It is Thursday night time, and Seth Meyers has reached the top of his official workweek: I’ve watched him tape “Late Night time,” which he is hosted since 2014, and I’ve seen him do his weekly web-only add-on, “Corrections,” an Emmy-nominated bonus section by which he addresses all of the nitpicky feedback viewers depart on his YouTube movies. Now he is settled in for an interview with The Envelope in a greenroom at 30 Rock with an icy-cold drink. Miller time? Nope: “It is a Negroni,” he notes. “From a can.” Cheers!
There aren’t numerous silver linings to the pandemic quarantine, however by doing “Late Night time” out of your attic for a couple of months, you discovered the best way to work with out an viewers. How did that assist with creating “Corrections,” which you do in entrance of an primarily empty studio?
We did fall in love with doing the present with out an viewers. “Corrections” was the way in which to carry on to a bit and say, “Hey, we additionally love that factor that a few of you at house beloved, and so we’re nonetheless going to do that as a result of it is particular 20 minutes per week to recollect the closeness we had.” As a result of a part of “Corrections” is, if nobody is definitely within the room with me right here, we’re all in the identical room.
Comedians at all times discuss feeding off the vitality within the room, however the lack of vitality appears fairly comfy for you. Earlier than the principle present taping even began tonight, you instructed the viewers to not applaud specific jokes as a result of you do not know what to do with your self when that occurs.
Weirdly, I beloved not having that second of getting every particular person joke judged audibly. One thing like “A Nearer Look” could be very densely written. The very last thing we wish to do is must hit the brakes, although it is pretty. I find it irresistible when folks snicker, so I need a response. However I additionally like not having to decelerate.
“Corrections” additionally jogs my memory of when David Letterman was first doing “Late Night time” — that on-the-fly, no-budget, unvarnished really feel. To me, late-night reveals actually modified as soon as executives determined they had been moneymakers and began listening to scores.
Doing one thing like “Corrections” is an opportunity for us to say, “Hey, we’re not going to disturb what the NBC ‘Late Night time’ franchise has develop into.” However we did love the lo-fi, handmade really feel of these [Letterman] reveals and the liberty of realizing nobody is paying consideration.
Has “Corrections” made you a freer, looser host for “Late Night time”?
Yeah. That looseness was extra thrust upon us from the pandemic, nevertheless it was one thing I noticed I preferred and I am attempting to carry onto. “Corrections” is that this method to finish every week by embracing looseness. It is an ideal palate cleanser, particularly as a result of we’re speaking concerning the finish of this f— nightmare week [which included the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas]. The sort of week the place you would like you had any job on the planet apart from the one the place you needed to deal with what occurred this week.
You, together with a number of different late-night hosts, pivoted arduous into politics after the 2016 election, and you’ve got stayed there. Any regrets on making that shift?
No. I take pleasure in what we do now much more than what we did at first. To start with, I felt like I used to be doing an impression of what the “Late Night time” present needs to be. Whereas now I really feel like I am myself.
Why maintain issues political, after Trump was voted out?
There are specific bad-faith actors who say, “Why are you obsessive about him? Why do you retain speaking about him?” If I assumed there was a brand new face of the Republican Social gathering, I might shift gears. However I do not assume there’s. They’ve two years to show me fallacious.
In HBO’s new documentary “George Carlin’s American Dream,” Jerry Seinfeld notes that nothing any comic has ever mentioned has modified his thoughts. Do you hope to alter minds with what you do on “Late Night time”?
If there’s any minor change, it might be to persuade folks to vote as an alternative of not voting. I don’t assume that I’m essentially altering minds. It is a place to come back for folks to really feel cathartic. I do not assume we’re attempting to alter minds, nor do I feel that there can be any method to change sure minds.
I might at all times nursed this naive concept that well-done leisure may enable audiences to see the world in numerous lights or empathize with folks they do not know. If not, what is the level of entering into controversy the way in which you do?
Nicely, it entertains, that is one factor. If folks can watch and snicker, they will really feel higher about life. I do not assume that laughter simply passes via us with out having an impact. As a result of particularly after the horrific occasions of this week, you notice generally the most effective factor you are able to do is drill down on your self and your loved ones and discover pleasure there. I am not egotistical sufficient to assume we’re making a distinction. However I am not going to behave like we won’t.
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Instances.