Jimmy Fallon attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue )

After the WGA (Writers Guild of America) came to an agreement recently with new contracts, late-night television programs made their debut back on the air last night (October 2). Writers have been given cost of living increases, will be protected from Artificial Intelligence, and will receive better pay for streaming royalties. Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, and Jimmy Fallon have all been off the air for five months. Each host made it clear that they were glad to be back.

RELATED: Jimmy Kimmel Wanted To Retire Before the Writer’s Strike

Kimmel thanked his team of writers for returning in his 17-minute-long monologue. He then expressed that he wishes that striking actors, auto workers, and healthcare workers get the contracts they deserve, too. Meanwhile, Colbert had a two-part opening monologue upon his return to recap “a crazy summer,” totaling around 17 minutes long as well. Meyers kept things short and sweet, primarily focusing on thanking his writers, staff, and audience members. Speaking about their joint podcast while their late-night shows were off the air, Fallon said Strike Force Five donated their earnings to their crew and staff who were striking. His monologue was the shortest, under four minutes long.

The WGA strike began on May 2. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) began its strike on July 14. (SAG-AFTRA is the union representing striking actors.) Both unions have shared reasons for striking. As reported by Deadline at the time, an anonymous studio executive was quoted about the WGA strike that the “endgame” is to allow things to “drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses.” This statement rejuvenated the WGA’s energy around the strike. The Hollywood Reporter has been running “Anonymous Strike Diary,” and wrote, in part, “Thank you, whoever you are. Because those quotes turbocharged us. They reminded every writer why we’re doing this.”

Take a look below at late-night hosts’ first monologues after the writer’s strike.

  • Jimmy Kimmel Live

    In Kimmel’s 17-minute long opening, he is in a “therapy session” talking about the writer’s strike going on for “so long.” When he says he doesn’t know if he’ll be back, his “therapist” happened to be Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator alum assures him, “You’ll be back.” After their cute opening, Kimmel awkwardly made his way on set of his late-night show, which had a pickleball game going on. He said while the strikes were going on, that’s what the set was used for. After one of his writers’ parents apparently texted him to not make the monologue about Donald Trump, Kimmel guffawed and made fun of him for a majority of his opening.

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    Colbert said the crazy summer we had was packed full of events that would be “stupid to try to recap everything that happened over the last five months, so here we go.” In part one of his two-part special monologue return, the late show host described New Jersey senator Bob Menendez’s indictment for taking bribes in exchange for assisting the government of Egypt. Setting up the joke for this one, Colbert snatches his glasses off his face and says: “Prosecutors describe the bribes as… a pyramid scheme.” So delighted, Colbert looks into the camera and yells: “We’re back, baby!”

  • Late Night with Seth Meyers

    Meyers had a much shorter opening, almost five minutes long. Being away from his job for five months, Meyers expressed how much he loves his job. Besides shouting out his writers, Meyers also nodded to his fellow late-night show hosts, who made the hiatus much easier to deal with. Meyers closed his monologue by saying the entire staff is family.

  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

    Fallon had the shortest opening of the four, keeping it under four minutes. During his monologue, he centered it mainly around his fellow late-night hosts and their solidarity throughout the strikes and their podcast that helped their staff while they were striking and not working. Like Meyers, Fallon expressed how in his many months alone, he spent his time thinking about how grateful he is for the show.

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