So, how’s everybody doing out there in this pre-apocalyptic cautionary tale of a lockdown of an existence? Don’t ask? Copy that. As we kick off another week of late-night coverage here at The A.V. Club, the very concept of late-night programming—like everything else—has changed up pretty drastically. As a tag-on to the now-nightly reruns of old episodes on the TV, hosts are filming low-tech monologues, field pieces (seriously, Sam Bee’s been shooting hers in a field), and assorted goof-abouts to entertain, inform, and presumably keep themselves from going bananas while responsibly ignoring the Trump administration’s current, greed-sweat antsiness to ignore every reputable medical professional’s pleading admonitions to stay the fuck inside, and staying the fuck inside.
On Monday’s slate, Stephen Colbert effortfully changed his bicycle tire, Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah hung out with current quarantine musical savior DJ D-Nice via video chat, Noah’s Daily Show pals continued their bracket of Trump’s most egregious sundowning vocabulary gaffes, Jimmy Kimmel interviewed Bill Burr from Burr’s driveway, and more. For Late Night’s Seth Meyers, it was business as usual, in the sense that he delivered another of his signature extended A Closer Look segments running down the weekend’s news about everything Donald Trump and his GOP cronies—smooth move infecting the Senate, Rand Paul—did wrong, although, as with his talk show colleagues, the setting was a little less glamorous than usual.
Not that the home Meyers shares with wife Alexi and their two peremptorily born sons isn’t lovely from what we could see when Meyers delivered his segment straight to camera in what looked his upstairs hallway. A little echoey, perhaps, as is the manner of all upstairs hallways, but tidy. Unobtrusive single painting setting off the eggshell walls, runner carpet, a tasteful sconce—you get the picture. Anyway, Meyers did his best to muster up the same level of enthusiasm as usual with these traditionally energetic and acidly funny bits, considering there seemed to be no one else around, and, as mentioned, he was delivering jokes to a hollow-sounding, very empty, maybe a touch spooky passageway. He made space in his patter for the usual over-the-shoulder graphics, assuming rightly that someone on his similarly sequestered staff would be able to pop them in later. A whole article could be written (and likely will be soon enough) about the whole deconstructionist enterprise that is doing audience-courting topical jokes without an audience’s energy to sustain them, but, for now, Meyers’ lonely takedowns of the daily clusterfuck the is the Trump administration’s “authoritarian cult of personality” approach to a global pandemic will have to suffice. Oh, and stay the fuck inside.