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Late-Night Hosts Form Podcast Supergroup to Support Unemployed Staffers

Late-Night-Hosts-Podcast - Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Bishop/NBC/Getty Images
Late-Night-Hosts-Podcast - Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Bishop/NBC/Getty Images

With late-night still locked down as the Hollywood strikes drag on, five hosts are passing the time with a new limited series podcast. Strike Force Five, scheduled to launch on Spotify on Aug. 30, forms its own television Avengers with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver.

Proceeds from Strike Force Five will directly benefit each host’s staff on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, which have been largely out of work since the Writers Guild of America strike began in May. The slate of late-night programs were among the first television productions to go dark.

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“I wouldn’t have a show if it weren’t for my writers, and I support them all the way,” Fallon told Variety the night before the strike began. “They gotta have a fair contract, and they have a lot of stuff to iron out. Hopefully, they get it done.”

According to a release about the podcast, Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, Meyers, and Oliver began meeting via Zoom shortly after the strikes began to discuss the next steps. “Their idea was to meet every week to discuss the serious issues a work stoppage creates,” it reads. “What happened instead was a series of hilarious and compelling conversations. Now, [the hosts] invite you to listen in on their once-private chats on this all-new podcast.”

In May, a source close to The Tonight Show told Rolling Stone that NBC paid The Tonight Show’s non-striking staff for two weeks, after which Fallon agreed to cover salaries for a third week. Additionally, healthcare coverage for staffers will reportedly be available through the end of September.

Strike Force Five will run for a minimum of 12 episodes, with each entry rotating which host is at the helm of the conversation.

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