Aubrey Plaza tells delicious lies about Elizabeth Olsen and Jennifer Coolidge on The Colbert Show

You can tell how much a late-night chat show host esteems their guests’ comic chops by how much rope they give them.

If you’re a little funny, James Corden might prompt you to re-tell a story that’s been cleared by producers and informally rehearsed in the green room. If you’re completely dire, there’s no way Jimmy Fallon lets you escape the question and answer format.

On Wednesday night’s episode (26 October) ofThe Late Show, host Stephen Colbert paid The White Lotus star Aubrey Plaza late-night’s highest honour: he turned over the keys.

“Tea At the Plaza”, a skit Colbert’s utilised twice before, is designed to showcase Plaza’s signature deadpan. And unlike most of late-night TV’s more obviously curated “impromptu” skits – I’m looking at you, “Carpool Karaoke” and “Wheel of Musical Impressions” – it really seems like Plaza has no advance knowledge which of her co-stars Colbert is going to pump her for gossip about.

He just trusts her to be actually funny in front of a live studio audience, which (thankfully) she is.

Asked about her White Lotus co-star Jennifer Coolidge, Plaza reports: “I’m going to tell you something real juicy about Coolidge. Jennifer Coolidge refuses to travel by plane, train or car. In fact, she only travels by sleigh led by snow wolves. Only.”

Joy Behar? “Not only does she have sex with ghosts, she’s proud of it” – how gleefully random.

When asked to “tell us something” about her Ingrid Goes West co-star Elizabeth Olsen, Plaza does not hesitate. “Oh, she is sick, Stephen,” says the actor, wiggling in her chair like she’s already excited about whatever insanity has popped into her head. “Elizabeth Olsen has hands instead of feet and feet instead of hands.”

What does it mean? Absolutely nothing. And yet it’s so much more entertaining than watching bored celebs re-hash the same canned stories from set.

But my favourite of Plaza’s answers is reserved for Danny DeVito, who she co-stars with in the Hulu sitcom Little Demons.

“Give me a break,” Plaza tells Colbert, again looking like a person about to burst into a delighted smile at her own quirky invention.

“Danny DeVito does so much voiceover work. In fact, you know the sound the radiator makes? The hiss sound?” – Plaza takes a beat – “That’s him.”

You can read The Independent’s review of season two of The White Lotus here.