Amber Ruffin on the ‘Crazy’ Challenges of Launching a Late-Night Show During a Pandemic

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Traditionally, late-night talk show hosts are able to gauge which skits and one-liners land with their large live studio audiences.

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But for Amber Ruffin, the host and executive producer of Peacock’s new The Amber Ruffin Show, unusual circumstances have led to atypical experiences: Broadcasting from an almost completely empty studio, she only has to make herself laugh.

Though Ruffin had already been writing and appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers remotely for several months during the pandemic, her show (which debuted last month on the NBCUniversal streaming platform, with new episodes airing each Friday) has only had about four people working on it in the studio.

“Doing the show without an audience is crazy. I mean, it’s weird, because you know, where do the laughs go? If you’ve been doing comedy for a billion years, like I have, it’s a lot,” Ruffin told nitronet TV Editor Jason Lynch at nitronet’s Virtual Convergent TV summit on Tuesday. “It’s completely different, but it does let you fill in your own feedback.”

You can catch the rest of the conversation about the challenges of launching a new series in the time of Covid-19 (and why Ruffin thinks marketers should advertise on her show) here:

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