While production on all late night TV shows has been suspended, that didn’t stop Stephen Colbert from delivering an all-new monologue last night before a rerun of The Late Show. Colbert popped up out of nowhere at the beginning of the episode, having recorded a new monologue from his own bathtub. The setup is admittedly a bit rough—the camera quality isn’t quite what folks are used to—but it’s a neat and funny way to keep things fresh and interesting while the world attempts to beat back a deadly pandemic.
Indeed, good on Colbert for finding a way to get in front of viewers despite the production shutdown. John Oliver did the same for this week’s Last Week Tonight, filming his episode with a scaled-down crew in a different location with no audience, although it’s unclear if that will continue or if that was a one-off. Many music artists have taken to performing one-on-many concerts via social media or other online services free of charge, as a way of trying to lift up spirits during this difficult time.
With the coronavirus shutdown likely to extend for weeks to come, it’ll be interesting to see if other late night personalities find ways to get in front of viewers. This is a little reminiscent of the writers strike in the 2000s, during which folks like David Letterman and Conan O’Brien went on air without having officially written anything.
Watch Colbert’s new monologue below from a “social distancing” edition of The Late Show.