Seth Meyers Interview: ‘Late Night,’ ‘SNL,’ ‘Documentary Now!’
“There is such an ability for the news out of Washington to be so crazy as to make it hard to remember,” admits “Late Night” host Seth Meyers. So even though he skewers the administration of Donald Trump on a nightly basis, “ultimately what stands out to me, as far as memories from the show, are things that are outside of the day-to-day politics of the news.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Meyers above.
He points to “Game of Jones,” in which he watches HBO’s popular fantasy series with fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum Leslie Jones, as one of his favorite non-political segments. “We’re not alone in being …. fans of ‘Game of Thrones,'” he explains, “but I’m very happy that we came up with something unique and a way for us to highlight exactly how funny Leslie is as a fan of things. It’s really nice to have a 10-minute segment on the show where I have to do literally no preparation other than sit next to my friend while she makes jokes.”
This year Meyers also returned to his roots to host “SNL” for the first time. “I really thought after 12-and-a-half years of being a head writer on the show I knew more about it than anyone.” But he discovered that he “was so unprepared for what it took to host the show in a really exciting way.” The experience was “an emotional roller coaster” because as a guest host “you have so much less control” than you do as a head writer. However, ceding that control made it possible for him to realize “just performing on this show is so much fun.”
Meyers also continues to executive produce IFC’s “Documentary Now!,” which underwent a major creative change in its third season when co-creator and star Bill Hader was unavailable due to his commitments on “Barry.” “The show was built around his and [Fred Armisen’s] talents for the first two years,” he says. In order to fill his shoes, “you just have to think big, and ultimately by thinking big we ended up with Owen Wilson, Michael Keaton and Cate Blanchett among others.”
Meyers won an Emmy for Best Music and Lyrics for “Saturday Night Live” in 2011. He also earned back-to-back bids for writing “Late Night” in 2017 and 2018 and has competed an additional 17 times for his work on “SNL,” “Documentary Now!” and the Golden Globes.