One of the (many, many, many) weird parts of the pandemic has been watching talk show hosts remotely film from their mansions. Studios have been shut down since March. Remember March? I believe it was approximately twelve and a half years ago. Anyway, last night The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon made its return to NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Center. Jimmy’s first guests (who Zoomed in remotely) were Charlize Theron and Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governor joked, “New York is really open now that you’re doing your show again.” Cut to a million Manhattan Karens ripping off their masks and screaming, “The governor says my mouth is open for business! I’ll have a venti iced americano with exactly one inch of almond milk, half-sweet. ARE YOU WRITING THIS DOWN?!?”
Here’s the video of Jimmy’s opening monologue, in which he explains how The Tonight Show has adjusted to fit into the new world order:
In the clips, Jimmy says (via People):
“I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but normalcy, any type of normalcy, feels great,” he added. “So hopefully we can put a smile on your face for an hour every night and let you sit back and relax while we try to bring you a little bit of normal.”
“These are the hardest times to do comedy, but they’re also the time when we need it the most,” he shared.
Jimmy went on to explain how The Tonight Show ensured their return to the studio was as safe as possible. Everyone on set had tested negative for COVID-19. Before they entered the building that day, they were given a nose swab test and their temperature was checked. All crew members were wearing masks and face shields, and everyone, including Jimmy and The Roots, were standing six feet apart. Finally, every part of their office has a slip of paper saying the area has been disinfected.
“This was truly done the safest way possible, and we would only do it that way if that was the case,” he said.
“The show will be a little bit different than what you’re used to,” he continued. “There is no audience, the guests will be streaming from home, but I think, in some ways, we are getting used to different. But we are here for you and slowly and safely getting back to work and back to whatever normal is.”
Since there’s no studio audience cracking up everything Jimmy says (either those poor bastards were following the orders of a giant neon “LAUGH!” sign, or being held at gunpoint), it’s up to The Roots and the crew to chuckle politely at his shitty jokes. Which feels… more correct.
Here’s Jimmy shamelessly copying my signature look (messy hair/sunglasses/mask, the best way of avoiding everyone you hate in public) on Instagram:
Maskface. Definitely a better option than blackface.