Entertainment & Arts

David Letterman show goes on despite Hurricane Sandy

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Media captionLetterman went to air, despite its graphics team being kept away by the storm. Footage courtesy Worldwide Pants

David Letterman hosted his chat show from an empty New York theatre without an audience for a second day following Hurricane Sandy.

The CBS host described the Ed Sullivan Theater as a "big ol' empty barn".

When band leader Paul Schafer asked Letterman how they were supposed to approach such an awkward situation, he replied: "Just like every night: We pretend the audience isn't here."

The chat show was one of a number of productions affected by Monday's storm.

Producers had been cautious about encouraging audience members out onto the streets where many are still without power and the subway system remains down.

"We felt like we would be putting the audience at jeopardy if they had to sit through the show," Letterman said.

"And I said 'Hell, we've been doing that for 30 years'."

Giving his monologue from his desk, the host ran through his jokes without pausing for laughs.

"I had to come in. I used up all my sick days," he said, adding: "That's a joke there."

As Letterman's first guest, actress Kate Hudson, was not able to appear, a middle-aged bald man instead came on stage and bantered with the host as if he were the star.

However Oscar-winner Denzel Washington did manage to make it to the theatre - arriving on stage in a yellow rain coat to a smattering of applause from the show's crew.

Interpol front man Paul Banks also appeared to perform his latest single, Young Again.

Fellow chat show host, NBC's Jimmy Fallon had hosted his show without an audience on Monday, but welcomed them back on Tuesday.

"First off, thanks to our great audience for making it out to the show tonight," he said. "I'm so glad you're here, because last night's audience was the worst."

ABC network host Jimmy Kimmel, who had planned a week of shows in Brooklyn from Monday, cancelled the first day but also resumed on Tuesday.

Image caption Jimmy Fallon hosted his show without an audience on Monday

"Thank you for ignoring the local authorities to be here tonight," he told the audience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Comedy Central chat shows The Daily Show and The Colbert Report both cancelled their recordings for Tuesday.

Other areas of New York's entertainment industry have been affected by the storm - all 40 of the theatres on Broadway have been closed since Monday, while Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall have been shut.

A Bruce Springsteen concert scheduled for Tuesday in New York state was called off as the band were unable to get to the venue due to flight cancellations.

A number of TV programmes have also had their film permits revoked including Smash, 30 Rock, Gossip Girl, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

And with most cinemas closed along the east coast of the US, losing several days worth of box office would likely mean a multi-million dollar loss to Hollywood.

The cost of clearing up after Hurricane Sandy has been estimated at $30-40bn (£18-24bn).

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