When COVID-19 began its rapid spread across the United States in March, many did not know what to expect for the film and television industry. Talk show hosts James Corden, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel quickly switched to virtual platforms, still managing to interview numerous celebrity guests.
In the beginning of the self-isolation period, the late night shows raked in a significantly higher number of viewers. According to TheWrap, viewership skyrocketed in most cases by over 30%. Even during this difficult time, these hosts have managed to maintain their high ratings and produce interesting content for all the people forced to stay home.
Jimmy Kimmel, who has been conducting interviews from his home, has had discussions with Jennifer Aniston, Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson, Seth Rogen, Adam Sandler and many other celebrities over the past six months. On Sept. 20, Kimmel hosted the 72nd Annual Emmys, an awards show for the most acclaimed television programs of the past year. During the ceremony, he was isolated, constantly sanitizing and utilizing gloves to open the winning envelopes.
Like Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon is also conducting interviews from his house, as is Stephen Colbert. Fallon has even included his wife and daughters in a handful of shows. Jimmy Kimmel incorporated his son and daughter into a virtual show. He asked them questions and hosted a spoof version of the famous “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” show with them. At the end of their game, Kimmel announced that he would donate $10,000 to NoKidsHungry, an organization that provides impoverished children with fresh food.
Another hugely popular and successful avenue that actors have been involved with during the pandemic is the reuniting of casts through virtual table reads. Casts from movies up to 30 years old have come together, recalling the nostalgia of classic films. Josh Gad brought together the cast of “The Goonies” and later reunited with the “Back to the Future” cast, reading famous scenes and having engaging in-depth discussions surrounding the respective movies.
In August, Kimmel brought together an all-star cast for a virtual table read of the classic high school comedy “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Morgan Freeman narrated, Shia LaBeouf played a dazed Jeff Spicoli, and other cast members included Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey, Sean Penn and Brad Pitt. This table read not only brought laughs, but also created a warm-hearted atmosphere during these troubling times.