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Sofa Watch: Miriam steps in for Ryan and US late night stars do their hosting from home
All you need to know about your Irish and international chat show options … including a few classics from the archives.

THERE’S NO DOUBT we have found ourselves at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, after falling down the rabbit hole.

Covid-19 has burst into our lives,  shaken it up and turned it upside down. So how do we entertain ourselves in this period of physical distancing? At least we have no shortage of escapism in the form of TV shows and streaming apps while stuck at home.

Chat shows form a central part of that offering, and here, at’s Sofa Watch, we help you find the best on offer, old and new.

From the Late Late lineup to most popular clips from US late night, we’ll break down the best of your local and international options heading into each weekend.

A very unusual Late Late…

When: Tonight, 9.35 pm
Where: RTÉ 1
Social: RTÉ.ie, Twitter, Instagram

Ryan Tubridy has been battling a ‘persistent cough’ over the past two days, prompting RTÉ to appoint Miriam O’Callaghan as tonight’s host.

The show must go on, as they say.

Tributes will be paid to the men and women of Ireland’s national frontline services who have been at the forefront of the Covid-19 battle.

Following what producers are promising will be a “very special opening segment” at the top of the show, viewers around the country will be invited to join in a collective round of applause for frontline workers.

2759 Hozier Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

Hozier will also launch an emergency on-air appeal for the ISPCC who are experiencing an upsurge in calls to Childline in response to the current crisis.

He’ll also will perform an exclusive set, live in studio, and promote a new initiative between ISPCC and RTÉ 2FM, where top Irish artists are performing across 2FM every night for a fortnight to raise funds.

Another guest, Lee Duffy, a young, fit and healthy League of Ireland footballer, will talk about his experience when he contracted coronavirus and was hospitalised.

Mrs Brown’s Boys stars Brendan O’Carroll and wife Jennifer Gibney will be talking via Skype link from Florida, and comedian Dara Ó Briain will also join the show from London.

Former Irish Rugby International Brian O’Driscoll will also be on, as well as legendary GAA commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh

The last two shows have been unusual, to say the least, with no audience present. Tubridy has been praised for his handling of the Covid-19 outbreak, even agreeing to be tested live on air last week:

The Late Late Show / YouTube

Saturday night catch-up

What: The Tommy Tiernan Show

When: Saturday night, 10.40 pm
Where: RTÉ 1
Social: RTÉ.ie, Twitter, YouTube

If you’ve missed Tommy Tiernan’s critically acclaimed chat show on RTÉ, you have a chance to catch up on the ‘improvised’ format, where Tiernan has no idea who his guests are. 

While you’re waiting for this week’s show, have a look at a clip of Glan Hansard singing ‘The Foggy Dew’ in a previous episode:


US hosts stay home…

Show: The Late Late Show with James Corden
When: Weeknights 
Where: CBS
Social:, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram

Unfortunately for James Corden, on the fifth anniversary of his takeover of the late-night US staple, he didn’t have an opportunity to celebrate in the usual way.

Nevermind, Corden has instead decided to host “Homefest: James Corden’s Late Late Show Special” from his home on Monday … well, from his garage.

Corden will be joined remotely by a stellar list of guests, including Billie Eilish, Will Ferrall, BTS and John Legend and more.

While you’re waiting to catch that episode, here’s five times when Carpool Karaoke took a turn:

The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

Show: The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Social: NBC, YouTube

Jimmy Fallon is also broadcasting from his home, running a #stayhome party to highlight a different charity each night.

He’s been joined by Alec Baldwin, John Legend and Niall Horan, amongst others.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

A sofa to stream…

Netflix may have reduced the quality of its streaming service across the EU for the Covid-19 crisis, but thankfully their highest-profile talk show host doesn’t necessarily need to be in high-def to be enjoyed.

The latest season of David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction has been out for a while but it’s well worth cathing up on.

Guests include Kanye West, Ellen DeGeneres, Tiffany Haddish, Lewis Hamilton and Melinda Gates.

All episodes are available on Netflix. 

Netflix / YouTube

From the archives…

YouTube is the ideal place to find vintage talk show clips, particularly from the 1970s and ’80s, when guests were a little more unwieldy and unpredictable than they are now.

Be it Terry Wogan, Michael Parkinson or David Frost, you might find once you kick off your searches for content, you’ll be there for hours.

One of Parkinson’s most memorable interviews aired in 1973, when Oliver Reed joined the long-serving UK host:

Cheeseford / YouTube

If you’re interested in oldies from the US, by the way, you can avail of Johnny Carson re-runs on Amazon Prime.

jonny carson Amazon Prime Amazon Prime

One to wait for…

Graham Norton will be back on Friday nights from 10 April but not quite in the way we’re used to.

He will still feature the biggest stars and the best stories, including the famous Red Chair, which is now an armchair at home. From Friday 10 April. According to the Radio Times, the new format will be similar to the chat shows in the US, in that Norton will be presenting from his home, with his guests joining him from their homes.

For now, here are the best feel-good moments from Norton’s successful show:

The Graham Norton Show / YouTube

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