CBS’s Late Show With Stephen Colbert may be on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the funnyman is going to serve up some medicinal comedy anyway. The top-rated late-night host, apparently working from home, managed to tape a low-tech version of his nightly monologue, and that monologue will be broadcast at the start of tonight’s scheduled rerun of the show. Colbert announced the plan via tweet Monday, less than an hour before the show’s scheduled start time. “If you’re curious what the LATE SHOW would be like with a bathtub but without guest, an audience, or band- that makes two of us. See you at 11:35 on CBS,” Colbert wrote.
After initially hoping to tape episodes without a studio audience, all of the major broadcast and cable comedy talk shows, along with Saturday Night Live, went on indefinite hiatus this week. It was a no-brainer of a decision, given how quickly the war to halt the spread of COVID-19 has escalated, though some news-based shows — such as ABC’s The View — have remained on the air. Still, these are the sorts of stressful times where late-night hosts and comedy shows have historically helped audiences by delivering much-needed laughs. Colbert is clearly hoping to do his part by attempting to offer at least a portion of his show via a nontraditional means. No word yet on whether other late-night comics will try something similar, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they do, should the U.S. shutdown continue more than a few weeks.
Update, March 17: In case you missed Colbert’s so-called “social-distancing edition of The Late Show,” check it out below. In the clip, Colbert delivers his bathtub monologue devoted completely to the coronavirus news. “The point is, at this time of national peril, we all have to do our part. And by ‘do,’ I mean ‘don’t.’ We all have to don’t our part, and there’s no country in the world more prepared for that than the U.S.A.,” Colbert said near the end of the monologue. “Turns out Americans weren’t lazy couch potatoes this whole time. All that sitting on our asses and watching TV was actually training to save the world.”