The plethora of shows, including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Late Night with Seth Meyers, are set to return on Monday after the strike ended Wednesday. The nearly five-month strike resulted in a halt of production for these shows, leading to their hosts seeking alternative ways to busy themselves.
A group of these hosts, consisting of Fallon, Colbert, Kimmel, Meyers, and John Oliver, opted to create a podcast titled Strike Force Five, intended to raise money for their striking writing staff amid the writers strike. On Wednesday, the five announced the return of their shows, marking the likely end of the podcast.
“Of course, in a greater sense, the Strike Force 5 will never end, because Strike Force 5 is not a place, Strike Force 5 is not a people, Strike Force 5 is barely a podcast,” read a statement online.
“Nay, Strike Force 5 is an idea, an idea that five men could talk on top of each other for 12 episodes, and maybe somebody would listen,” the statement added. “As we say goodbye, we would like to thank all those somebodies. Truly, you were the heroes. We were mostly the heroes, but you were there too.”
Beyond the podcast, some of the hosts have also shared clips of their show’s older episodes on social media, with Fallon’s YouTube channel posting compilation clips of different interviews.
Bill Maher, the host of Real Time with Bill Maher, meanwhile, kept himself busy by appearing in several interviews, one of which was on The Joe Rogan Experience. During the interview, host Joe Rogan and Maher discussed the COVID-19 vaccine and the claim that it was 100% effective, which Rogan said was “crazy.” Maher also thought it was “curious” how many Democratic supporters have historically been skeptical of “corporate America, including the pharmaceutical industry,” but were quick to support the COVID-19 vaccine once it was created.
Maher also appeared on the Club Random Podcast, where he told swimmer-turned-activist Riley Gaines that transgender citizens need some form of protection. The late-night host did concede that “transgender” is a separate category from men and women.
The strike has cost the entertainment industry billions of dollars and led to a monthslong delay in the filming and release of many television shows and movies. Estimates expect the strike to have cost the industry at least $5 billion so far.
The new agreement made between the striking writers and Hollywood studios gave the writers several new deals, including wage increases, protection from artificial intelligence, and bonuses based on how popular a show is on streaming platforms.