We’re all in this together. Everyone is experiencing the global pandemic at the same time. That’s what they want you to believe. But could there be a secret class of people who have found a way to live out their wildest dreams while living under the “Safer-At-Home” order? People who are utilizing this time to realize their deepest and most tightly guarded personal fantasies? I’m referring of course, to late-night-hosts.
Late-night TV hosts already had it pretty good, right? They meet all the celebrities, they’re seen by millions of fans every night, and they make a fair buck while they’re at it. What more could they possibly want? Easy: they want that YouTuber life.
These late-night show hosts didn’t just drop on the scene out of nowhere. They’ve been working years, decades even, to achieve their position. Take Stephen Colbert, he first started doing comedy at The Second City in 1986 and didn’t become host of The Late Show until 2015. All that is to say that YouTube wasn’t around when current Late Night hosts got started. They had no idea that it would be possible to do their own show from home. Now that it is and, thanks to the global health emergency, they’ve tasted the sweet nectar of the YouTuber experience, can you blame them if they don’t want to go back to the old way of creating content?
Imagine being a host for a late-night show. You have to live in Los Angeles or New York. You commute to work, which means fighting torturous traffic. Once you get to work, you’re surrounded by people who want you to have the answer to every question. You have makeup people trying to get you powdered, wardrobe getting your shoes right, fans in the live audience that want to shout out how much they love you in the middle of your jokes. It’s a whirlwind. Every single day. For years. Sometimes, decades.
Of course the YouTuber lifestyle seems attractive. It means living wherever you want. Forget about traffic. Makeup and Wardrobe? Whatever you find around the house. The closest thing to an audience member ruining your timing is a surprise cameo from your adorable toddler waddling in — which is sure to go viral! And is there any doubt that these late-night show hosts are enjoying the best part of being a YouTuber: not needing to wear pants.
If there’s any question in your mind, take a look at how fast the highly polished big-budget late-night shows swapped to the YouTuber aesthetic. No more perfect lighting, no more crafted set, no more pristine picture quality. Now late shows look indistinguishable from YouTubers — just a person sitting at home under bad lighting, talking to a 720i webcam. Maybe one of them will step up the game and get a ring light.
Of course, they’ve still got a lot to learn about the YouTubing game. They’ll have to learn about engagement, cajoling your audience into slamming that subscribe button, and of course, like the rest of us, they’ll have to sell their souls to the Algorithm.