Late Night Lately: Coronavirus Quarantine Edition

8:00 AM 3/21/2020

by THR Staff

The Hollywood Reporter's Late Night Lately rounds up the best sketches and guests with a look at what's to come next week.

Coiurtesy of Conaco, CBS and Comedy Central

The Hollywood Reporter's Late Night Lately is a one-stop shop for all of the most memorable moments of late night TV, coming to you each Saturday morning to ease you into your weekend.

So pour your coffee, set your DVR for the week and sit back. Below are a few of the week's best, funniest and strangest late night moments that you can't afford to miss.

This week: As many late night shows lost audiences, studios and resources amid the coronavirus spread this week, they also found workarounds to getting content to their fans. John Oliver aired Sunday's episode in a new studio with no audience, while Conan O'Brien filmed "self distancing" tips at home, Trevor Noah began his own show from his couch, Stephen Colbert surprised with a bathtub appearance, Jimmy Fallon enlisted famous friends for "at-home" episodes, Samantha Bee went into the woods for some survivalist measures and Jimmy Kimmel aired "minilogues" from his house. Below are just a few of the many examples of how late night hosts are continuing their shows in creative ways while self-distancing, raising money for charity and providing some tips along the way.

— Compiled by Jennifer Konerman

  • Conan O'Brien Offers Hand-Washing Advice, TP Life Hacks

    Courtesy of Conaco

    Conan O'Brien, like many other hosts, stayed home this week amid the coronavirus spread, and while at home, he began posting YouTube videos.

    Monday's video instructed viewers how to properly sanitize puzzles. Tuesday brought his St. Patrick's Day-themed hand-washing tutorial (with Lucky Charms and Guinness), on Wednesday he offered life hacks for toilet paper involving CVS receipts and stocks, later he made his own hand sanitizer with vodka and garlic. O'Brien even offered Hollywood stars advice on how to take selfies with fans while social distancing, as he yelled at a stranger across the street (who didn't want a selfie anyway). 

    "Tough time to be a celebrity," he joked.

  • Stephen Colbert Films Monologue From Bathtub

    Courtesy of CBS

    During Monday's episode, Stephen Colbert surprised viewers by broadcasting an opening, shown prior to a rerun episode, from his bathtub, calling the intro a "very special distancing edition of the Late Show." Colbert quipped that he could change his show name to The Lather Show, along with a guest musical duo, "Head and Shoulders." 

    He first addressed the White House press conference during which President Trump announced new 15-day health guidelines, including recommendations that all Americans, including the young and healthy, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people

    "The government is telling all of us to avoid human contact indefinitely. And on behalf of the socially anxious everywhere, let me just say, way ahead of you! I've been avoiding human contact since before it was cool," Colbert said.  

    Acknowledging that it's a "freaky, freaky time," Colbert told viewers, "If you're watching this from home right now, know that you're doing the right thing."

    He pointed out that Trump seemed to have a "dramatically different" tone during Monday's press conference than during previous ones. Colbert couldn't help but point out a contradiction in his statement: "Don't get together in groups of more than 10 people. It's important information coming from the coronavirus task force, which has 21 members."  

    "This is actually a good math lesson for all those kids now being homeschooled. If the coronavirus task force has 21 members but groups aren't allowed to contain more than 10 people, how many more months are we going to have to be eating Chef Boyardee?" 

    "The important thing was, Trump was focused on the future," Colbert added, before showing a clip in which Trump said we should celebrate when the coronavirus passes. "Yes, we will all celebrate the inauguration of anyone else." 

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda Joins Jimmy Fallon on 'Tonight Show: Home Edition'

    John Shearer/Getty Images; Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

    In one of this week's episodes of The Tonight Show: Home Edition, a programming alternative on YouTube amid the coronavirus outbreak that has forced late-night shows to shut down, Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday told jokes from home with the only audience members being his wife and two daughters. 

    "Hi, everybody. This is episode two of The Tonight Show: Home Edition," he began, sitting in his living room. Launching into some jokes, Fallon instructed his children: "If you hear a joke that you think is funny, you laugh at it. Okay?" From a chair in his living room, he read aloud:

    “Welcome to The Tonight Show: At Home Edition. Well, guys, we are on day 83 of the quarantine —" Fallon’s wife Nancy interrupts, correcting the number to "[Day] 6."

    “This is day 6 of spending every minute at home. I think my wife is starting to get sick of me. Tonight, she made me a margarita with tequila, lime juice and some chemicals from under the sink.”

    He cut to an interview with guest Lin-Manuel Miranda, who played his own welcome song on piano. Asked how everything is at home, he replied, “Everything is cool. We are doing the cool thing to do, which is self-quarantining, which means we are home with our two kids. We have a kindergartener and a 2-year-old, so we’re learning how to home school.”

    Fallon asked Miranda if he’s getting a lot of work done, but that answer was an emphatic 'no.' “I’m not getting work done, I’m learning how to teach math,” he replied. 

    Speaking of how to encourage others during this time, Miranda mentioned the theater community and what people can do to help them in this time of need: "And, in my particular bubble of the world, [are] Broadway performers; actors, theater companies, people who work behind the scenes in theater companies all over the world who can't make a living because we make our living where people gather." 

    Holding up a collection bucket, he added, "I’m here with a little disinfected red bucket and I've been posting — it actually got me back on Twitter — little live videos and raising money for them because that's my little corner and that's where I can be of service." 

