Late Night with Seth Meyers

Last updated
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Late Night with Seth Meyers (Official 2014 Logo).png
Also known as Late Night (franchise brand)
Genre
Created by
Developed bySeth Meyers
Directed byAlex Vietmeier
Presented bySeth Meyers
Starring The 8G Band with Fred Armisen (house band)
Narrated byRon McClary
Opening themeLate Night with Seth Meyers theme
Composer Fred Armisen
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes1,193 (as of September 16, 2021) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Alex Baze
  • Eric Leiderman
  • Mike Shoemaker
Production locations
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time60 minutes (approx. 41 minutes without commercials)
Production companies
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original network NBC
Picture format HDTV 1080i
Original releaseFebruary 24, 2014 (2014-02-24) 
present (present)
Chronology
Preceded by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Related shows The Amber Ruffin Show
External links
Website

Late Night with Seth Meyers is an American late-night and news satire talk show hosted by Seth Meyers on NBC. The show premiered on February 24, 2014, and is produced by Broadway Video and Universal Television. Airing weeknights at 12:37 a.m. ET/PT, it is the fourth iteration of NBC's Late Night franchise.

Contents

The show also stars bandleader Fred Armisen and the 8G Band, the show's house band. Late Night is produced by former Saturday Night Live producer Mike Shoemaker and executive-produced by Lorne Michaels. The show records from Studio 8G at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Clips of Late Night are provided on YouTube. [1]

History

The series is the fourth incarnation of the Late Night franchise, originated by David Letterman. Seth Meyers was appointed host when Jimmy Fallon was announced to become the next host of The Tonight Show (currently The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon ), where he succeeded the previous host Jay Leno one week after that. Meyers' first guests were fellow SNL alum and Weekend Update co-anchor Amy Poehler, then Vice President the United States Joe Biden, and musical act A Great Big World. [2] [3] [4] The show's house band, The 8G Band, features members of the indie bands Les Savy Fav and Girls Against Boys, [5] and is typically led by SNL alum Fred Armisen.

On September 2, 2014, the show premiered on a redesigned set. [6] [7]

On January 13, 2016, NBC renewed Meyers' contract to remain as host through 2021. [8]

On March 13, 2020, the show suspended production due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Beginning on March 30, 2020, the show was produced from Meyers' residence [9] or from his parents-in-laws' summer home. Meyers returned to a reworked studio without a live audience on September 8, 2020.

On February 26, 2021, NBC renewed Meyers' contract to remain as host through 2025. [10]

Production

Late Night with Seth Meyers originates from NBC Studio 8G in the Comcast Building at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City. The studio is housed directly above Studio 6B, the home of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon ; the combination created logistical challenges for executives, who were concerned about "sound bleed" (as the Comcast Building was built with steel girders, sound is too easily conducted floor to floor). As a result, The Tonight Show tapes at 5:00pm, [11] and Late Night tapes later in the evening, at 6:30pm. [12] The studio seats nearly 180 individuals, and is housed directly beside Studio 8H, longtime home of Saturday Night Live . [13] Architectural Digest writes that the stage "strikes an Art Deco tone, with its illuminated proscenium arch reminiscent of the Chrysler Building's iconic crown." [14] Seth's Late Night has a house band, called The 8G Band, and led by Fred Armisen who also acts as the show's sidekick. He also performs as backing and co-lead vocals, rhythm guitars, bass and drums. The other personnel in the band are Seth Jabour on lead guitars and backing vocals, Marnie Stern on lead and rhythm guitars and backing vocals, Syd Butler on bass, and Eli Janney on keyboards, programmer and lead vocals. Just before Marnie Stern took over for Fred Armisen as guitarist in 2015, the role of drummer was held by Kimberly Thompson, who has performed trumpets, backing vocals and melodicas since the premiere of Late Night on February 24, 2014. Guest performers are used for the entire week when Armisen has other commitments, and their residencies are promoted in each episode's logline on an equal level with the stage guests.

