With the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes entering their second month, the late-night hosts are finding new ways to connect with their audiences. Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and Seth Meyers have come together to launch a limited Spotify podcast called “Strike Force Five.” The podcast will consist of at least 12 episodes, with each host taking turns leading the conversation. All proceeds from the podcast will go towards supporting the out-of-work staff from their respective shows.
The idea for the podcast was born out of the weekly Zoom meetings the hosts have been having since the strikes began. These virtual check-ins have served as a way for the hosts to stay connected and support each other during this challenging time. While the initial purpose of the meetings was to discuss the strikes, the conversations quickly evolved to cover a range of topics, as is expected to happen on the podcast.
What is particularly surprising to industry insiders is the level of friendship and collaboration among these hosts. In the past, late-night hosts were known for bitter rivalries and infighting. Late-night historian Bill Carter even wrote two books, “Late Shift” and “The War for Late Night,” chronicling the tensions between Jay Leno, David Letterman, and later, Leno and Conan O’Brien.
But now, these hosts not only appear as friendly guests on each other’s shows but have also gone as far as swapping staff and shows, as Kimmel and Fallon did on April Fools’ Day. During the strikes, Oliver and Meyers even performed sold-out nights of stand-up comedy together. Oliver also made an appearance on Meyers’ other podcast, “Family Trips With the Meyers Brothers,” where he shared stories of his family camping trips.
Earlier this year, most of the “Strike Force Five” hosts, along with Letterman and Trevor Noah, filmed a skit for James Corden’s late-night show sign-off. Corden emphasized the sense of camaraderie among the hosts, stating, “When I first moved here to America to take over the show, all I would hear was talk of the late-night wars, then I came to realize we’re not a war, we’re a family.”
The “Strike Force Five” podcast will be supported by Mint Mobile and Diageo, who will serve as co-presenting sponsors. With their support, the hosts can continue to deliver engaging and entertaining content while also assisting their staff members who have been affected by the strikes.
The launch of the “Strike Force Five” podcast demonstrates how these late-night hosts are adapting to the current circumstances. By embracing new mediums like podcasts, they can continue to connect with their audiences and provide them with the entertainment they crave. Additionally, the podcast serves as a reminder of the solidarity and friendship that exists among these hosts, highlighting the positive and supportive nature of the late-night community.
The first episode of “Strike Force Five” is set to release on Wednesday, August 30th. Fans can expect lively discussions, comedic banter, and insightful commentary on a wide range of topics. Furthermore, by listening to the podcast, fans can support the behind-the-scenes workers who rely on these late-night shows for their livelihoods.
In conclusion, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have forced late-night hosts to explore new avenues for reaching their audiences. The creation of the “Strike Force Five” podcast allows Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and Seth Meyers to continue entertaining their fans while supporting their out-of-work staff. The camaraderie and collaboration among these hosts highlight the positive and supportive nature of the late-night community. With the support of Mint Mobile and Diageo, the “Strike Force Five” podcast is set to become a popular and successful venture. Fans eagerly await the release of the first episode and are looking forward to the engaging discussions and comedic moments that lie ahead.