... Over 'Hoodie' Suit on CNN

Don Lemon didn't appreciate Stephen Colbert mocking him over the fact he dressed down on the job ... responding by comparing himself to Zelensky, Obama and Trayvon Martin.

The news anchor -- who now heads up the morning time slot on a new show called 'CNN This Morning' -- appeared genuinely hurt that the 'Late Show' host went in on him on national TV Thursday night ... making fun of a hoodie-suit DL wore that morning on the air.

"WHAT THE F*** IS THAT?!"
CBS

Colbert was pretty forceful in his joking about Don's wardrobe choice, saying ... "As a wise man once said, 'What the f*** is that?'" He continued to poke fun at Don, and told him he had some explaining to do -- this while he was in the middle of an interview with a guest.

Welp, Don wasn't really in a laughing mood about this. Instead, he took a much more serious tone in firing back -- saying he believes SC showed his true colors here ... and then launched into a soliloquy about how conventional dress code standards have changed.

heat over a hoodie???
CNN

He says the pandemic has flipped work attire on its head, while noting he'd been asked by his bosses at CNN to have fun and be more causal -- which his Thursday outfit definitely was. Then, Don name-dropped the above-mentioned individuals ... watch for yourself.

It's an interesting convo. While Colbert appeared to talking in jest, Lemon seems to think there's more behind his chiding. Also, we might see DL rock the hoodie again after this.👀

Prince Harry Fans Enraged Harry Was 'Late Show' No-Show ... Pre-taped for 'Security Reasons'

Prince Harry left some fans fuming after they went to see his much-anticipated Tuesday appearance on 'The Late Show' ... but got nothing.

The Duke of Sussex was supposed to sit down with host Stephen Colbert before a live studio audience, the Daily Mail reported. But, Colbert told the crowd they would NOT get to see the royal in the flesh for security reasons. It was pre-taped with a different live audience.

There was no explanation for the security concerns and Harry was met with major backlash. Interesting, though ... Obama was on Colbert's show in 2016 with a live audience, while he was a sitting President.

A furious fan reportedly barked, "Security issues? Really? It's not like he's Prince William or anything – he's not properly in line to the throne."

Another fumed, "Who is trying to kill Harry? I've been to a lot of these and this has never happened. I'm really surprised."

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Other people summed it up this way, "F*** Prince Harry," as they exited the Ed Sullivan theater in NYC, where Colbert shoots his show.

One woman, who had traveled from far away, was clearly disappointed, saying it "wasn't worth waiting an hour in the cold for [Harry]" and "who needs Prince Harry anyway?"

Despite all the drama, Harry's interview with Colbert was broadcast Tuesday night as part of his media blitz for his just-released memoir, "Spare," about his life in the monarchy. Among the topics, Harry discussed with Colbert was the death of his mother -- Princess Diana -- and his tattered relationship with his brother, Prince William. One light moment came when Harry shared a glass of tequila with Colbert.

Harry says the Royals have been trying to torpedo his book with the help of the media. It doesn't seem the media needs the prompting of the royal fam to form opinions about him -- positive or negative.

James Corden Restaurant Owner Feels Bad For Drama ... After Blasting Him Online

The New York City restaurant owner who dragged James Corden for his rude behavior is feelin' bad for the talk show host ... even though he's the one who sparked the backlash Corden might be feeling.

Keith McNally, owner of Balthazar in SoHo, took to Instagram Tuesday night ... posting a pic with his daughter and her friend at his restaurant -- no big deal -- but his caption is what sounds odd.

He says he feels strange about "the James Corden thing" ... weighing both sides of the issue -- "he was definitely abusive to my staff, on the other hand, I feel really sorry for him right now. Like most cowards I want it both ways."

He ends his introspective rant with, "F*** it, I’m going to get drunk."

😂 Wow! Dr. Jekyll, meet Mr. Hyde much? Of course, McNally's remorse comes after he lifted Corden's ban from the restaurant.

