How Late-Night TV Shows’ Post-Pandemic Changes Could Impact Emmys’ Variety Talk Race
The late-night talk shows have undergone two years of experimentation due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and honestly, that’s been a rare silver lining in these bizarre times.
But will any of this translate to a shakeup in the variety talk category?
It’s a race that has been dominated by “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” since 2016, after Jon Stewart left “The Daily Show.”
Ironically, Stewart is back in contention this year with “The Problem With Jon Stewart.”
With no audience to play with, James Corden turned to the staff and producers in his empty studio — and made CBS late-night exec Nick Bernstein into a star, as he was the butt of countless jokes and stunts.
Most of the shows finally brought audiences back in studio — including “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah,” which waited until April to do so.
“There’s a part of me that misses having people clap. But I actually don’t think that the experience of watching the show was really guided by that. We could make our processes a little easier and more life-friendly.”
Speaking of making things a little more life — and production — friendly, in one more major shift, Showtime’s “Desus & Mero” returned to weekly episodes, rather than twice a week.
I loved Jimmy Kimmel dusting off an old radio stunt — in which morning drive time DJs would switch spots to confuse listeners on April Fool’s Day — and bringing it to Jimmy Fallon.
“So many people confuse us and we’re mentioned in every sentence, because we have the same first name,” Kimmel says.
“It is amazing that as many people who knew about it, that it didn’t get out.”
This year, talk shows were able to return to signature segments or trips put on pause.
“Over the past year, very slowly, in one sense or another, we started to get our show back,” Corden says.
“This [segment] is obviously a big part of our show. ... The entire pandemic, there were so many things that we couldn’t do, and I think that’s true of every show. But for us, our show is very much about getting out there.”
Corden is taking his show to London for the first time in three years this month, while Kimmel has planned his long-awaited return visit to Brooklyn for a week of shows this fall.