Five late-night television hosts sidelined by the ongoing Hollywood writers’ strike are turning to a podcast for a creative outlet. Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver have teamed up with Spotify for Strike Force Five, a limited series podcast that will bring together this exclusive group as they navigate the Hollywood strikes and beyond.
The show will debut today (Aug. 30) and be widely distributed to all apps. Spotify says the hosts have committed to produce at least a dozen episodes, with all hosts participating in each episode while rotating who leads the conversation.
They may be late-night competitors, but it turns out that Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, Meyers, and Oliver are actually rather convivial. When the WGA strike began in May, the group started talking among themselves via Zoom. Their idea was to meet every week to discuss the serious issues a work stoppage creates. But Spotify says what happened instead when a group of comedians got together was a series of hilarious and compelling conversations. Now the five are allowing anyone to listen in on their once-private chats on the podcast.
All proceeds received by the hosts from Strike Force Five will go to out-of-work staff from the hosts’ respective shows, “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”
The podcast launches with several advertisers, including Mint Mobile and the spirits company Diageo, owner of the Aviation American Gin, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, Casamigos, and Ketel One Vodka brands.
Former “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah is not part of the Strike Force Five lineup, but Spotify announced in June that it is working on a new podcast with the comedian that is slated to launch later this year. Similar to “The Daily Show,” his new podcast will cover Noah’s perspective on what is being talked about in news and around the watercooler, as well as featuring interviews with guests.