Pete Buttigieg fills in as host for 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

LOS ANGELES -- Pete Buttigieg is a former presidential candidate, mayor, naval intelligence officer and ... last-night host?

Mayor Pete filled in for Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday night on ABC as Kimmel was taping episodes of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," but the timing was unfortunate.

Only hours before taping, the show decided to go without an audience, save for handfuls of staff members, amid the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

"Everyone is spread apart at the CDC-recommended distance," said Buttigieg, whose husband was sitting among the empty seats.

Buttigieg, a Democrat who sought the presidency, had the chief job qualification of a late-night host, circa 2020. He was more than willing to tell biting jokes about President Donald Trump.

"When you don't have a real audience, you have to fake one," he said. "Just like Trump's inauguration."

During his monologue, producers cut to film clips of enthusiastic audiences, from awards shows or the State of the Union address.

As an amateur, Buttigieg was more than willing to blame lame jokes on the writers -- and the Iowa Caucus app for getting him the late-night gig.
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