For all that the entirety of the television industry was impacted in some way by the WGA writers strike, the dearth of new scripted content won't really be felt until the Fall TV season kicks off in earnest with a focus on unscripted series and projects recycled from other platforms and countries. But it's been quite a struggle for fans of late night talk shows, with The Tonight Show, The Late Show and others all forced into airing repeats since the strike began. Thankfully, however, a super-squad of hosts, including Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon, are bringing a new project to fans that has quite a good cause behind it.
Colbert and Fallon teamed up with fellow broadcast late night hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers, as well as HBO's Emmy magnet John Oliver, for an offbeat podcast-esque project set to launch through Spotify. Titled Strike Force Five, the limited series actually stems from a series of conversations that the five beloved comedians had in the immediate aftermath of the WGA strike's start. Their initial intentions were basically just to "discuss the complexities behind the ongoing Hollywood strikes," as that was also during the lead-up time to the start of the SAG-AFTRA actors strike.
Those convos were apparently so informative, insightful, and downright hilarious that they were inspired to turn the concept into a full-on slice of entertainment itself. With a premiere set for August 30, Strike Force Five will run for at least 12 separate episodes, with a different late night host taking on moderator duties in each. I dunno why, but I feel like Seth Meyers may have the hardest time corralling everyone else. Anytime you get two Daily Show vets in the same room as two SNL vets, chaos is imminent.
And just in case you thought, "There can't possibly be this many comedians getting together for something that doesn't involve Ryan Reynolds in some way," you're kind of right. Spotify's Megaphone imprint is the official host of the new show, with Spotify as the exclusive sales partner, with support from Mint Mobile (which Reynolds own a stake in) and Diageo, the company that previously bought the actor's ownership stake in Aviation Gin a few years ago. Diageo also owns Casamigos, but it might be over the top to call this podcast a Ryan Reynolds and George Clooney joint.
Why Strike Force Five Is For A Good Cause
As part of the official announcement, it was revealed that all of the hosts' proceeds stemming from Strike Force Five will be going directly to all of the out-of-work staff members from each of their late night shows: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Kimmel, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
For all that fans may think of late night TV with only the high-profile hosts in mind, it shouldn't ever be forgotten that there are plenty of other staff members putting in hard work even when the hosts aren't on TV. Even beyond the striking writers, there are tons of staffers who have been put out of work through no fault of their own, so this is a great way to show support while also entertaining fans who miss their work. Considering podcasts are largely a free-to-listen kind of media, here's hoping the hosts were offered enough bank for this good cause to amount to something meaningful.
So remember to check out Strike Force Five on the podcast app of your choice when it debuts on August 30.