Stephen Colbert calls Late Show audience 'collector's items' in light of coronavirus precautions
Everyone in Stephen Colbert's Late Show audience this week are now "collector's items," the TV host joked on Wednesday night's show.
Colbert took a moment during his monologue to address some news that broke earlier in the day: "Starting on Monday, and this is true, out of an abundance of caution, The Late Show, as well as all other late-night shows in New York City, will go without audiences." This is in response to increasing cases of coronavirus in New York state.
The audience booed at the development, to which Colbert cheekily responded, "See? You won't be able to do that on Monday. That's what I'm gonna miss on Monday."
Other shows that will follow suit include The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC), Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO), Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC), The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central), and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS).
"We're gonna do this for the foreseeable future, okay?" Colbert continued. "So, you people, this audience tonight, you're one of the last audiences that I will have for the foreseeable future. You are all collector's items. Have yourself notarized… And, as collector's items, and this is important, until this is over, you stay in your original packaging or else you'll lose all your value."
Daytime talk shows are also beginning to go without audiences, including The View. On an episode this week, Whoopi Goldberg shouted "welcome to The View" multiple times to empty seats.
We will continue to see the entertainment space change as more cases of coronavirus emerge in the United States. As Colbert said on The Late Show, "At a time like this, we all need to laugh and be together… from a distance of about, I'd say, 20 feet or something like that."