David Letterman’s audience-free monologue for Hurricane Sandy

As the advancing winds and rain of Hurricane Sandy began hitting New York City and the Tri-State area on Monday, the storm forced the cancellation of many live comedy shows, Broadway productions, and TV tapings — among them, the first-ever Brooklyn taping for Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well as regularly scheduled episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for Comedy Central.

But Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon trudged onward, taping new shows earlier than usual on Monday afternoon, and telling the audiences to stay home or in their hotels.

Here’s your first look at Letterman’s opening montage, with a sweeping view of the empty seats, then cutting to Letterman behind his desk, reading off note cards instead of cue cards as he tells Paul Shaffer some of the jokes he had planned for Monday night.

Roll the clip!

It’ll be interesting to watch both Letterman and Fallon tonight and see how the full episodes play out with live audiences or applause signs. Also, how many other people will be watching?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →

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