David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon delivered their monologues to the empty, mocking stillness
Much of New York remains eerily quiet today in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, but—as we told you yesterday—the uncomfortable silences started even earlier on the sets of Late Show With David Letterman and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, which refused to let a little historically destructive storm or the lack of a studio audience prevent them from forging ahead with new episodes. Both shows pulled off the feats of maintaining business as usual when it came to interviewing their celebrity guests, as neither Denzel Washington (on Letterman) nor Robert Zemeckis (on Fallon) were similarly going to stop promoting Flight just because of some natural disaster, while Fallon even had Padma Lakshmi and Seth Meyers come in through the rain to keep him company.
All in all, it was a loose, uniquely intimate night of late-night TV that was funny and strange in equal measure, occasionally coming off like some avant-garde performance piece on the artifice of entertainment, the echoing stillness after every punchline turning harsh and questioning against the very nature of manufactured levity. Or something. Mostly it was just weird. Anyway, in case you missed it—likely because you were too focused on watching Roland Emmerich's fantasies play out across Lower Manhattan—here is video of Letterman's and Fallon's respective monologues to no one. And Jimmy Fallon did howl his John Travolta impression into the abyss, and lo, the abyss howled back.