Conan O’Brien is the latest host to figure out a way to keep making new content after all the late-night shows temporarily suspended production amid the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
But while Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel have been filming 10-minute segments from their respective homes, O’Brien will be producing full-length episodes of his TBS show, Conan.
On Monday, March 30, Conan will begin airing its usual 30-minute episodes. But they will be shot remotely with an iPhone, with no studio audience and featuring O’Brien conducting guest interviews via video chat. Conan’s production staff will continue working from home.
“The quality of my work will not go down because technically that’s not possible,” said O’Brien in a statement.
“Our first priority is the health and well-being of everyone in the Team Coco family, and our second priority is to try and find a way that we can do our jobs safely, from home, and contribute some entertainment for our fans out there who may be hungry for silly distraction,” said Conan executive producer Jeff Ross.
Conan had been on a scheduled hiatus since March 16, but O’Brien has been posting short videos since Monday, including this segment about how to properly sanitize a jigsaw puzzle.
It will be easier for O’Brien to film full-length episodes than his late-night rivals, given that Conan shifted from an hour to a half-hour format last year.
On Monday, Stephen Colbert was the first late-night host to broadcast new segments from his show, performing a surprise monologue from his home bathtub. His late-night broadcast rivals Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel joined him the following day in airing their own at-home monologues, which they will continue to do nightly until production resumes.
All week, CBS has inserted Colbert’s new monologues into repeat episodes of The Late Show. NBC began doing the same on Wednesday night with The Tonight Show.
Colbert, Fallon and Kimmel were all back with new content on Wednesday night.
Wednesday’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: At Home Edition featured a remote guest: Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Kimmel’s Wednesday quarantine “minilogue” included an appearance from Jimmy Kimmel Live sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez.
UPDATE: At the end of Colbert’s Wednesday monologue, he said he and his Late Show staff would be “going on our previously scheduled break for a week or so,” adding, “whatever comes after this, whatever’s next, we’ll all be back soon, to go through all of it with you.”
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah also began broadcasting from home Wednesday night, kicking off what he called The Daily Social Distancing Show.
And fellow Comedy Central host David Spade continued with his “bunker” monologues.
Finally, Conan O’Brien’s TBS counterpart Samantha Bee started producing her own new content Wednesday night, debuting a new digital series called Beeing At Home with Samantha Bee.