If David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon crack wise and no one's around to laugh, are they still funny?
It turns out...yes, very!
With a massive storm approaching and New Yorkers being either evacuated or encouraged to stay in their homes, the Late Show and Late Night taped this afternoon without audiences. (Maybe Letterman and Fallon should have tweeted their monologues, however--thousands of East Coasters had lost power by the time the shows aired and local newscasts were providing constant storm coverage.)
On the Late Show, unstoppable guest Denzel Washington showed up clad in a yellow rain slicker, as if he'd trudged through the streets of New York to be there.
"Only for you, Dave," the Flight star said. "I swam."
Asked if he had ever been in a hurricane before, Washington cracked, "Once, with Noah."
Fallon, meanwhile, ventured outside 30 Rock himself to do a cold (probably, quite literally) open.
"I'm hoping, if you're watching, you are at home, you're safe, you're warm...But we're here," he added. Guest/storm troopers Seth Meyers, Padma Lakshmi, Robert Zemeckis and the band Imagine Dragons all made it, too. (Yes, it sounds like Fallon managed to get more guests than usual in the midst of a hurricane-powerful tropical storm.)
Slamming home the magnitude of the possible natural disaster looming outside, the camera panned to the nonexistent crowd (well, except for Mets bucket-hat guy) watching Fallon's monologue.
"Theater owners had to cancel all Broadway shows today," he said. "Many performers were having trouble making it into the city. You could tell by that one show, Blue Man Guy."
But Fallon and Letterman persevered. In repeats tonight, however, are the similarly New York-set The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, as well as Jimmy Kimmel Live--which tapes in L.A. but just happens to be in New York this week for a special run.