Live audiences are making a return to the studio. For the first time in almost a year, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” has an audience.
According to THR, the latest episode of the “Tonight Show” will feature a live audience, albeit one small in size. Reportedly, the studio only allowed 58 people into the taping versus the hundreds that usually attend Fallon’s talk show. This is in keeping with social distancing guidelines.
Talk shows in particular have felt strange the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, many talk shows filmed from home via video chat. But shows have gradually returned to the studios with virtual audiences or stand-ins instead. “The Tonight Show” will also return to its home at Studio 6B at 30 Rockefeller Center. It had been recording at Studio 6A previously.
Jimmy Fallon Greeted His ‘Tonight Show’ Audience
Fallon greeted his first live guests in his usual comedic way. The talk show host is excited to film before actual people again after months of filming alone on set.
“I’ve never been so excited to do a show for 58 people in my entire life. After last year, this is like performing at a sold-out Madison Square Garden,” Fallon said in the episode. He also voiced his appreciation on social media. “I can’t describe the feeling of performing in front of a live audience. We work well together. I missed it so much. Thank you.”
The first round of live audience members was made up of first responders and other health care workers. All were vaccinated for COVID-19 before appearing on the show. According to Fallon, all of his audience members this week will be made up of first responders. The show intends the move as a thank you to the health care industry for its work during the pandemic.
While the studio appeared unchanged, the show incorporated some social distance measures into its design. For instance, the Rootes isn’t as close to each other as they once were. The band has been more spaced apart on set. Similarly, Fallon was seated at a distance from his guest Andy Cohen. “The Tonight Show” is the first late show to have live audience members. And even Cohen felt a little bit jealous. Cohn hosts the show “Watch What Happens Live. “
“It’s still more than double the size of my normal audience,” Cohen said. “This is certainly the most people I’ve seen in over a year. This is great.”