Late Night Shows Come Home- Literally


Meghan Braddy, Reporter

Late night television is a staple around the world. Millions of fans tune in every night for comical commentary, current news, and celebrity interviews. During these uncertain times, the world has been experiencing a huge amount of change. Our society now has to adjust to special circumstances – ones where we can’t spend time with our loved ones and must do all of our socializing over the Internet. The news has been pure chaos since the coronavirus took over everything, and late-night television has been no exception. One of the most drastic changes has been the transition from a live stage to hosts’ homes with our beloved late night talk shows. 

Hosts such as Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Conan O’Brien, etc have all had to improvise and film their shows without an audience, studio, or even a production crew. At first, the hosts assumed they would be filming as normal, just without a live audience. 

But with production being shut down for all late night television shows to ensure everyone’s safety, the hosts were forced to adapt to their new circumstances and quickly come up with ways to keep the show going from their homes. Little by little, the hosts began to re-emerge in charmingly unpolished segments that were posted online, while also filming these segments using iPhone cameras.

The struggles of filming their shows from their respective homes have proven to be a tough challenge. They experimented with new technology, included their families in filming, and began publicly committing to coming back on the air for a regular schedule. The hosts hurriedly reinvented their shows the best they could to keep their fans still smiling every night, as if nothing had changed from the way it was before. The celebrities being featured on each episode have to phone in via conference call, and the likelihood of seeing the hosts’ children in the camera shot is very high. Throughout all of this madness, the hosts are persevering the best they can by coming up with creative skits and segments to keep their audience happy and engaged while watching at home.

  Jimmy Fallon hosts each episode of his Tonight Show with his wife and two kids in the background holding up signs and playing music for different segments. Other hosts such as Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden also include their families when filming their shows, as well. The hosts’ families are a huge part of why the at-home edition of their shows have been a success. They can’t stop parenting their children, so why not have them along for the ride? 

Other creative methods the hosts of late night shows have cooked up while at home is doing house tours, monologues, and skits/performances with celebrities via conference call. Stephen Colbert, of CBS’s “Late Show,” performed a 10-minute monologue from his bathtub (he still wore a suit), and Jimmy Fallon, of NBC’s “Tonight Show,” showed viewers around his home and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. On March 30th, James Corden released a special version of his show amidst all the COVID-19 drama entitled, “James Corden’s Late Late Show Special”. He filmed it from his garage and featured multiple artists such as, BTS, Billie Eilish, Andrea Bocelli, Dua Lipa, and John Legend, plus appearances by David Blaine, Will Ferrell, and more. 

Sophomore Sean Blakely said, “My family and I watch the late night shows after dinner every night, especially the “Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. After the coronavirus hit, we thought we would have to alter our routine and not be able to enjoy the talk shows we love watching so much. I was really surprised when I turned on the television one night and saw all of my favorite late night hosts filming their shows from home. It was so much different than how I’m usually used to watching it, but I still enjoy all of the skits and the ways the hosts have tried to make all of this seem normal. It’s still one of my favorite things to do every night, even if it’s being filmed from home.”