On Monday afternoon, ss the huge storm headed toward the Big Apple and surrounding areas -- leading to some mandatory evacuations, massive power outages, a complete transit shutdown and flooding, with several deaths reported -- the late night hosts persevered with their scheduled Monday tapings.
For the first time ever, though, both Fallon, 38, and Letterman, 65, taped their respective programs without a live studio audience.
Fallon performed his opening monologue on the desolate, wet and windy street just outside 30 Rock and Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan. "I'm hoping, if you're watching, you are at home, you are safe, you're warm . . . but we're here," said Fallon, whose celeb guests included Seth Meyers, Padma Lakshmi, director Robert Zemeckis and band Imagine Dragons.
"All of our guests came," Fallon said incredulously, "which was big for us. We were worried that we weren't going to get guests, but we got some good ones here."
"Theater owners had to cancel all Broadway shows today," Fallon explained, joking, "Many performers were having trouble making it into the city. You could tell by that one show, Blue Man Guy."
Just as Fallon was accompanied by in-house band The Roots, Letterman had Paul Schaffer by his side for Monday's audience-free Late Show.
"We're in the middle of Hurricane Sandy and we have no studio audience," Letterman said, "but we do have quite a show for you tonight. Thank you for joining us in the Ed Sullivan Shelter."
"If I were home, I'd be boarding up your television sets, because this is the stuff that's gonna hurt somebody," Letterman joked, and introduced a funny Top 10 Rejected Names for the Storm, including: Al Frankenstorm, Trumpical Storm, Wetzilla, iPaddle and Oprah Windy.
Letterman's celeb guest was Flight's Denzel Washington, who appeared in a yellow rain slicker. "Only for you, Dave . . . I swam."