The Internet seems to be torn over the whole ordeal ... with some defending McNally in his comments for defending his staff -- while others are seeing this as just a way for him to fill seats.

HIGHS, LOWS AND LOVES

Some other famous NYC restaurateurs have even vouched for Corden.

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As we reported, McNally claimed Corden was incredibly abusive to his staff on at least 2 occasions while eating there -- so much so, in fact, he felt compelled to out him publicly ... something that's almost never done by high-end restaurant owners.

James Corden Apologizes for Going Nuclear on Waiter ... Restaurant Ban Lifted

UPDATE

9:18 PM PT -- The ban has been lifted ... McNally says Corden called him Monday, apologizing profusely. McNally also joked, saying Corden can make things right by allowing him to host his show for the next 9 months.

James Corden might be Mr. Nice Guy on camera -- but, according to one restaurant owner, the dude's been incredibly nasty on more than one occasion while dining.

The 'Late, Late Show' host was in the crosshairs of restaurateur Keith McNally -- who owns the highly acclaimed Balthazar in NYC, and who went on the attack Monday on IG ... calling JC a "cretin of a man" for what he claims was abhorrent behavior at his establishment.

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McNally alleges that James was incredibly abusive to his staff on at least two occasions while eating there -- so much so, in fact, he felt compelled to out him publicly ... something that's almost never done by high-end restaurant owners.

The guy details two alleged incidents in which he says James lost his cool to the point of absurdity. In one alleged instance, McNally says James demanded two free rounds of drinks for him and his friends after he presented a hair that was found on his food.

McNally claims James said, "Get us another round of drinks this second. And also take care of all of our drinks so far," adding, "This way I (won't) write any nasty reviews in Yelp or anything like that."

In another alleged episode, McNally claims James went even crazier on employees. He alleges James flipped out when an egg yolk omelette his wife had ordered was found to have a little egg white in it. McNally says James told the staff, who remade it ... but mistakenly sent it back out with fries instead of a salad like his wife had initially asked.

McNally claims James went ballistic, allegedly tearing into the waiter and saying they couldn't do their jobs -- and even allegedly suggesting he go back into the kitchen to cook it himself.

Corden has now been banned from Balthazar.

DINING DISASTER

James -- a big-time foodie -- was apparently able to be appeased in the end, McNally claims, but he goes on to allege James has acted similarly at another restaurant of his as well in the city.

We've reached out to James' camp for comment ... so far, no word back.

Originally Published -- 1:30 PM PT

Stephen Colbert My Staff IS Guilty ... Of Puppetry in D.C., Not Insurrection!!!

CAPITOL CHAOS
CBS

Stephen Colbert totally gets why his staffers, including Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, now have rap sheets with Capitol Police ... but he's really amused they're being compared to the Jan. 6th insurrectionists.

Colbert dove into the big story around his office during Monday night's episode of 'The Late Show' ... explaining everything that led up to the big bust in Washington. As we reported, cops busted 9 of his staffers -- including Robert Smigel, who typically has his hand up Triumph's ass -- while they were recording bits Thursday evening in the hallways of Congressional offices.

Doesn't sound like SC holds any grudges ... as he put it, the CPD officers were just doing their jobs, and so were my staff -- and he even acknowledged the fact Capitol Police have to be a bit more on edge since Jan. 6, 2021.

But, he says the whole story went haywire for him when he started seeing headlines about Triumph pulling off a Capitol insurrection 2.0!

While laughing, but also genuinely shocked, he points out ... "An insurrection involves interrupting the lawful action of Congress and howling for the blood of elected leaders, all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power."

He added all Triumph and co. were doing was "First-degree puppetry!!! This was hijinks with intent to goof." Hilariously, he admits cops should ring them up on charges for "Misappropriation of an old Conan [O'Brien] bit."

