Thirteen-year veteran of Saturday Night Live Seth Meyers took off his sketch comedy hat in favor of host as Late Night.
Seth Meyers’ Late Night debut this past weekend was good…and just that. Just “good.” It wasn’t brilliant, it wasn’t edgy, it wasn’t mind-blowing. In a TV genre that has been dominated by the same formula for five decades, audiences are looking for fresh and funky.
Don’t believe me? Why do you think Jimmy Fallon has had such a meteoric rise in the late night talk show world? He’s versatile, dimensional, and does more than just monologues and interviews. His scripted sketches and lip-synching competitions regularly dominate YouTube and Facebook, creating a digital fanbase in addition to his nightly viewership.
In a day and age where most information is consumed on the web, Meyers has to give us a reason to sit down at a specified hour and watch a show with commercials (WHAT?!?!?). Meyers is funny enough and smart enough to carve out his own niche, but he made no attempt to do so in his Late Night premiere. With Fred Armisen leading the band and Amy Poehler as his guest of note, the show was like a cabaret of Lorne Michaels’ finest.
If Seth Meyers wants to rule Late Night, he’ll need to do it on his own terms.
First and foremost, he’ll need a new opening sequence. His current one is basically SNL without the shots of comedians eating hamburgers in a subway train or whatever it is they do for their title slate. Secondly, he’ll need to explore more narrative voices instead of relying on the tried and true dark irony of Weekend Update. Sure, keep the sarcasm and pessimism, but don’t let it be the only thing going on. Finally, the new Late Night host needs to step outside the rigid pattern of Late Night‘s past and do something completely revolutionary.
Make your mark, Seth Meyers. I have total faith in you.
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Anna is a freelance writer/producer based out of San Francisco. Her writing covers several genres, but her passion lies in humor, entertainment, education and culture.