Graduating in Comedy: Seth Meyers

By on February 11, 2014

So I spent last Saturday night crying in front of my television.

Yes, the February 1st show, featuring Melissa McCarthy and Imagine Dragons/Kendrick Lamar, was Seth Meyers’ last show on “Saturday Night Live” before he moves onto Late Night.

I can hear you now: “Yes! Another overly-emotional article on a dying comedy show! I’ve missed you, Gerrie!” Why thank you, everyone. Please remain seated and refrain from rolling your eyes as I go into why this is such a big deal. At least in late night television history, but what’s more important in life anyway?

A little history about the twelve long years he has been on SNL: Seth began as a featured player in 2001 and quickly rose through the ranks. In an interview, Meyers explained how he enjoyed the famous segment Weekend Update more than actually being in sketches because he enjoys playing as himself rather than doing impressions. Nevertheless, Meyers has had many incredible impressions and characters over the years; my favorite being an imitation of the famous silver fox reporter, Anderson Cooper. He originally screen-tested Weekend Update with Tina Fey but lost out to Amy Poehler. Though  it was obviously for the better that those two ladies worked out instead, I like to imagine what life would be like if Meyers had beat out SNL’s proclaimed “charm machine”. Not really. Life would be a strange alternate place. Of course, after Tina went onto work on her sitcom which was largely based on her experiences on the late night variety show, Seth was upgraded to co-anchor Weekend Update with Amy and their chemistry was just as incredible as Tina/Amy.

On Weekend Update, Meyers has proved a knack for delivering the news in a unique style. His facial expressions mirrored his perfectly-paced delivery voice in the signature cynicism that is required for WU. While he was a strong performer as a solo anchor, Meyers was also versatile in his chemistry with both Amy Poehler and the newer Cecily Strong. This is often under-looked, but is incredibly awesome and here’s why. A co-anchor on WU is basically your comedy spouse. They are out there with you on the desk in the trenches of live television to save you when your joke bombs or flops. So yeah, Seth Meyers was comedically polygamous, especially if one remembers his marriage to Bill Hader’s character Stefon.

Taken from NBC.com. A detailed list of people I want to be friends with.

Taken from NBC.com. A detailed list of people I want to be friends with sending off one of their own to the world.

I didn’t jump into the Saturday Night Live fandom until a little after the whole Sarah Palin bit. At this point, Seth Meyers was well into his time as head writer and anchoring Weekend Update. (Meyers is actually credited with writing huge chunks of the Sarah Palin sketches and more recently has helped out with much of the Golden Globe monologues, which are hosted by his pals Tina and Amy in case you didn’t know.) I kind of lost steam for SNL after awhile, but one weekend I caught it during its next season of political roasting and everything made sense. I was at that age where I could intellectually understand the jokes and my life was never the same ever since.  Saturday Night Live has had more than its fair share of bad shows, but you could always, ALWAYS count on Weekend Update to make you laugh. Since the beginning of my comedy nerd roots, Seth Meyers has been there on his little rollie chair behind the Update desk. He made me look forward to the weekend, just to hear what he had to say about stupid things around the world. Thus, to see him behind that desk one last time nearly crying about how SNL “was the best job” brought me to tears.

It’s not so much that I’m sad because once he’s on Late Night with Seth Meyers, he’ll be on television nearly every night. But the magical thing about television is it makes you grow a loyalty to your shows. It’s why you love certain characters and cry when they leave the show. What’s that? That’s just me? Okay.

Well, anyway, my tears are from sheer pride I feel for Seth Meyers’ accomplishments. Congrats to Seth for graduating the White House of Comedy and moving on to his version of Late Night. Thanks for keeping me anchored (pun unintended) in front of the tv every weekend.

Fun fact: Seth Meyers visited UAB for its first Homecoming Comedy Show back in 2010, which I was very unfortunate enough to miss. I would metaphorically sell a kidney for him to visit again. (Someone please make this happen, except the part where I sell an organ.)

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About Gerrie Lim

Like roughly 50% of everyone here at UAB, Gerrie Lim is a pre-med student. Unlike everyone here, she is a Communications Broadcasting major with a Theatre minor. On Saturday nights, you can usually find her watching the latest episode of Saturday Night Live, where she wants to work at one day. Gerrie Lim is currently a freshman at the time of quickly scribbling this little biography and enjoys writing autobiographies. She thinks it doesn't do her justice, and she thanks you for looking at whatever page you found it. Gerrie is currently a writer, photographer and, weirdly, a cartoonist for the UAB's Kaleidoscope. You can find her on Instagram at @chopstickgirl.
 
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