The 'Late Show' staff had been shooting outside the offices of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Lauren Boebert -- and cops say they didn't have proper ID to be there on their own.

Colbert hasn't revealed the footage yet -- maybe it's in police custody -- but you can bet he's gonna have a field day with it when the time's right.

Bill Clinton Yep, I Sent Officials to Area 51 in Search of Aliens

Former President Bill Clinton made a pretty stunning and important revelation ... he said during his time in office he sent federal agents to Area 51 in Nevada to find if aliens were among us.

Clinton told James Corden on 'Late Late Show' ... he and Chief of Staff John Podesta "sent people to Area 51 to make sure there were no aliens." He also said he wanted a full briefing on Roswell.

Among the folks, Clinton sent to the Nevada site which has been shrouded in mystery for decades ... National Security Advisor Sandy Berger.

The ex-Prez said, "I said we got to find out how we're going to deal with this because that's where we do a lot of our invisibility research in terms of technology, like how we fly airplanes that aren't picked up by radar and all that. So that's why they're so secretive."

And, then he gave his conclusion, with an asterisk ... "But there's no aliens that I know [of]."

But, there's this ... he says he's been told by credible astronomers there's up to a 95% chance there's life outside our solar system.

Here's the thing ... the Pentagon has finally cracked open the door and admitted there are more than 140 sightings they've analyzed and cannot explain, and some of them defy human technology. Congress has held hearings, although the effort was anemic and lots of people still believe our government is hiding vital information that, at the very least, could be a national security risk to our military planes and warships.

BTW ... TMZ produced a special on UFOs that is available on Hulu. Some of the folks featured in the doc are former government and military officials with some pretty startling information.

'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Staffers Arrested at Capitol ... Robert Smigel Among Them

UPDATE

6:58 PM PT -- Reps for CBS tell TMZ ... "On Wednesday, June 15 and Thursday, June 16, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was on-site at the Capitol with a production team to record interviews for a comedy segment on behalf of 'The Late Show.'"

UPDATE

"Their interviews at the Capitol were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed."

UPDATE

"After leaving the members’ offices on their last interview of the day, the production team stayed to film stand-ups and other final comedy elements in the halls when they were detained by Capitol Police."

Several staffers from Stephen Colbert's late night CBS talk show got busted at the U.S. Capitol ... after they allegedly made an unlawful entry into the building.

Robert Smigel, the voice of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, was among the 9 people arrested by U.S. Capitol Police and charged with illegal entry ... according to Fox News.

The "Late Show With Stephen Colbert" staffers were arrested after taking pictures and videos near the offices of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Lauren Boebert.

Capitol police say the building was closed to visitors Thursday night, and the staffers were there without the proper ID and were on their own.

What's more, USCP says the same group was booted from Capitol earlier in the day during the Jan. 6 committee hearings.

The incident remains under investigations and USCP says the 'Colbert' staffers could face additional criminal charges.

Originally Published -- 6:29 PM PT

James Corden Addresses 'Late Late' Leave in Emotional Monologue

MOVING ON
CBS

James Corden delivered a tearful monologue Thursday night on "The Late Late Show," talking about the beginning of the end of his long-running show.

James got his audience excited, telling them he signed a new contract, before flipping to the bad side of that coin -- as we reported, it'll be his final year with James at the helm.

While fighting back tears, he said the show changed his life ... he never saw a talk show as a final destination for him, and believes next year will be a great time for him to move on.

This is one of the hardest decisions James has had to make ... but he reassured the crowd the end is farther away than it feels -- the 'Late Late' team is determined to make this the best year they've ever had.

As we reported, James announced his departure hours before his show. He confessed leaving had been on his mind for a while -- CBS honchos were gunning for a 3-year extension on his contract, but the host agreed to only 1.

Following his announcement, Corden's fellow late-night star, Stephen Colbert, gave his comrade a sweet send-off on Twitter, while joking about his next onscreen job.

