News and Commentary

Making Millions From Their Million-Dollar Mansions, Late-Night Hosts Rip Trump for Wanting To Re-Open Economy
ABC SUMMER TCA 2019 - Jimmy Kimmel (Executive Producer and Host, "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!") addressed the press at the ABC Summer TCA 2019, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. (
Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images

You might think President Trump’s hopeful message of wanting to re-open the economy by Easter would give comedians some good news to bring to their viewers. Not surprisingly, that’s not the case for late-night hosts.

While 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week and most Americans face an uncertain future as SARS-CoV-2 sweeps across the nation, late-night TV hosts are bashing Trump for trying to re-open the economy and imploring him to keep it closed.

But the TV hosts are scolding the president from their multi-million dollar mansions, aware that their multi-million salaries are not in jeopardy and, with so many Americans isolated in their homes, their audiences could actually even grow.

Take Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show.”  He’ll still be getting his estimated $8 million a year salary and keeping his $10 million penthouse apartment, which occupies the 17th and 18th floor of a building in midtown Manhattan.

Noah has been posting videos, sticking with his “Daily Show” format, on YouTube. In one, he says: “The the story that’s got everyone talking is that while more and more countries around the world are shutting down to stop coronavirus from spreading, Donald Jamison Trump is preparing for a grand opening.”

Trump said Tuesday he would “love to have the country opened up” by Easter, which is April 12. “It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I will make it an important day for this: I would love to have the country opened up, and they are just raring to go, by Easter,” the president said in a Fox News virtual town hall from the White House Rose Garden. “We’re opening up this incredible country. Because we have to do that. I would love to have it open by Easter.”

“Yes,” Noah said, “President Trump said he wants to re-open on Easter. Which makes sense, I mean, Easter is all about resurrection, after all. Happy Easter, everyone — He is risen. ‘He’ meaning coronavirus.”

Noah added: “You don’t have to be a genius to see why the president’s plan is alarming a lot of people right now.”

“Late Night” host Seth Meyers was even most distraught at the idea of Trump’s optimism that the economy could be re-opened by April 12, posting his own video on YouTube.

Meyers, who’s still pulling in his estimated $3 million annual salary, did the video from his $7.5 million Manhattan duplex in Greenwich Village. Meyers played a clip in which Trump said:  “Ultimately the goal is to ease the guidelines and open things up to very large sections of our country as we near the end of our historic battle with the invisible enemy. There’s tremendous hope as we look forward and we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Meyers responded, saying: “Light at the end of the tunnel? What are you talking about? Are you sure you’re not just staring at the sun again? … Trump cares more about the Dow than saving lives. It’s that simple.”

On Trump saying he hoped the U.S. could be open by Easter, Meyers said, “You just came up with yourself? Did you decide to cede the decision to” the Easter Bunny (as an image of the holiday bunny. Impersonating Trump, Meyers said: “He’s bringing the eggs whether we like it or not, I say be ready.”

Then as himself, he added: “Don’t just pull dates out of your a**. That’s unsanitary. … He randomly concocted a date against the advice of virtually all public health experts.”

Meyers’ YouTube subscriber count, by the way, has doubled since the pandemic swept America.

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel also posted a video — from one of his three houses in Hermosa Beach, California (he bought one for $2.1 million in 2004, another for $2.25 million in 2014 and a third for $8 million in 2017). His annual salary was estimated at $15 million back in 2017.

In response to Trump’s hope to re-open by Easter, Kimmel said in a video:  “By Easter?! That’s in two and half weeks. Even Jesus is like, ‘Jesus! Calm down let’s think this through.’

“We’re all going to die so the president can eat Peeps,” Kimmel said.

Comedian Victor Dweck, who like Noah and Meyers lives in Manhattan, told The Daily Wire that he hopes the late-night hosts can channel their skills into bringing more of a hopeful message to America.

“Now, more than ever, we need laughs. We need funny people. The late-night hosts are very skilled, very gifted comics. I hope they can direct their talent and energy into bringing smiles to millions of people in this difficult time. With the huge reach that they have and the wind of success at their back, I think they are in a unique position to bring Americans together with a message of hope,” he said.

For content creators like Dweck, the pandemic has thrown them all a curveball. “We had just completed a pilot we shot for an original series and were literally a day from sending it out to studios in Hollywood, and then the pandemic took over America. Just about every industry has paused and entered a crisis management mode. For creators, it’s forced us to re-think how we can shoot and deliver new content right now.”

And now, that field is even more crowded, what with the late-night TV hosts posting their own content exclusively on the internet.

Dweck has his own take on virus, a YoutTube video titled “Love in the Time of Corona,” in which two people on a first date run into an issue because neither want to take off their protective masks.

“I’d like to bring as many laughs to as many people as possible. As a comedian, that means just focusing on delivering funny, not dread.”