Speed Reads

Last Night on Late Night

Late night hosts pick winners and losers from the 'insane' mid-flight end of mask requirements

At the end of COVID-19, we should "get to burn our masks at a bonfire and then do something crazy like make out or eat free grocery store samples," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "But it turns out that's not how pandemics end, not with a bang but with a court order." The "out-of-the-blue" federal court order striking down mask requirements on planes and trains "is great news for anyone who ever rode public transport and said, 'This is way too sanitary,'" he said.

"The genius jurist behind the ruling is Judge Kathryn Mizelle, a 35-year-old appointed by the former president after he lost the 2020 election," Colbert said. Some plane passengers cheered at the news, "but it's unfair for people who might be immunocompromised or flying with unvaccinated kids to change the rules mid-flight. That's like being told halfway through a dinner party that it's an orgy."

COVID-19 was celebrating at least, The Late Show imagined. 

Yes, "a federal judge has overruled the CDC's mask mandate for planes," Jimmy Fallon said on The Tonight Show. "But don't worry — to keep everyone safe, you can now bring only up to 3.4 ounces of COVID on board. To put it another way, airlines are basically turning off the seatbelt sign for COVID and telling it to move freely about the cabin. Yeah, if you thought Omicron was bad, wait til you meet the Spirit variant."

Look, "traveling with masks sucks," Trevor Noah said on The Daily Show. "Your face gets sweaty, you can't pretend it's somebody else's breath that stinks," and flight attendants "have to be the bouncers of the sky," but "many other passengers were silently pissed off," because "it is insane to change a safety rule in the middle of a flight."

"My hope is we can get to a place where we're not villainizing each other over a tiny piece of cloth," Noah said. "We should be saving our anger for the real enemy: All those people who think that a tuna sandwich is appropriate to eat on a plane."

With the mask requirements gone, "it's time to say goodbye to the viral videos of Karens and Aarons having anti-mask meltdowns in midair," Jimmy Kimmel deadpanned on Kimmel Live, celebrating "the very best of the very worst in the first-ever Unruly Awards." And "Uber and Lyft have also dropped the mask requirement for passengers," he said, "but the drivers will still wear so much cologne you'll want to wear the mask anyway."