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Coronavirus hits late-night shows as Seth Meyers tests positive and Jimmy Fallon urges vaccinations

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 6, 2022

Seth Meyers hosts “Late Night With Seth Meyers” in New York on Dec. 16. This week’s remaining episodes have been scrapped after Meyers tested positive for COVID-19. Meyers tweeted his positive result Tuesday but said he felt fine, thanking the vaccine and a booster.  (Lloyd Bishop/NBC/AP)
Seth Meyers hosts “Late Night With Seth Meyers” in New York on Dec. 16. This week’s remaining episodes have been scrapped after Meyers tested positive for COVID-19. Meyers tweeted his positive result Tuesday but said he felt fine, thanking the vaccine and a booster. (Lloyd Bishop/NBC/AP)
By Sonia Rao Washington Post

It feels a bit like deja vu at the late-night TV shows. The same week Seth Meyers announced he tested positive for the coronavirus, Jimmy Fallon designated a segment of “The Tonight Show” to discussing his own experience with COVID-19.

Fallon tested positive during his holiday break last month when he swung by NBC headquarters in New York to film a bit for “Saturday Night Live.” He said on Monday’s show that he was briefly quarantined in an office before being sent home to isolate.

Fallon’s recollection of the events surrounding his positive test recalled some of the behind-the-scenes scrambling that took place in March 2020 when the producers of live-TV programs were forced to quickly figure out how to adapt to the onset of the pandemic.

But, aside from the fact Fallon’s show was on hiatus, there is a major difference this time around: the availability of coronavirus vaccines, as the host underscored on air.

“I want to tell everyone, please, out there – get vaxxed,” Fallon said. “If you can, get vaxxed, get boosted. Man. This thing, it’s a banger. It’s a real thing. If I didn’t have that, it felt like I would be real, real, real, real, real sick.”

Fallon’s two young daughters also tested positive, and the family spent the holidays quarantining together.

Meyers shared his COVID-19 diagnosis Tuesday morning on Twitter: “The bad news is, I tested positive for COVID (thanks, 2022!). The good news is, I feel fine (thanks vaccines and booster!) We are canceling the rest of the shows this week, so tune in next Monday to see what cool location we will try and pass off as a studio!!!”

“Late Night With Seth Meyers” producers were unavailable to discuss how they plan to move forward next week, though Meyers’ tweet suggests remote production. Fallon returned to the studio after his holiday break.

Both “The Tonight Show” and “Late Night” are filmed at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, also home to “SNL.” The episode set to air the day Fallon tested positive was majorly disrupted by “the recent spike in the Omicron variant,” as the sketch comedy series’ Twitter account stated that afternoon.

Musical guest Charli XCX said she was unable to perform due to coronavirus precautions, and the show was largely composed of pre-taped and archival sketches. Host Paul Rudd appeared in a mostly empty studio alongside fellow five-time “SNL” hosts and special guests Tom Hanks and Tina Fey.

“Thank you for joining me,” Hanks said during the episode. “As you know, I started the five-timers club.” Fey responded, “Oh, like you started COVID!”

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