Among the more dystopian impacts of the ongoing coronavirus fuckery is the fact that the nation's assortment of late night talk shows spent Thursday evening in a suspended state of peculiarity, most noticeable in the lack of in-studio audiences.
For Stephen Colbert and the Late Show team, who were originally scheduled to begin audienceless proceedings on Monday, this shifted Thursday's show to a whisky-assisted endeavor that included a conversation with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Colbert asked his guest about the seemingly "blurry" line between caution and panic regarding the coronavirus, a question to which Gupta gave a measured and comforting response.
"I think it feels different for different people and it changes," he said. "It's changed a lot over the last two months . . . I don't think it should ever cross into panic because panic doesn't serve any purposes, certainly from a medical standpoint."
Gupta added that people should hopefully be "concerned enough" to simply take protective, preventive measures. Additionally, Gupta doubled down on his no panic stance by reminding viewers that most people will likely be able to get through the coronavirus era without serious health effects.
"For the majority of people, this is not going to be something thats' going to make them tremendously ill," he said.
Over on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Pete Buttigieg served as guest host for the no-studio-audience episode, though "a few kind staffers and some friends" were in the crowd.
Jimmy Fallon, meanwhile, also kept things audience-free. "When we're there for each other, we're at our best," he said in his desk-set monologue. "And I am here for you. We are here for you."
And over on Showtime, hosts of the No. 1 show in late night—Desus & Mero—carried on with their own all-staff audience experience.
Production has since been suspended outright for a number of these shows, with current plans aiming for a return to normalcy for the end of the month.