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Late-night shows return with plenty of snarky fodder post-writers’ strike


Megan Thomas

(CNN) — Network late-night talks shows returned to air on Monday, five months after production came to a halt due to the writers’ strike.

“It feels good to be back,” CBS “Late Night” host Stephen Colbert said in his opening monologue. “It feels good to be back here with all of you again in the Ed Sullivan Theater because after the first few months of the strike, Evie (Colbert’s wife) refused to keep chanting my name. “

Colbert then pivoted to address a familiar topic on his show, politics.

“It’s been a long time since our last ‘Late Show,’” Colbert remarked. “We looked at the calendar today and check my math on this, I believe we’ve been off the air for 154 indictments. It was a crazy summer to be off. It was packed with events!”

“Tonight Show’s” Jimmy Fallon also had a few political zingers.

“I’m so excited to be here,” Fallon said. “I’m more excited than a guy seeing ‘Beetlejuice’ with Lauren Boebert.”

Fallon did not revisit a recent report about allegations of a difficult work culture at the “Tonight Show,” but he did thank his staff and celebrate his writers securing a new contract.

“I’m so happy all the writers finally got their fair deal that they deserve. You gotta hand it to them, only writers would spend all summer fighting to go back to the office. ‘What do we want? To go back inside. We’re not beach people,’” Fallon quipped.

After a seasonal joke (“The studio was empty for so long, NBC converted to a Spirit Halloween!”), Fallon again took a moment to express gratitude for his job after a tumultuous summer.

“I had a lot of time to sit and think, and I realized how grateful I am for all of this and for this show. I really am,” Fallon remarked.

“I really love this job, I love doing it, I love telling jokes, I love interviewing people, I love making you laugh. I’m really lucky to have this show and I want to thank you all for supporting and choosing to have me in your bedrooms at nighttime,” he continued.

“This is what I love to do and I want to do it for a long time. Thank you to our crew, our staff, our writers are now back in the building and we’re going to make some fun shows.”

Jimmy Kimmel, meanwhile, opened his show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” with former California governor and “Terminator” star Arnold Schwarzenegger as his shrink. “I don’t know if I’ll be back,” Kimmel worried while lying on a couch. “You’ll be back, you’ll always be back,” Schwarzenegger as his therapist responded.

“But when?” Kimmel said. “Now! Get to the chopper,” Schwarzenegger said. “There’s always a chopper!”

“In case you’ve forgotten my name is Jimmy,” Kimmel later said during his monologue. “I’ve been off the air five months. We’ve been gone so long, ‘The Bachelor’ is now a grandfather.”

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