The show must go on. In the business of entertainment, this expression is used often and in different circumstances. When the lead actor in a play falls ill, their understudy takes over for them and the play still gets staged. For the most part, the great white way went dark after Hurricane Sandy made its way toward the East Coast but there were two notable exceptions — The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Both shows are taped in front of live audiences in New York City and both, for all intents and purposes should have been cancelled from the moment it was known that the storm was going to hit. After all, one of the aspects of making a talk show is having an audience to see it happen live — an audience to laugh at jokes and applaud at all the right times — with no audience to react, it’s not really the same program, is it? With all mass transit shutdown, there was no way for the entire audience to be there.

As both David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon feel strongly about the idea that the show must go on, they put on the show anyway — with empty audiences. Much of the show dealt with the storm and how they were handling it, complete with opening the show outside the theaters, the hosts well dressed in rain coats.

I can’t help but be really impressed that the two hosts cared so much about making sure that they continued production of their show. After all, it is not just the East coast that watches the two shows but people all over the country, and for most of the country there were no problems with blackouts and the like.

I was impressed that a number of networks shifted their new scripted television programs one week forward so that people who were missing power would not suddenly miss an important episode of their favorite shows.

This is the kind of dedication to putting on a good show that should be noted. There are too many that would, in similar circumstances, take the opportunity to just skip out on work if possible. I am happy that there are people who will go above and beyond in the name of a happy at home audience.


  1. The morning news radio shows had fun with clips of ‘no laughter’ the next morning. Letterman in particular has a knack to laugh at himself.
    Though I thought the show going on was unnecessary, I was impressed with their tenacity.
    I am one of those who would stay home.
    I can’t wait for the next big snow fall. 🙂

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