Late-Night Hosts Imagine Dr. Fauci's World of No Handshakes - Rolling Stone
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Colbert, Fallon, Meyers Imagine Dr. Fauci’s Brave New World of No Handshakes

Late-night hosts react to health expert’s belief that, even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, we should avoid handshakes at all costs

Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci — head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — offered a blunt but not unrealistic opinion about how modern society will have to reshape itself following the coronavirus: “I don’t think we ever should ever shake hands ever again,” he said, “to be honest with you.”

Over in the world of late-night television, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers picked up on this quote and happily ran with it.

On The Late Show, Colbert cracked, “Never shake hands. Well, that’s bad news for the secret societies. ‘Welcome to the exalted brotherhood. We shall now anoint you with the scepter of rebirth and teach you the secret, uh, let’s say elbow bump? Will that do?'”

He also noted Fauci’s recommendation that everyone start normalizing compulsive handwashing, which Colbert joked was “great news for anyone with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Congratulations, you now have obsessive-compulsive order!”

Over on The Tonight Show, Fallon tried out a one-liner with the news, joking, “Yesterday, Dr. Fauci said he doesn’t think that we should ever shake hands again, which will be weird when every job interview starts with an awkward chest bump.” His daughters, however — who sat by his side throughout the whole monologue — didn’t seem that amused.

And on Late Night, Seth Meyers noted during his recurring segment, “A Closer Look,” that a no-handshakes-ever rule would be particularly hard for President Donald Trump, who, when he meets another world leader tends to, “lock onto them with a death grip and will not let go… That is a man desperate for human contact.”

Meyers also mentioned Fauci’s comments about avoiding handshakes in perpetuity in his intro and expertly deadpanned, “‘But… what if it’s our anniversary?’ asked Mike Pence.”


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