James Corden Goodbye 'Late Late Show'

James Corden is saying goodbye to "The Late Late Show" in 2023 ... quite the shock since the show has been hugely popular for CBS.

James said the departure has been on his mind for a while, according to Deadline. He always thought he'd do the show for 5 years and then pass the torch to someone else, but he just kept cranking. When he pulls the plug, he'll have hosted for nearly 9 years.

The show has actually been more successful on YouTube than on the network. His 'Carpool Karaoke' with Adele racked up more than 250 million views. The romp with One Direction scored 189 million views. The show's YouTube page has more than 10 BILLION views with 27 million subscribers.

CBS honchos didn't let James go without a fight. They were gunning for a 3-year extension on his contract, but Corden agreed to only one year.

JC says there are things he'd like to accomplish post-exit, like writing. He also gives thanks to his crew for being some of the most talented people he's ever met.

CBS President and CEO, George Cheeks, is singing Corden's praises, saying he took TV by storm ... and his unique segments like 'Carpool Karaoke' and 'Crosswalk the Musical' reimagined what the late-night format could bring to a modern audience.

He's given his staff plenty of heads-up before the show comes to an end -- they've got around 200 more episodes to knock out before their finale next year.

Conan O'Brien I'd Like to Thank the Academy!!! ... For An Award I Had Nothing to do With

PARTY CRASHER
CBS

Conan O'Brien stole the show Sunday night, barreling down the aisle to celebrate Stephen Colbert's Emmy win for Outstanding Variety Special ... thing is, Conan had nothing to do with it!

The famous stage crasher was beside himself with joy -- bear hugging Colbert. As Colbert gave his acceptance speech, Conan was effusive, prompting Colbert to quip, "And all of these people behind me, most of these people behind me ... most of the people behind me really deserve this Emmy right now."

Well, maybe this was all an act, because Colbert said backstage, "I said 'why don't you come on stage with us if we win?' We love Conan. We're honored to be superfans of Conan O'Brien."

And, that wasn't the end ... as the Academy Prez, Frank Scherma, said a few words to the crowd, Conan was back in fine form, saluting him with audible approval.

Well, if it was really staged, it was executed pretty brilliantly. It had shades of Kanye West hijacking Taylor Swift's VMA win back in 2009.

Famous Wildlife Expert Jim Fowler Dead at 89

Jim Fowler -- the famous zoologist who made tons of appearances alongside Johnny Carson on the 'Tonight Show' and made a cameo on "Seinfeld" -- has died.

The longtime co-host of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" died Wednesday at his home in Norwalk, Connecticut ... according to his family. The cause of death is unclear.

Fowler worked at a raptor sanctuary in Florida before landing his show 'Wild Kingdom' in 1963 ... co-hosting with fellow zoologist Marlin Perkins before going solo from 1985 to 1988. The show was later revived in 2002 and it aired until 2011.

Fowler, of course, appeared in over 100 episodes alongside Johnny Carson and also served as a wildlife correspondent for 'Today.' Fowler and Carson were tight ... to the point both families all went on a vacation to Africa after the 'Tonight' host retired.

Fowler was huge in the bird world ... becoming the first man to successfully trap a harpy eagle and bring it back alive in the U.S.

"Seinfeld" fans will remember him for his appearance on season 9 of the hit series ... "The Merv Griffin Show" episode. Kramer invited Fowler for his animals segment of the show. Fowler brings a hawk which hilariously attacked George Costanza, who was holding a squirrel.

Fowler was born in 1930 in Albany, Georgia. He was a standout baseball player who fielded offers from the Yankees and Phillies. Fowler was also rather tall ... standing an intimidating 6-foot-6.

But, he was a big softy when it came to all animals. The "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" wrote on its page Fowler's mission as a naturalist was to "educate the public about wildlife specifies throughout the world and how to preserve environments for both animals and humans."

Fowler was 89.

