If you’re finding this whole coronavirus shutdown and quarantine a bit trying, here’s a little something to cheer you up: Stephen Colbert and Ryan Reynolds drinking gin and shooting the shit. As I’ve written about over the last week or so, late night TV has returned in full force with adjustments made for social distancing, and it’s oddly comforting. Colbert is hosting new episodes of The Late Show from his house, as fellow late night personalities like Seth Meyers and Conan O’Brien are doing the same.
And Colbert is really knocking this whole “Skype interview” thing out of the park. Earlier this week he had a delightful chat with Daniel Radcliffe, and on Wednesday Ryan Reynolds joined Colbert for a free-wheeling discussion. The two talked about how they’re each holding up under quarantine, what people can do in these trying times (give to food banks if you can!), and even Reynolds’ work history as a bartender. They also, of course, drink Reynolds’ signature Aviation Gin, and Colbert recalls his audition to play Screech on Saved by the Bell (yes really).
I think what’s making these interviews so special on late night right now is nobody really has anything to promote. For the most part, late night interviews are a strongly rehearsed routine. You plug the thing you’re there to plug, share an anecdote that has been worked out beforehand, and smile for the camera. A few have found a way to keep these interviews conversational (Meyers is tops in my book), but this quarantine has taken all pretense away from the traditional “late night interview” and while Meyers continues to lean into Late Night’s political tone with guests like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Colbert has been knocking it out of the park with charismatic performers.
So sit back, relax, and take in this purely delightful conversation between two very nice gentlemen.