Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg filled in as host on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday night to a mostly empty audience because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s a step most talk shows have taken in recent days as health officials ban large gatherings and urge the public to practice “social distancing” to combat the disease.
"This was not our plan. We just decided this a few hours ago. And it’s disappointing, because as you all know, I love to crowd surf. It’s kinda my thing,” Buttigieg joked.
Buttigieg said that in place of the regular audience, his husband Chasten along with friends and show staffers watched the show.
Stephen Colbert and James Corden are also taping without live audiences, while Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers suspended production altogether.
“Our guests, with great reason, decided that they didn’t feel right coming in and doing the show tonight so we decided to cancel," Meyers said. “We don’t know when we’re going to start doing shows again.”
John Krasinski, Regina Hall and Bones UK were slated to appear.
Corden became emotional as he said he hoped his show would continue to “bring light and levity to your day.”
The effect of the virus is sending shockwaves throughout Hollywood.
NBC Universal enacted the most sweeping shutdown: halting production on nearly 35 shows. Other networks are doing the same, which means no new production of popular shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “NCIS,” “Law & Order SVU,” and “The Price is Right.”
In Australia, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson are still in quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus. In a statement, Hanks thanked the medical personnel who are taking care of the couple, adding “Remember, despite all current events, there is no crying in baseball.”