Late-night bands set comedic stage

By Carl Nadig

Late-night television wouldn’t be the same without house bands.

Live music has been a recurring piece of the entertainment industry, and it continues to evoke certain positive atmospheres and moods for the shows. For late-night television, house bands evoke a comical atmosphere.

“It’s a vital part of the format and adds so much energy, especially for the audience during the commercials,” said host Jimmy Kimmel, according to “There’s a lot that goes on that you don’t see or hear on television, and we’ll have audience members come up and sing, and we have such a versatile band they can play along with anything.”

A good house band needs dynamic music chops. Whether providing background music to a skit or playing with a musical guest, the group should be prepared to play almost anything at any given moment. These high-quality performers skillfully improvise on the spot, bringing out comical moments in the act.

What some viewers might not realize is a good house band needs to act like a second host. Just like David Letterman’s social interaction with Paul Shaffer on “Late Show with David Letterman,” directly communicating with the audience adds an additional perspective to a variety show. The group provides another voice for the audience while moving the show to the next joke.

The interaction between the band and the live audience is vital. The band develops a genuine connection with its audience during those performances. Audience members expect a good show and desire an opportunity to get away from their worries in life.

People should give these highly talented musicians more credit.