Like other late night hosts, Seth Meyers had to bring “Late Night with Seth Meyers” to his home during the pandemic. He returned to the studio in September but continued to go without an audience, even while hosting guests in the studio itself. For Meyers, it was all about adapting the show to cater significantly more to the viewers. “For a year that had so little good to it, it was creatively exhilarating figuring out how to do this show,” says Meyers in an exclusive new webchat for Gold Derby. “You’re doing the show for people who are at home, far more than you ever were doing it for people in the studio.” Watch the full video interview above.
One of the more memorable moments of the season was the night of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. “Late Night” went live as opposed to taping ahead of time, due to the urgency of the situation. “It was a day that got away from everybody,” recalls Meyers, noting that the pandemic had taught the writers how to be more agile in developing scripts for the show. He and his team felt the relief of transitioning to a lighter place following the inauguration, after spending the last four years covering Donald Trump‘s turbulent presidency. “In these post-Trump presidency months, there is, as we had long expected, more real estate to do stuff that is maybe a little bit more whimsical, a little bit less deathly serious,” explains Meyers. “It’s been a great relief to us.”
While “Late Night with Seth Meyers” has been on the air since 2014, Meyers doesn’t quite have the perspective on what his show means in the history of late night. “We just focus on being lucky enough to have a show right now in 2021 and we’ll let other people speak to the history of it, 50 years from now,” he states. Unlike many of his fellow late-night hosts, his show has never been nominated at the Emmys for Best Variety Talk Series, despite getting Variety Writing nominations for the past four years. But the host isn’t particularly bothered by the omission. “It’s a really great time for late night, so we’re never offended to be on the outside looking in,” he admits. “We have such an incredible team of producers here as well who have been doing a great job since 2014 so the case I would make is that they very much deserve the honor of a nomination as much as the writing staff has.”
In the meantime, Meyers does not plan on bringing back an audience anytime soon, even with COVID restrictions lifting. “We aren’t gonna consider it before September,” he reveals. The “Late Night” team will be watching how “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” adapts to having full audiences again before making a decision. “We are enjoying our time just communicating without the proxy audience, communicating with the people who are watching at home,” adds Meyers. “It has led us to some really fun discoveries.”
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