Crowds of people lined the Piazza on Thursday, Feb. 26 to see what Q30 producers had in store for them. After making the decision to reformat Late Night with Joe Kohle a few weeks prior, the student-run television station premiered Quinnipiac Tonight.
Senior Alyssa Goggi hosted the first episode of Quinnipiac Tonight, a show similar to Saturday Night Live.
Quinnipiac Tonight will have different hosts and guests for each episode, Goggi said. Junior Joe Berke said he’s interested to see the different people on the show.
“It’s different, which is cool,” Berke said. “I think they’ll get a lot of people back that way, with the changing of the host every week.”
Executive Producer Rebecca Castagna said the format of Quinnipiac Tonight allows more people to get involved with the show.
“The segments will be more fun to watch and more fun for the crew to make and we think it will give people more of a chance to get involved so more people will want to be interested in the show as a whole,” she said.
The first episode of Quinnipiac Tonight started off with a segment called BAE101, where Goggi practiced with the university’s Kickline team. The show then went to the live audience as Goggi sat on students’ laps and lip synced to ‘Uptown Funk’ by Bruno Mars.
Other segments in the episode were ‘What would you do to get a Yale ticket?’ and ‘Walkward,’ where Goggi approached students and made them feel uncomfortable.
Junior Brendan Sheehan said he enjoyed the first airing of Quinnipiac Tonight.
“I thought it was funny. It kept the mood light,” Sheehan said. “I just thought it was a good show, in general.”
Associate Producer of Quinnipiac Tonight Steve Bielefield said it was a little difficult to transition between the two shows, but he felt it went well.
“I think we made the transition pretty well,” he said. “A lot of our segments from Late Night were basically the skits we created for QU Tonight so it wasn’t that hard to adjust and I think Alyssa was very happy she got to interact with the audience.”
Q30 producers chose to revamp the Late Night show when they noticed a lack of audience engagement, General Manager Jon Alba said.
Sheehan went to see every taping of Late Night in the Piazza and he said the turnout was much better for Quinnipiac Tonight.
“I was really surprised [by the turnout],” Sheehan said. “This audience blows [the one for Late Night] out of the water.”
According to Alba, changing the format of shows is something Q30 does often to keep viewers interested and cabinet members learning.
“We’ve reformatted every show on Q30 at some point,” Alba said. “It was just one of those things where we found that the Late Night format wasn’t working anymore; it wasn’t anyone in particular’s fault.”
Alba said Late Night producers talked with audience members and had several meetings with Kohle before deciding to create Quinnipiac Tonight. However, Kohle said he was not involved in any discussions about changing the format of Late Night. He said he thought the meetings he went to were about technical difficulties with the show.
“I had no idea talks took place and no producers or members of the Q30 cabinet ever expressed to me concerns about the show before being told of the planned changes,” Kohle said. “After being told of the plans to change the show, producers expressed to me that the Q30 cabinet crowd-sourced and received negative feedback about the show but no data or evidence was ever presented to me to back up their claims.”
Though producers and crew invited Kohle and his co-host Charlie Doe to remain involved on Quinnipiac Tonight, the two have not said if they will return to the show.
“I know things didn’t end great with the end of Late Night’s tenure but I was really happy to see people invested in feeling rewarded after the show,” Alba said. “That’s what all this should be about: feeling rewarded, getting real world experience and having fun.”