    Near the end of his chat with Fallon, Miranda performed the song "Dear Theodosia" (from Hamilton) on piano. 

  • Trevor Noah Launches 'The Daily Social Distancing Show'

    Comedy Central

    The Daily Show with Trevor Noah got inventive as it tried to navigate the television production shutdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. 

    Following the example of other late-night shows that have broadcast segments produced remotely, on Wednesday, The Daily Show's YouTube channel posted a video introducing the The Daily Social Distancing ShowTrevor Noah, who is self-isolating at his home in New York City, began the video by explaining the impetus behind the temporary web-only show. "Right now, we don't know when we'll go back to the studio, we don't know if we'll go back to the studio and I don't think any of you know any different. Coronavirus has changed everybody's lives."

    He added: "And so what we've decided to do is make The Daily Show from 'homes.' Not just my home, but everyone's home. So the producers, the writers, the directors, the graphics producers, we're all just going to chill at home and use the technology we have to try and make a show."

    The rest of the video tries to follow the usual Daily Show format of a run through the day's headlines, including President Donald Trump's latest coronavirus press conference where he was challenged on the racist implications of his rhetoric around the naming of the virus. Noah also delved into the "kung-flu" controversy. 

    Also on the show, Noah recommended ways people can help those most affected by the coronavirus epidemic. Noah and Roy Wood, Jr. even compared their self-quarantine experiences. 

  • Jimmy Kimmel Debuts At-Home "Minilogue"

    Randy Holmes/ABC

    With Jimmy Kimmel Live! experiencing a disruption in its schedule, like other TV shows this week, its host posted a "Quarantine Minilogue" on Tuesday: "Hi, it’s Jimmy. I hope you and your friends and your family are as well as can be expected in our new post-apocalyptic world. We are not on live this week, for obvious reasons, but since I have nothing to do, and the fact that you’re watching this makes me assume you have nothing to do, I’m going to shoot a mini-monologue every day until we get back from my house where I am currently incarcerated — I mean, camping out, with my family."

    Kimmel added that he's lately been stuck at home with his kids. "My blood type right now is Disney-positive, or Disney+, whatever they call it. We’ve watched Frozen 2 more times than the animators who drew it have watched Frozen 2. I’m actually hiding in my office right now, from my children. We’ve run out of snacks, we’ve run out of crafts to do. We made macaroni necklaces yesterday — today I ate them for lunch. That’s how bad it’s getting.”

    He took a moment to look at the situation through the lens of politics. “So, anyway, yesterday our president, Donald Trump, gave himself a 10 out of 10 for the way he’s handled this situation. Gave himself a 10, which, incidentally, is the same amount of testing kits that are currently available in the United States right now. And then Trump told people, us, to stop hoarding unnecessary amounts of food. That’s right — this man, this individual, would like you to take it easy with the food. So, please, by order of the president, take it easy with the food."

    Throwing in the theme of St. Patrick's Day, Kimmel says, "This is an especially tough day to stay home, obviously because it’s St. Patrick’s Day. I do want to say happy St. Patrick’s Day, not just to our Irish friends and the Irish-Americans watching, but all alcoholics, everywhere. Happy return of the potato famine, too."

    Launching into the different ways of having fun in the unusual circumstances, he suggested, "First, you can put on a festively colored shirt, like I did today — my Guinness shirt, I wear it once I year. Next, get some food coloring, and you can dye a bottle of hand sanitizer green. You’ll never get it off your hands, but it’s festive nonetheless. You could dress your kids like leprechauns and try to catch them. And, of course, you could get drunk."

  • John Oliver Airs Audience-Free Episode

    Courtesy of HBO

    John Oliver kicked off the week of late night's new normal with Sunday's audience-free episode, filmed against a white backdrop, or as Oliver called it, "this white void set" or "the place movie characters go when they die."

    "As you can clearly tell," he began, "this is not going to be our typical show this week. For start, there is no audience, and also we're not even in our usual studio. We do like to shake things up a bit now and then whenever we can, and also, partly, our actual studio might be full of coronavirus." Oliver referred to the CBS building in New York where there were confirmed cases of the illness.

    Oliver went on to speak about how the coronavirus this week went from an "abstraction to a very real threat." 

    He also spoke about how "Rita Wilson and her husband Tom (#feminism) tested positive," amid the outbreak, as several people are still waiting for tests. Meanwhile, the country is "flying blind," Oliver said, under Trump's leadership. 

  • Samantha Bee Launches Survival Show 'Beeing at Home'

    Courtesy TBS

    TBS' Samantha Bee presented "Beeing at Home" on Wednesday, taped from a wood shed somewhere, with a knock on her fellow late night hosts: "If there's one takeaway from the videos the other late night hosts put out is that they have incredible homes. But I can do you one better. I have got a wood shed. Why? Because I have been preparing for something like this for years."

    Stepping out of her shed, Bee joked, "Here we go. It's cavewoman time," as she attempted to chop wood. Bee said she would start to give daily tips on how to properly social distance and survive at home.

    She also chastised those hoarding supplies. "And those shortages are due to people who try to resell them like true unbleached assholes. It's deeply sad that the Beanie Baby of today is a 2-ounce bottle of Purell, but here we are."

    Bee concluded her video: "Tune in tomorrow for more content. Like and subscribe. Is that still a thing in this new world order?"