Who was hosting who here?

By Nick Romano
April 08, 2020 at 09:06 AM EDT
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The hosts have become the guests. Let's see how that goes for them.

The Late Show's Stephen Colbert and Conan's Conan O'Brien each appeared as guests on each other's late-night talk shows this week. We get it. It's probably difficult to find celebrity guests in the time of the coronavirus quarantine, even though everyone is supposed to be home these days with presumably not much to do.

The duo still kept their audiences — or lack thereof — entertained in a comedic battle for hosting dominance. "So good to have you on my show, Stephen," O'Brien began on Conan over video chat.

"A lesser man would fight with you right now and say, 'No, no, you're on my show.' But I've been a host long enough to know that the host actually does most of the work," Colbert replied. "So you go right ahead, buddy. Go ahead and host me! All the weight's on you now. Check mate. You fell into my trap."

Colbert mocked O'Brien for not wearing a tie. O'Brien mocked Colbert for looking like "a Senate page." O'Brien then became increasingly jealous of Colbert's at-home setup.

"You are using state-of-the-art equipment," O'Brien pointed out. He even knew exactly what kind of camera Colbert was using: the Sony camera worth upwards of $70,000. O'Brien, meanwhile, doesn't even have an earpiece. "We record my show on a flip phone," he joked. "When the show is over, I put it into a cardboard tube and I put in the U.S. mail and it goes to Turner headquarters in Atlanta. That's how we've been doing it."

Over the course of their dual broadcasts, the duo became nostalgia for the days when they had live audiences.

"I miss the laughter, I miss the joy that I bring others," O'Brien said.

"What about your show? Do you miss that?" Colbert zinged. "I miss the audience because I get all of my value from their praise," the Late Show host added. "I have no self-worth at all. I only exist, really, in reflection to them chanting my name. So, it's been rough at times."

For a full rundown of late-night TV's biggest moments this week, watch EW's Last Night's Late Night show on Quibi.

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The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

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