Over the years, I have all but abandoned hope that Saturday Night Live would one day return to its early day roots. I’ve given up hope that the next John Belushi or Will Ferrell will emerge from the train wreckage that is SNL. Yet week after week, I have continued to tune-in for one reason: “Weekend Update.”
When it was announced late last week that Seth Meyers would replace Jimmy Fallon as the host of Late Night, I was ecstatic. I immediately held out hope that Meyers would bring “Weekend Update” type segments to the show, providing a type of surreal look at real-life events.
I have watched for years as Jay Leno, David Letterman, and other talk show heavyweights have fallen flat on their faces in their attempts to tell jokes they couldn’t connect with. Leno always going for the easy jab and Letterman always laughing at his ridiculously delivered jokes. Meyers, on the other hand, realizes the absurdity in what he often says, and he rolls with the punches. Never afraid to say something so utterly stupid that you can’t help but laugh.
Needless to say I was literally jumping for joy when it was revealed that Seth Meyers actually plans to bring elements of “Weekend Update” to the show. Meyers recently revealed that he wants to bring a “two-shot with talented funny people” to his interviews. Those segments have been an integral part of the SNL vets “Weekend Update” for years. According to Meyers, the segments would feature writer-performer hybrids who would come on the show and “do stuff.” According to Seth, “We’re in the very early stages of thinking about all this, but that’s very interesting to me.”
During the 2007 SNL season, Seth Meyers served as a head writer for the show so we know his own writing will play a part in the show and help ensure that he steers the ship towards his own brand of humor. It’s nice knowing that a comedian with a long history of writing pop cultural references will step up to play a part in the late night talk show landscape.
Meyer’s will be helped along by Late Night producer Lorne Michaels, the same mastermind behind SNL and Jimmy Fallon’s rise to talk show fame. Joking about his time with Lorne Michael the new Late Night talk show host quipped:
“Working at ‘SNL’ requires 100 percent of your mental capacity — on easy weeks. And so I had not really spent a lot of time thinking about what I was going to do next. Obviously I can’t quit Lorne. So this seems like a pretty good deal that I have an opportunity to keep working with him.”
What might be most exciting for NBC is the fact that it will now have two men with a penchant for creating viral videos. Jimmy Fallon is somewhat of a viral video wunderkind and Seth Myers with his ability to generate hilarious pieces will likely join Fallon during regular bits that take Hulu and YouTube by storm. Those viral videos these days are seen as make it or break it for talk show hosts who need to connect with a connected audience.
Myers in the meantime will stick with Saturday Night Live through the fall season and then jump right into pre-production on his new show. By not allowing himself to become “stale” in the off-period, we can expect to see his “Weekend Update” interviewing skills hard at work when his show debuts, possibly in February.
NBC has not decided yet to change the format of the Late Night talk show which led Meyers to proclaim:
“I don’t want to make any broad pronouncements about how the show is going to be, whether it’s going to be the same or different. But I have to draw on my background in improvisational comedy and sketch comedy and stand-up comedy and try to find some mix of that.”
Late Night with Seth Myers is going to be epic. The real question now might be how NBC will manage to hold onto both Seth Myers and Jimmy Fallon. Typically, the much younger talk show host rises through the ranks and awaits the time when they can take over for a retiring host. Myers and Fallon, on the other hand, are both young talk show hosts who might end up in an epic battle of their own.
Are you excited to see Seth Myers take over the reigns of Late Night from Jimmy Fallon?
[Image via David Shankbone]