It started as a gift from Late Night creator David Letterman to his successor Conan O’Brien in 1993. Conan then gave it to Jimmy Fallon, and a few weeks ago, Jimmy gave it to Seth Meyers.
Yes, that is a giant pickle. A ceremonial torch, if you will (it all comes back to the Olympics, folks). When Conan gifted the odd item to Jimmy in 2009, he left a note that said, “Whenever you’re done, which won’t be for a long time, make sure you pass it on to the next sap. Knock ’em dead. Conan.”
With that, Seth became the next Late Night host, but he officially makes his debut on Monday, and one thing’s for sure – we’ll be watching.
Now if you’re not too familiar with Seth’s work or doubt he’s going to do a good job, here are a few reasons why I think he’ll be able to hold on to the pickle for a long, long time (stop, that didn’t sound dirty at all).
He’s Charlie Rose meets Stephen Colbert meets less enthusiastic Jimmy Fallon
Here’s the thing about Seth – he’s the straight man. Everything you need to know about him shows in the past eight years he’s been doing Weekend Update. He’s obviously funny, knows how to deliver a joke, but he’s smart – like intelligent smart. He’s into politics and can make a good joke about current events and then tell you in detail what he’s joking about. So don’t expect him to come out dancing with Justin Timberlake or singing with Bruce Springsteen. It’s a different kind of funny than his Late Night predecessor, and it’s a welcome one. The Fallon/Meyers duo will attract similar yet different audiences, but that’s exactly what NBC needs to draw in more viewers.
He knows how to bring the funny to interviews
You’ve seen him with Stefon (which is obviously scripted) but with real people, he has the goods too. Just watch him practice during a recent sit down with Ellen. And keep an eye out for Kanye – he’ll be a guest during Seth’s first week.
He can make politicians laugh
As previously mentioned, Seth is up on the world of politics. So much so that he was even tapped as the host of the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011. Basically it’s a chance for a comedian to spout out jokes in FRONT of the politicians they make fun of. It’s great. But if you can make them laugh, you’re doing a good job.
He can make athletes laugh
Because Seth is a well-rounded individual, he’s not only smart and up with politics but he’s a sports fan too. And that’s why he was invited to be the host of the ESPYs. Just look at all those athletes who could easily beat him up but choose not to because they know he’s funny and probably speaking the truth.
Fred Armisen as his bandleader
Guys. GUYS. FRED ARMISEN IS THE LEADER OF THE STUDIO 8G BAND. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. Before Fred graced us with his presence on SNL in 2002, he was a total rocker. In 1988 he was in a punk rock band called *Trenchmouth* and even played the drums for the Blue Man Group in Chicago in the ’90s. He showed his musical chops throughout his tenure on SNL, with characters like Fericito (one of my early faves), Ian Rubbish, and probably one of my all-time fave characters, Garth and Kat. Basically Lorne Michaels is slowly taking over NBC, and it’s fine.
Listen up, nerds: this writing staff is great already and I haven’t even heard a single joke from them. Everyone on the staff has an impressive resume from Upright Citizens Brigade to Colbert Report to The Onion and of course, SNL. Namely, executive producer Mike Shoemaker (aka Shoe, aka former Jimmy Fallon & SNL producer aka guys who is friends with all the people I want to be friends with) Alex Baze (Weekend Update, Jimmy Fallon and now Head Writer for Seth), and John Lutz (from 30 Rock’s Lutz). Well played, Seth Meyers. Well played.
The first week alone, Seth’s got some pretty solid guests. It’s very ‘Late Night worthy’ if that makes any sense. So there’s Kanye, writer Robyn Doolittle (Toronto Star reporter who wrote a bio about Rob Ford – see, politics, current events, etc.) Lena Dunham, Anthony Mackie (who is like Will Smith 2.0 in interviews), Kelly Ripa, John Mayer Trio (The Trio is back!), and Sir Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart together!
But the guests I’m most excited about? His very first guest – Amy Poehler.
(If you’re new to this blog please refer to this post, this post and this post for our thoughts on Poehler) These two are best buds from back in the day, even before they co-anchored Weekend Update. Anytime they’re together, it’s like watching besties hang out and I cannot WAIT until he interviews her. Wouldn’t you want one of your closest friends to help you out on the first night of the biggest job in your life?
But wait – it gets better. The second guest on his show? VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES JOE BIDEN.
I CANNOT EVEN DEAL WITH THIS AMAZINGNESS. It’s Leslie Knope’s dream come true and it’s all happening IRL with Amy being on her BFF’s new talk show. Too much to handle, brain is already exploding.
In short, you should probably watch Late Night with Seth Meyers, because it’s gonna be good. If you don’t like it, wait a week and come back to me. If you don’t like it after that – we can’t be friends.
Good luck Seth! We’re rooting for you!!