Late-Night Hosts Hook Up for Spotify Podcast With Proceeds to Benefit Unemployed Staffers During Writers Strike
Five rival late-night TV hosts — Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and John Oliver — are teaming with Spotify for “Strike Force Five,” a limited-series podcast discussing the WGA writers strike, which is on the cusp of entering its fifth month. Proceeds from the podcast will go to staffers on each of their shows, which have been suspended because of the strike.
“Strike Force Five” will launch Wednesday, Aug. 30, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all other major podcast platforms. The limited series will run for at least 12 episodes. All five will participate in each episode while the leader of the conversation rotates.
After the WGA strike started on May 2, the quintet of suddenly unemployed talk show hosts started meeting on Zoom to discuss the issues the work stoppage created. Per Spotify, what happened instead “was a series of hilarious and compelling conversations. Now, Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, Meyers and Oliver invite you to listen in on their once-private chats on this all-new podcast.”
All proceeds received by the hosts from “Strike Force Five” will go to out-of-work staff on 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.” Some of the late-night hosts had pledged to pay their teams at least a few weeks’ worth of wages during the strike.
The series will be distributed by Spotify’s Megaphone, with Spotify serving as the exclusive sales partner for the series. Advertisers that have signed on as co-presenting sponsors of “Strike Force Five” are Ryan Reynolds’ Mint Mobile and alcoholic beverage company Diageo (with brands including Aviation American Gin, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, Casamigos and Ketel One Vodka).