Seth Meyers Launches New “Late Night”

On Monday, Feb 24, a new era of nighttime television began as Seth Meyers officially took over for popular comedian Jimmy Fallon as host of “Late Night” on NBC.

Many critics have been wondering for weeks now whether or not Meyers, best known for his 13-year stint on “Saturday Night Live” and eight-year run as co-host of the show’s famous “Weekend Update” segment, will be a sufficient follow-up to the beloved Fallon, who has been bumped up to “The Tonight Show” after Jay Leno’s departure. Despite Meyers’ deep and impressive comedic experience, critics worry that his unique style of delivery and sense of humor will be unappealing to young adults—who happen to be the target audience. However, Meyers silenced the doubters after his first episode pulled in 3.417 million viewers overall, a rather impressive feat for his first attempt as host.

Meyers opened his show with a monologue (typical of late night shows) and those who were fans of Meyers as co-host of “Weekend Update” will enjoy this bit. As expected, he joked about current events such as the Winter Olympics and Canadian politician Rob Ford.

However, there was a striking similarity between the styles and deliveries of each joke in Meyers’ monologue and his one-liners from his days as a “Weekend Update” anchor. For fans, this might not pose an issue at all, but for others, Meyers’ delivery might make his monologue seem contrived and less “conversational” when compared to other late-night hosts’ openers. Sophomore Amanda Glatz agreed with the latter, saying that Meyers, “should start branching away from the Weekend Update-style of line delivery” if he wants to have late-night success. Despite this, Meyers sets a nice, simple tone for the rest of his show.

Also introduced within the first ten minutes was Meyers’ house band, The 8G Band, fronted by former “SNL” colleague Fred Armisen. Their music was good, nothing out-of-the-ordinary, and Armisen’s banter with Meyers about his own “new show” was funny, albeit a little strange. Meyers then moved on to sit behind his desk, and at this point, the show finally picked up the pace.

The new host began to tell a story from this past Valentine’s Day, when he and his wife experienced a flat tire and Meyers had no idea how to change it, leading to his own embarrassment. This little anecdote ended up being popular with the studio audience and was a nice, personal addition to the show. 

The show then took a slight nosedive during the next segment, called “Venn Diagrams,” in which Meyers took two seemingly unrelated things and revealed their similarities. There were, at the most, two chuckle-worthy jokes in this bit, including one in which Meyers claims that the only “cool” person to wear a fedora was Indiana Jones. In addition to this, the sketch seemed to keep on going, despite the lack of laughs from the audience.

Without a doubt, the high point of the night came when Meyers introduced his first guest, fellow comedian and long-time friend, Amy Poehler. Their dynamic was amazing, and the banter between the two was hilarious and on-point.

At one point, Poehler jokingly told Meyers that she will probably be one of the easiest guests he will ever have. There was definitely some truth to that claim because Poehler was nothing but open, upbeat, and gracious.

“I thought Amy Poehler was the best part of the show,” said sophomore Alyssa Maurice, “She was enthusiastic to the point where the audience fed off of her energy.”

She even worked well with Meyers’ second guest, Vice President Joe Biden, who was quite charismatic himself and proved to the audience that he can definitely take a joke (Biden also guest-starred on Poehler’s show, “Parks and Recreation” this fall). Overall, the dynamic between Meyers and his guests was fantastic and as a result, conversation flowed freely and kept the audience engaged.

The night ended with a performance by A Great Big World, who sang their current hit “Say Something.” Although the song itself is slow—and a rather sad follow-up to Poehler and Biden’s joke-fest—it was a nice, smooth way to close out the show.

PHOTO TAKEN from news.msnbc.com