In response to the growing coronavirus outbreak, several New York-based talk shows taped live Wednesday in front of no audience. Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Wendy Williams Show, The View, and Good Morning America all played to an empty crowd, or a sparsely populated audience full of staffers. (Tamron Hall is supposed to do so as well, according to Deadline and other outlets, though the intro of today’s show featured an audience, so I’m assuming it was prerecorded.)
As if to prove that dystopia can be kind of fun, actually, across the board, the tones of the hosts were of humor and excitement, as they addressed seas of mostly empty seats. Whoopi Goldberg called the move to go live without an audience “unprecedented.” Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest had a soundboard of fake audience reactions to play with. Wendy Williams promised “the best day ever” and said, “This is the show I’ve been waiting to do for the last 11 years.” You can watch the clips reel below to get a taste of how the various shows dealt with the change:
Notably, Meghan McCain said she liked not having an audience. “But I’m also, like, a news person,” she added. Williams worried that banning audiences from her show was buying into “mass hysteria.” She was able to pull off a decent “clap if you…” poll regarding Naomi Campbell’s hazmat suit, though, so all was not lost.