Last week, after taping one final audience-free episode with Dr. Sanjay Gupta as his one and only guest, Stephen Colbert announced that production on The Late Show would be shutting down until further notice. But if you tuned into CBS at his regular 11:35 p.m. time slot Monday night, there he was. 

After humming his own theme song, Colbert emerged from inside his own bathtub to deliver one of the strangest late-night monologues in recent memory. 

“Welcome to my bathroom. I’m your host, Stephen Colbert,” the host began. “You’re watching a very special social distancing edition of The Late Show.” 

“The big story tonight is all you people,” he said. “People all over America have hunkered down in their own houses to ride out the coronavirus. The CDC is saying this might go on for the next eight weeks. So get comfortable. And try to look on the bright side, you’re finally going to get a chance to binge watch all that toilet paper you bought.”

Colbert explained that he and his entire staff were working from home “because we need to slow the spread of this virus.” He added, “Epidemiologists call this flattening the curve, but based on my current level of inactivity and stress baking, I definitely will not be flattening my curves.” 

And if you’re wondering if this new version of The Late Show included Trump jokes, of course it did. Colbert zeroed in on the “dramatically different” tone the president set during his latest press conference on the pandemic. 

“Did you hear that? Don’t get together in groups of more than 10 people,” he said. “This important information coming from the coronavirus task force, which has 21 members. This is actually a good math lesson for all those kids now being home-schooled. Question, if the coronavirus task force has 21 members but groups aren’t allowed to contain more than 10 people, how many more months are we going to have to be eating Chef Boyardee?” 

In response to President Trump saying America will have a “big celebration” when all of this is over, Colbert added, “Yes, it’s true, we will all celebrate…  the inauguration of anyone else.” 

With no theater, no band, no audience, and no guests, it was far from business as usual. But in these trying times, we’ll take what we can get. 

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