It’s hard not to be concerned about the economic and societal effects the coronavirus has caused in the past several weeks. The entertainment industry has all but shut down, including the hiatus of every major late-night show from Jimmy Fallon to Stephen Colbert to Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden. Conan O’Brien however, has other plans and is hoping to lighten up these dark times with levity and humor.
According to Variety, beginning March 30, new episodes of O’Brien’s late-night show “Conan” will air on TBS. Each episode will be shot remotely using an iPhone with interviews conducted via video chat. Needless to say the show will be shot without an audience and 75 person production team will continue to be employed remotely.
“[O’Brien] likes to work,” said O’Brien’s longtime executive producer Jeff Ross. “He likes to make stuff – as we all do. We are in the business of making content and this what we do. The idea that we can’t do it is a little frustrating. We have a staff that wants to work, that doesn’t want to not get paid, and you just want to keep the business going.”
This announcement comes following “Conan’s” week long hiatus during which the late-night host has resorted to putting together short videos for social media to which Ross commented, “We were making stuff and putting it out and trying to be a distraction, but we just realized – why not just do the show?”
In a cheeky statement O’Brien assured viewers that the quality of his work will not deteriorate because, “technically that’s not possible.”
O’Brien is the first of the late-night hosts to find a work around for continuing production during the COVID-19 lockdown and it’s no surprise as he’s well known and beloved for his unorthodox and manic antics. Perhaps this decision will lead to other hosts following in a similar manner.