Seth Meyers: "If people have enjoyed SNL at any point in the last 10 years, they will enjoy the show"
|Photo courtesy of NBC|
"I think if you know my Weekend Update persona, my standup is fairly close to that," he says. "I like to talk about current events, and I can tell stories about my own life that would be indulgent to do on SNL."
"Weekend Update is the culmination of a lot of people working really hard over the course of a week," Meyers says. "With standup, you're up there entirely on your own. You feel like you're doing comedy with a lot less of a 'net,' so to speak. Because you're solely in control of it, you can kind of see where it takes you any given night, which I always find fun, too."
Because he is surrounded by comedians, Meyers has plenty of people to bounce ideas off of, but he says he enjoys testing out new jokes in front of his live audiences.
"Being out on the road as much as I am, there's no better place to see if a joke works than telling it in front of an audience," Meyers says. "Any given night that I'm doing standup I try to keep about 90% of it as stuff that's tried and true and then it's fun to sort of mess around with 10% and try new stuff. I think part of doing good standup is constantly turning over your material."
Even as a seasoned comedy veteran, Meyers says trying new material can be nerve-racking.
"It's scary, which is why I would never want to go out and do a brand-new hour," Meyers says. "I think what you want to do is to try to find pockets in the show where you know the thing before is going to work, and the thing after is going to work. It's sort of like wearing a parachute."
He still gets butterflies in his stomach before he hits the stage, but says that it's a good thing.
"Before I do Update or standup, I do feel a comfort in butterflies. I feel like being a little bit nervous is a good feeling. That kind of goes away when you get that first laugh; you relax and kind of go into the rest of it. Those butterflies remind me that what you're about to do is hard, and is going to require all of your focus," Meyers says.
Funny must run in the family, as both Seth and his younger brother Josh Meyers (MADtv, That 70's Show) are in the industry. Meyers says he is grateful that his parents have always been so supportive.
"I was very lucky. Both my brother and I do this, and from the very beginning my parents
loved nothing more than to see us perform," Meyers says. "I think that gave us the energy and support to keep trying. There's no better thing for people getting into this business than having a supportive family."
Meyers also has things like hosting the ESPY Awards on ESPN and headlining the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on his résumé, but says he is most proud of his work on SNL.
"I'm very proud of the fact that I've worked at the same place for 12 years, and I feel like it's the place that taught me how to do comedy. It's been wonderful to be able to work there and to help the people who have come here after me figure it out too," Meyers says.
Performing at a casino will be fun for Meyers as he likes to gamble. Craps is his favorite.
"I like the idea of a large group of people combining their forces to try to beat the casino, even though it doesn't work," Meyers says. "There's something communal about craps that is lacking in the rest of the casino."
He has been to Minnesota several times, often to visit a friend from college and once for a trip to the Boundary Waters. He says he has "much love" for a state that would elect an SNL alumnus as senator (Al Franken), and he can't wait to be back in Minnesota.
"It's going to be a really funny hour," Meyers says. "If people have enjoyed SNL at any point in the last 10 years, they will enjoy the show."
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