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Letterman, Fallon Host Late-Night Shows During Hurricane With No Audience



Late-night hosts David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon sent home their live audiences Monday afternoon as Hurricane Sandy started to whip through New York City, but that didn’t stop them from taping.

Both shows began with the hosts outside in rain coats, followed by pan shots of empty audience seats.

“Because of safety, we thought if we got 500 people here in the audience that would be great, but they would be getting out just in time for the full-on attack of Hurricane Sandy, and that wouldn’t be a good idea,” Letterman told band leader Paul Schaffer. “We felt like we would be putting the audience — hell, we’ve been doing that for 30 years!”

Although Letterman still performed his Top 10 List — the topic was rejected names for Frankenstorm such as iPaddy — and cracked jokes about the presidential candidates, the hurricane was clearly top of mind throughout the show.

Actor Denzel Washington joined Letterman on stage, saying he “swam” to get there. Fallon also had a strong lineup of guests, including Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers, Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi, director Robert Zemeckis and the band Imagine Dragons.

“Hurricane Sandy is on its way, and I’m hoping if you’re home and watching, you’re safe and warm,” Fallon said. “We sent our guests home, but we’re here. All of our guests came, which is big for us. We were worried we weren’t going to get guests.”

More Coverage of Hurricane Sandy


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The Aftermath of Superstorm Sandy

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    Breezy Point, Queens

    “Destruction after fire in Breezy Point, Queens.” Via Official New York City Fire Department

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    Breezy Point, Queens

    “Destruction after fire in Breezy Point, Queens.”
    Via Official New York City Fire Department

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    Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    “Damage being repaired on the roof of the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Arts and Crafts Center after Hurricane Sandy made landfall.”

    Via Joint Task Force Guantanamo Public Affairs/Sgt. Brett Perkins

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    “No traffic on the FDR today. This was all under water the night before. It’s amazing how a storm like Sandy can completely shut down an entire city.”

    Via WanderingtheWorld

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    South Ferry Station, Manhattan

    A submerged escalator at the South Ferry subway station in Lower Manhattan. Via MTA

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    East Village, Manhattan

    People bail water from a basement of an East Village business. Via Brennan Cavanaugh

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    West Village, Manhattan

    “Bleeker Street Pizza: OPEN- The electricity was still out, but they were making pizza anyway, with the help of their gas-fired oven and a few spelunker head lamps.”

    Via Nick Sherman

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    East Village at Avenue C, Manhattan

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    Battery Park

    A truck is submerged in Battery Park, Manhattan. Via Andrea Canning

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    Belmar, New Jersey

    “Hurricane Sandy damage in Belmar, N.J. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012.” Via Talk Radio News Service

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    Seaside Heights, New Jersey

    “Aerial views of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast taken during a search and rescue mission by 1-150 Assault Helicopter Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard, Oct. 30, 2012.”

    Via U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released

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    White Hall subway station in NYC

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    North Wildwood, New Jersey

    Via thejkinz

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    West Wildwood, New Jersey

    A street underwater. Via thejkinz

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    Long Island, New York

    A tree uprooted in Long Island, New York. Via nikki_skye

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    Stonybrook, Long Island, NY

    via Meghan Pipe

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    Dumbo, Brooklyn

    “Main St. After Hurricane Sandy” Via DumboNYC

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    Dumbo, Brooklyn

    “Jane’s carousel is basically an island now. Poor horses.” Via andjelicaaa

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    Staten Island

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    West Virginia

    “John Schmidt, of the West Virginia Field Office, photographed his backyard during Hurricane Sandy.” Via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

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    Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

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    Staten Island

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    Red Cross Digital Command Center

    “President Obama visits the American Red Cross Digital Command Center following Hurricane Sandy”
    Via Dell

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    Portsmouth, Virginia

    “Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, visits Soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment Oct. 30 in Portsmouth, Va. “
    Via Virginia Guard Public Affairs

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    Piscataway Township, New Jersey

    “Spc. Anthony Monte along with Soldiers from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, New Jersey Army National Guard, mobilized for Hurricane Sandy provide assistance to displaced residents at an emergency shelter at the Werblin Recreation Center, Piscataway Township, N.J., Oct. 29, 2012.”Via U.S. Army

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    Damaged Space Shuttle Enterprise

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    Mears, Virginia

    “Virginia National Guard Soldiers trudged through high water and cut trees to clear a path for two rescue missions that transported seven adults and one child to safety at two locations on Cattail Road in the Mears, Va. area Oct. 30.” Via The National Gaurd

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    Fort Greene, Brooklyn

    A car that has been smashed by a tree in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Via CSondi