Virtual Talk Shows During Quarantine

It is no surprise that coronavirus has disrupted the plans of many organizations and events including school, non-essential businesses, sports and even entertainment production. Originally, all shows were going to film their show without a live audience however as the spread of the virus became more threatening, talk shows and late-night hosts were forced to make a decision as to whether they would suspend production or continue their show . At home zoom calls, similar to how we do our classes now at Montrose, have replaced many traditional talk shows. Personally, I do not consider myself an avid watcher of most talk shows, but I do enjoy them when I tune in. So here is a recap of some of the most watched talk shows that had to switch plans due to COVID-19. 

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon 

As one of the most popular late nights shows, Jimmy Fallon decided to adapt to a “at home edition” for his show. From a warm and cozy room in his house, Fallon often interacts with family members and pets while often featuring celebrity guests on Zoom calls to ensure that his fans are still able to enjoy new content from his end, despite the lack of resources he would normally have. 

Saturday Night Live 

SNL, treasured for always presenting a unique and engaging range of comedy, initially took a hiatus when the COVID-19 spread began to inhibit public activity. However, similar to Fallon, SNL returned to releasing episodes from home. Arts and Entertainment Editor Lucy Stefani ‘21 said “I’ve been watching SNL, and it definitely feels different because there’s no audience reaction. When nobody laughs at the jokes it’s kind of cringeworthy but it’s just because nobody is there to laugh.” Most talk shows include monologues or daily updates which call for a humorous platform to keep the audience interested; without the audience responding, the tone of the show may change slightly. 

The Late Late Show with James Corden 

Although we all look forward to Carpool Karaoke segments, on March 14, CBS announced that James Corden’s show would suspend production. “After much deliberation we’ve decided to suspend The Late Late Show for the time being,” Corden said on Twitter. “We really explored every option to try and put a show on for you, but right now feel the safest thing to do is to stop for a moment and take advice further down the line. Stay safe out there.” However, on March 25 James Corden conducted a premium special from his garage and featured musical performances from several artists in hopes that it would bring joy into the lives of those who may be affected negatively by the virus. 

Some Good News 

John Krasinski, best known as Jim Halpert from The Office, is back behind a desk and looking into the camera. This time, he has started his own “talk show” to spread good news and positivity in times of struggle. In honor of the 15 year anniversary of The Office, Krasinski invited Steve Carrell to hold a brief celebration via Zoom. In addition, Some Good News held a virtual prom that included a concert from the Jonas Brothers so that juniors and seniors all over the country could have an at home prom to make up for losing one of the most anticipated high school events. 

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah 

Comedy Central’s late-night shows were suspended on Monday, March 16, through the end of the month, but beginning March 23, Trevor Noah and his team returned to television with new episodes produced from home titled The Daily Social Distancing Show With Trevor Noah. The Daily Show releases episodes every day; to preserve the atmosphere of the in person show, Trevor Noah has been interviewing other Daily Show correspondents and has conducted interviews with NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

Although it may not carry the same humor and engagement that a normal setting talk show does, talk show hosts have been putting tremendous effort to keep their audience cheerful in times where it does not take much to bring our mood down. In addition, most hosts are partnering with organizations such as No Kid Hungry or Red Cross in order to make it an option under each of their videos to donate any amount of money to help those who are severely struggling from health or lack of resources due to coronavirus. Click on any of the linked text above to check out the at home edition for many of the most popular talk shows. 

Spandana Vagwala ’22, Co Assistant Editor-in-Chief