Dan Cashman has hosted a number of locally and nationally known guests on his long-running late night talk show, “The Nite Show,” and his guest this week is someone many Mainers have grown to know well over the past four months.
Nirav Shah, head of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and a constant presence in Mainers’ lives since the pandemic began, will appear on this week’s episode of “The Nite Show.” It will air Saturday night on a number of Maine TV affiliates, including at 11:30 p.m. on WABI in Bangor.
Cashman interviewed Shah over Zoom earlier this week, as part of his scaled-back, socially distant version of the show, which began in early April. According to Cashman, Shah was game to participate in a comedy sketch, which will air during the interview.
Shah, who has been in charge of Maine’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has become well known for communicating the status of the virus’ spread in the state during regular news briefings into which he’s incorporated relatable humor, analogies and pop culture references. There’s a Facebook fan group with more than 30,000 members, a candy bar named after him and T-shirts and other merchandise for sale benefiting Maine charities.
This week’s “Nite Show” episode will come as Maine has seen new cases of the coronavirus generally trending down in recent weeks even as the state has tested more for the virus. Maine has seen 3,499 cases of COVID-19 since March 12, and 111 people in the state have died from it.
The broadcast will also be the first episode of the show to be filmed outside of Cashman’s home, where he has recorded the show since the pandemic struck. Cashman will be filming this episode from his office in downtown Bangor, and he hopes he and his team will be able to resume shooting the show from their regular home of the Gracie Theatre at Husson University when the next season starts on Oct. 14 — with or without an audience.
“As much as I love my basement, it’s nice to finally emerge and do ‘The Nite Show’ from a place that is a little more conducive to making a TV show,” Cashman said. “It has been an oddly surreal experience to do a TV show every week from home.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the episode would be the season finale of “The Nite Show.”