James Corden hosted The Late Late Show virtually on Monday night for the first time since returning to in-studio filming in August after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
The late night host opened Monday night’s episode with the revelation, appearing via Zoom. “Today, I was told that I’d come into contact with someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19,” Corden said. “I’ve taken a test, that test has come back negative, but out of an abundance of caution and for everyone that works on the show, I’m gonna host the show over Zoom, way more than six feet apart from anyone.”
Corden went on to call his move back to virtual hosting “a shame” after “getting into a rhythm in the studio.” It wasn’t clear how long Corden plans to stay virtual, though health experts have recommended that self-quarantine last 14 days.
Following the announcement, Corden made a handful of jokes about his new setup, telling one of the writers in-studio that, “I think there’s a very real chance by the end of this week you’ll just be hosting the show.”
The news comes just over a month after The Late Late Show returned to a redesigned set at Television City in Los Angeles. As part of his return, the host previewed the show’s new filming protocols, including masked staff, hand sanitizing stations, socially distanced filming and germ shields, in a two-minute opening skit.
The majority of the late-night slate has returned to in-studio filming, with Jimmy Fallon being the first to return to his studio back in July. Since then, fellow hosts Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Corden have all pivoted from their virtual setups to filming in-person under a slew of precautions that support socially distanced filming. Among those measures are significantly reduced on-set crews, guests appearing via video chat and no studio audience.
While Fallon’s return saw him back filming at his studio in Rockefeller Plaza, Colbert, who also films in New York, returned to the Ed Sullivan Theater building but swapped the stage for a replica of his studio office floors below his real one.
TBS’ Conan O’Brien, who films in Los Angeles, opted to stay off the studio lot and relocated to the Largo at the Coronet, with fellow L.A. host Jimmy Kimmel planning to return to the El Capitan Entertainment Centre on Sept. 21 when he returns from his summer hiatus.