Late Night Shows Learn to Cope with Stay-at-Home Order

Late night comedy shows have had to make creative adjustments to how their audience gets a nightly laugh from the safety of their homes. 

   With the drastic global changes regarding stay at home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, all aspects of our lives are affected. From eating at restaurants to getting a pedicure, virtually nothing is permissible. And while there are many more needs essential to health and safety, the entertainment industry is greatly suffering. 

   Late night talk shows have been around since the 1940’s, and even though they have faced complications like sickness and technology issues, nothing has been more detrimental than this quarantine. The host cannot rely on a live audience for laughter, the producers cannot film, and guests are unable to join the hosts in person. Millions of families across the country rely on this post-work entertainment, so it seemed like these shows were completely doomed. But were they?

   Thanks to platforms like YouTube and other social media sites, these hosts have been posting their comedic skits to the internet. Even though the shows still air at their usual times, they are pre-recorded and posted online. This has opened the door to new creative content for anyone with a device at any place in the world. Now after a long day of working from home, we can stay sitting on the couch, turn on the TV or open up YouTube, and have a good laugh. 

   Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show, has taken advantage of filming at home by incorporating his wife and kids in videos on his YouTube channel. In the news series, “Ask the Fallons”, Jimmy and Nancy Fallon answer questions from the audience about their lives as celebrities, however personal they may be. Fallon has also featured many current and past artists with “live” performances from their homes, including Miranda Lambert, James Taylor, and others. 

   The viewers on YouTube seem to be enjoying his content, one was so pleased as to say, “Jimmy, I’ve stayed in my apartment since March 15th. I’m 66, alone and I look forward to your show from home every night. Thank you for making life better.”

   Clearly, even though the circumstances limit the comedic content, The Tonight Show has made isolation a little more enjoyable. 

   Also staying positive during quarantine is The Late Late Show’s host, James Corden. Known for Carpool Karaoke, Corden is surely limited in his at-home videos as well. However, he is also featuring artists and celebrities on conference calls in his content. 

   In a video on his YouTube channel kickstarting a fundraiser with NBA players, one viewer said, “I just discovered your show a month ago. Corden, you are hilarious!”

   Even though these shows don’t have their typical live content, they are still generating new viewers. 

   Late night talks shows are certainly facing challenges during this time, but their creativity and never ending comedy is a necessity to those feeling lonely. We don’t know how long this will last, but we do know that we have hilarious content to watch while safe at home. 

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