Fallon, sitting on a stool in the middle of the studio, rather than behind the traditional desk, and dressed in a sweater and sneakers rather that his usual suit, said that “any type of normalcy feels great” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a New Yorker, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped get us back to where we are now,” he opened. “To all the states going through the tough parts, friends in Florida, Texas, Arizona, California. I know how hard it is, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s tough. But I’m here to show you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel if we all do our part to keep each other safe.”
“I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but any type of normalcy feels great. Hopefully we can put a smile on your face for an hour every night and bring you a bit of normal. These are the hardest times to do comedy but they are also the times we need it the most. Maybe that’s why comedy was invented. Chew on that,” he added.
Fallon laid out how the NBC show was able to return, highlighting the safety protocols that he and his small crew went through to get the show up and running. All performers, including house band The Roots, Fallon and staff tested negative for COVID-19 and crew were wearing masks and face shields during shooting and remained six feet apart.
When he turned up to the studio, he had his temperature taken and a nose swab (“I didn’t know you could get a COVID test and a colonoscopy at the same time”) and once he was cleared, he went to his office to get ready.
“We’re taking this very seriously and I want to thank NBC for making sure that everyone feels safe,” he added. “The show will be a little bit different. I think in some ways we’re all getting used to different. But we’re here for you and we’re slowly and safely getting back to work and getting back to whatever normal is.”
Then Fallon kicked on with the show, which featured a monologue that included jokes about President Donald Trump wearing a mask for the first time (“We’re days away from him saying he was the first one to wear a mask”) and how the White House seems to be disparaging Dr. Fauci.
He also took advantage of the benefits of the studio, performing a couple of bits in front of the green screen, including a fake ad for Masculine Man Masks, an ’80s throwback called I Like Your Style and performing a song called “It’s Beginning to Look A Bit Like Normal,” which featured virtual back up dancers as well as Tracy Morgan declaring that he was running for Mayor.
It’s starting to look a bit like almost normal.