Late night hosts game out how America will change in the coronavirus pandemic

Late night hosts on the coronavirus pandemic
(Image credit: Screenshots/YouTube/The Late Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night, The Daily Show, The Tonight Show)

Stephen Colbert announced on Wednesday that due to the new coronavirus, The Late Show and all other late-night comedy shows will tape without a studio audience from Monday to the foreseeable future. "There are now over 1,000 cases of the coronavirus in the United States, and this afternoon the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic," he said. Federal infectious disease experts are warning Americans to prepare for some serious lifestyle disruptions, he added, unhappily. "It's only March, and 2020 has done the impossible: Made me nostalgic for 2019."

Still, "daily life is changing," Colbert said, citing colleges kicking students out of the dorm and scrapped festivals. "The Council on Foreign Relations has canceled a coronavirus conference because of the coronavirus," he added. "In related news, the International Irony Festival is going ahead as planned."

"No Coachella, no South by Southwest, no spring break trips — pretty soon Instagram's just going to be homemade omelettes and the shrugs emoji," Jimmy Fallon said at The Tonight Show. "Meanwhile, in the U.K., an amusement park owner filled a claw machine with toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Unfortunately, everyone who touched the same joystick is now been quarantined to inside the claw machine."

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"You can survive without toilet paper!" Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Don't forget — you're in a bathroom. 'Oh, how will I clean my butt in this room with a shower?' I feel like people in first world countries don't know what to panic about." Seriously, he said, half of America could get infected, in part because "we're learning that this coronavirus can stay on some surfaces for up to three days — although in New York, it doesn't stay as long because it can't afford the rent."

Partly because of all the disruptions, people have complicated feelings about the coronavirus, Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. So he went through "the five stages of coronavirus," from denial to acceptance: "Hey, you know what? If I die, maybe I'll get to meet Prince."

"Public health officials, and even former Trump administration officials, are warning that our health care system is just days or weeks away from being completely overwhelmed," Seth Meyers said on Late Night. Without drastic measures, the U.S. is about 10 days behind Italy's explosion of cases, he said, critiquing President Trump's "negligent" handling of the outbreak and moves "to dole out bailout money to friendly industries." Watch below. Peter Weber

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