As New York and the surrounding areas continued to clean up the enormous mess left by Hurricane Sandy, most of the city's late-night shows — and one temporary import, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" — were back on the air Tuesday.
The most notable exceptions were "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," both of which were canceled, thereby depriving election- and storm-weary viewers of some much-needed levity.
For the second night in a row, Letterman delivered a desk-bound monologue before a vacant Ed Sullivan Theater. "Just like every night, we pretend the audience isn't here," he joked with Paul Shaffer. Kidding aside, the lack of a studio audience didn't do much to help Letterman's creaky monologue jokes, which included an obligatory crack about Clint Eastwood and another one about Michael Phelps.
Across the river in Brooklyn, Jimmy Kimmel kicked off a truncated week of shows in his home borough, a day later than originally planned — but hey, at least he had an audience. After cracking a few jokes about the gentrification of the borough and its many artisanal cheese shops, Kimmel took his sidekick Guillermo on a video tour of his old haunts.
Back in Manhattan, Jimmy Fallon had his own problems. Unlike Letterman, he was able to rustle up some onlookers for "Late Night's" Tuesday broadcast, but he also had the unenviable task of dealing with Donald Trump's ego.
Trump, who graciously extended his offer to donate $5 million to President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, sniffed at Fallon's suggestion that the whole gimmick was somewhat controversial.
"I offered a lot of money for something that's very easy to produce. But you know, I don't know if that's controversial," he said, adding that it "sends out a bad signal" if the president — who kind of has his hands full right now — doesn't cough up his college transcript.
Trump shamelessly courting publicity in the middle of an unprecedented disaster? Sounds like things in New York are back to normal already.
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