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A primer on 'Late Night with Seth Meyers'
Seth Meyers' new "Late Night" — unsurprisingly named "Late Night with Seth Meyers" — arrives Monday, or to be precise, early Tuesday. Those are the facts — but what are the other facts?
We're all friends here, right? So let's be honest: Who knows. There's nothing to see yet, but there are still some givens. It will be amusing — Meyers is one of TV's most gifted comedy writers — and it will be in the middle of the night. Beyond that, however, we're all just going to have to find out together.
Meanwhile, here are "Five Things (We Think We Definitely Know) about the New 'Late Night with Seth Meyers.'"
1.) "Late Night" will still be "Late Night." Monologue. Sketches. Band. Host. Couch. Guests. Even New York (originating from Studio 8G.) Even as Meyers becomes the fourth host in franchise history, some elements never change. The difference here however lies with the ringmaster: Former head writer of "Saturday Night Live," and co-anchor of "Weekend Update," Meyers brings both his style of humor and, for good measure, his top writer of "Weekend Update," Alex Baze. Therein lie important clues...
2.) "Late Night" will be newsier, more topical. Jimmy Fallon, as host, was (and very much remains) a standout performer, but you rarely got the sense he had a whole lot of interest in current affairs (even when he was "Update" anchor.) That will change with Seth. In a recent lunch with reporters and at the TV critics tour, he promised a show that will play heavily off the days news: "One of the things that [was] trickiest about Weekend Update is, often, we write really good jokes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday that, by Saturday, go stale, or someone else tells a version of it. So we are very excited to get out there every night and do jokes about the news, topical jokes. We want to have a really strong monologue."
3.) Satire is in again. "Late Night" under Fallon was whimsical and musical — departures from both the David Letterman and Conan O'Brien years. They were plenty whimsical too, but theirs was whimsy with an sharp, ironic edge. With "Weekend Update" and Baze as evidence, satire should return to "Late Night" with a vengeance, making this newcomer much more aligned with late nighters like "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report."
4.) There will be a band — the 8G Band. Welcome to the most intriguing new element of all! Fred Armisen (local angle alert! Of Valley Stream) is band leader, and if his musical past is the musical prologue, then get ready for something wild/crazy. Armisen was an accomplished musician before comedian ("SNL," "Portlandia") - drummer for leading Chicago-based punk band, Trenchmouth, which — for you punks — sounds a bit like a cross between the Jesus Lizard (from the '90s and still rocking) or Captain Beefheart (who is simply unclassifiable.) Armisen also has comical-cum-musical alter-egos from "SNL," like The Blue Jean Committee or Ian Rubbish. Who knows what 8G will sound like...Other members include Seth Jabour (guitar) and Syd Butler (bass), Kimberly Thompson (drums), Eli Janney (keys), and veteran punk rocker, Les Savy Fav.
5.) There will be guests! Monday, (er, Tuesday), Seth will interview Amy Poehler, Vice President Joe Biden (and the musical guest is A Great Big World — they had a huge hit with Christina Aguilera, "Say Something.") Tuesday, Kanye West; Wednesday Kelly Ripa (Meyers was once rumored to be her next on-air partner); Thursday: Lena Dunham; Friday: Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart.