In his debut at Late Night, former Saturday Night Live head writer Seth Meyers began with a quick tribute to Jimmy Fallon, his former castmate, by imitating his “Thank You Notes” segment.
Seth Meyers thanked Jimmy Fallon for moving on to The Tonight Show so that he could take his job. Then he self-deprecatingly promised to use the show only for “completely original comedy pieces” – as soon as the current one was over.
After a frenetic opening written by Fred Armisen, another SNL alum, Seth Meyers walked out to deliver his writing team’s unflashy but exceptionally well-made jokes.
Almost half were about politics, including this one about a 101-year-old candidate: “He has a good chance of appealing to younger viewers, since that’s all there is.”
Seth Meyers doesn’t seem prone to dumbing his humor down: His first bit was about Venn diagrams. But he could also be breezily likeable, as when he told a story about a man in a diner changing the tire of his and his wife’s car, while Seth Meyers held their small, shivering greyhound.
On his first night, Seth Meyers felt almost like a pre-David Letterman talk show host, going for straightforward jokes over irony and stunts. Even his set is low-key, almost soothing, full of metallic blues.
His first guest was Amy Poehler – yet another SNL colleague, and one of his best friends. The second guest was Vice President Joe Biden, who had an easy rapport with Amy Poehler after guesting on her show, Parks & Recreation.
Joe Biden, a likely 2016 presidential contender, joked that he was “planning a major announcement tonight – but I decided tonight was your night”.
Seth Meyers then asked Amy Poehler about her 2016 plans.
“I’m running for president,” she said.
Amy Poehler did have a real announcement: Broad City, the Comedy Central show she executive produces, will return for a second season. She also talked about hosting a Golden Globe party, where Joaquin Phoenix was an exceptionally hard-to-read first guest.
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