Madonna Note Railing Over Infamous Letterman Show Could Go for Thousands

A letter Madonna penned about her infamous appearance on David Letterman's show in the '90s is up for grabs, and the rant is likely to fetch big $$$.

Boston-based auction house RR Auction is putting Madge's handwritten note from May 1994 on the auction block at the end of the month. What's puzzling ... she apparently published the letter on her fansite ICON, but no one took notice.

As for what the letter said ... she wrote about "how sexist the world we live in really is" following her disastrous appearance on 'The Late Show,' when she dropped the f-bomb 14 times in an excruciatingly awkward interview with David Letterman. It made censorship history.

She rants in the letter that, had Andrew Dice Clay or Snoop gone on the show and done something similar, "no one would have given a f***."

She goes on ... "In this country you are not allowed to be a girl, look good, have a point of view and have a good time all at once. Need I say more."

The auctioneers say they expect the letter will fetch $2k-$3k ... but we know the drill. If the bidding gets hot, it will go way higher.

Online bids will start being accepted Thursday, and the live auction is on Sept. 25.

Kevin Smith My Healthy Heart Wants What It Wants ... A Dose of 'Avengers!!'

IT'S A HEART-RACER
TMZ.com

Kevin Smith was stoked about surviving a massive heart attack for at least one good reason ... he was dying -- in a manner of speaking -- to see "Avengers: Infinity War."

We got the famed director leaving the 'Late Show' studio Wednesday in NYC where he went into gnarly detail about what triggered the heart attack he suffered in February. As we reported, Kevin said the doctor told him he had 100% blockage in his "widow-maker" artery.

Check it out ... Kevin said the movie had some tense moments (don't worry, no spoilers here) but didn't kill him, thanks to his clean bill of health. Looking good, Kev!

James Franco The Sexual Misconduct Allegations Aren't True, But ...

James Franco had some hand-wringing moments with Stephen Colbert as he tried to address accusations on social media that he sexually assaulted and harassed women.

'The Late Show' almost felt like "Dr. Phil" as the actor took issue with several women making claims, including one who wrote on Twitter, "Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17?"

He says he's perplexed by actress Ally Sheedy, who cryptically posted a comment after watching Franco win Best Actor at the Golden Globes ..."Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much."

But then James seems to waffle a bit, saying, "If there is restitution to be made I will make it."

Watch the clip ... super interesting.

David Letterman Secret Guest Revealed ... I Got Malala!!!

SECRET'S OUT?
SplashNews.com

David Letterman's return to the talk show world has been shrouded in mystery, but this video reveals a huge puzzle piece -- youngest ever Nobel Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai.

Malala was spotted leaving a taping of Dave's Netflix show in NYC Monday night. She says it went great, and best we can tell -- she's guest #2 of 6.

Rumor is Barack Obama was Dave's first guest a month ago. Dave's not confirming that, or much at all, about his new gig. It's unclear who the next 4 guests will be, but we did see 2 other famous possibilities.

John Krasinski and Emily Blunt were spotted leaving the studio, but they could've just been guests in the audience. Again, Letterman ain't saying much.

Malala's gotta be great though. Pretty sure it's Dave's first time sitting down with the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, who fought for girls' rights to education, and survived the Taliban.

Billy Bush to Stephen Colbert I Went After Trump ... To Stand Up for His Accusers

Billy Bush says part of the reason he penned an op-ed calling out President Trump had to do with his accusers, and what Billy perceived as the Prez belittling their claims.

Billy's on the "Late Show" with Stephen Colbert Monday night, and he elaborated on how he came to write a piece in the New York Times directly calling out Trump as the voice on the Access Hollywood tape ... after Trump reportedly tried denying it.

He says he was moved to action by Trump's accusers and their stories ... whom he believes Trump is undermining by casting doubt on the tape.

The fired NBC host goes after Trump again pretty passionately here -- ya gotta wonder when DT will hit back.

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