The recent Rolling Stone cover star adopted the classic tics of a late-night host: telling the audience to “take a seat” amid applause, asking “Did anyone see this?” as a transitional cue between jokes and using random phrases to make himself feel like a Late Late Show employee (“Here’s another story we’ve all been talking about around the office”).
The former One Direction member nailed the timing of his punchlines, including one-liners about Trump’s Russia meeting and Hillary Clinton’s new PAC Onward Together. But he earned his biggest laughs (and a couple of playful groans) during an extended riff about the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean sequel.
“Hackers have stolen a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean, and they’re holding it for ransom,” he said. “They could release this movie illegally – I guess you could say it’s a pirated video. They’re holding Pirates of the Caribbean for ransom. Sounds to me like they’re charging an arm and a peg. If Disney pays this ransom, they could go into Johnny Debt. If people see this movie early, it would be a movie about a pirate ship with no sales. But kids can’t see the movie anyway because it’s rated ‘Arrrrgh.'”
Styles continued his hosting duties with desk piece “Side Effects May Include…,” detailing the many boy band-related trials of launching a solo career. Alluding to the bathtub shot on his self-titled debut solo LP, he also included “getting to take up the entire album cover with just a picture of you in a bubble bath, which is something you’ve been pitching unsuccessfully to the band for years.”