Production process

Show structure and segments

Meyers in 2015 Seth Meyers by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Meyers in 2015

The show opens with Ron McClary proclaiming "From 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York, it's Late Night with Seth Meyers!" and announcing that night's guests and The 8G Band with Fred Armisen, and/or guest musicians. McClary introduces Meyers with "Ladies and gentlemen, Seth Meyers." Previously, the introduction to Meyers was "And now here he is, Seth Meyers!". Meyers performs a monologue from his desk based around recent news, punctuating jokes with on-screen images and video. [6] For the first year and a half of the program, Meyers performed a traditional stand-up monologue, before changing to a seated, Weekend Update -style opening monologue. [16] This segment is normally followed by a long-form desk piece, or an interaction with bandleader Fred Armisen. The desk piece then leads to a commercial break. After the first commercial, one of various recurring segments appears, followed by the first of the episode's guests, which usually include celebrities and actors, literary figures, people in fashion, artists, athletes, and politicians. [17] The first guest may return after the second commercial break, or be followed by the second guest. The third commercial break is normally followed by either a musical guest or a segment featuring that night's regular guests. Alternatively, a third guest may be featured.

On some occasions, Meyers does not follow this pattern at all; rather, he will perform a monologue followed by a long series of interviews without other segments. This first occurred following the series finale of Parks and Recreation , an NBC sitcom starring Meyers' former co-anchor and close friend Amy Poehler. [18] This occurred again with the cast of the then-upcoming film Sisters (which coincidentally also starred Poehler), although the episode featured a short desk segment between the monologue and interviews. [19] An annual holiday tradition since the show's debut year has been an episode broadcast on Thanksgiving night in which the only guests are Meyers' parents, Hilary and Larry, and his younger brother Josh.

The show eventually increased its focus on politics. [20] After Jon Stewart left The Daily Show in 2015, Meyers' program has gradually moved towards the "longer-form political comedy" style The Daily Show is known for. [21] [22] In an interview with journalist Chris Hayes, Meyers acknowledged this change, saying that the show was always intended to be politically minded, but when the show started, the creators opted to only gradually work the political material into the content to measure the amount of workload following the 24-hour news cycle would cause. [23] It's been described as The Daily Show for people without basic cable. [23]

Recurring segments

Live episodes

In July 2016, it was announced that the show would produce two live episodes following the final nights of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. [58] The show is normally recorded live on tape (primarily), but too early in the day to feature content from each night's convention. As a result, Meyers opted to host the show live to have the first opportunity for a fresh take on how each convention ended.

The first live episode featured guests Leslie Jones and Carlo Mirarchi, [59] as well as a live "Ya Burnt" segment. One of the roasting topics for the segment was "live television", in which Meyers stated that he was going to test the Standards & Practices division at NBC to see how well they could censor him live if he used swear words. Ultimately, a few swears were aired in the live version. [60] Meyers also joked with Jones in her interview that she cannot swear like she normally does, because the show would be live. Despite this, Jones ultimately did swear in her interview, though the network censor caught it. [61]

The second live episode featured guests Colin Jost, Michael Che, and Jessi Klein. The episode also featured a live "Jokes Seth Can't Tell" segment, in which writer Amber Ruffin used the phrase "bigger dicks though" as the punchline of a joke. Meyers appeared caught off-guard and chastised her for the use of the word, to which she responded by reminding him that the show is live so the network cannot stop them from saying it. Meyers repeated the line offhand later in the segment. [62]

The third live episode followed the first presidential debate of the 2016 general election. Will Forte, Mandy Moore, and David Ortiz were the guests, with a special appearance by Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost. The show opened with a brief monologue, followed by an extended "A Closer Look" segment about the night's debate. It was the first live episode to go as planned, with no impromptu mishaps or swears. [63]

The fourth live episode followed the 2018 midterm elections. Chris Hayes was originally announced to be the guest, but was replaced by Billy Eichner and Soledad O'Brien in the live version. The episode also featured an extended "A Closer Look" segment about the results of the elections and a live "Amber Says What" segment with writer Amber Ruffin. [64] [65] [66]

The fifth live episode followed the 2019 State of the Union Address. The episode featured guests Taylor Schilling and Ana Navarro, with an extended "A Closer Look" segment about the Address and a live "Jokes Seth Can't Tell" segment. [67]

Episodes

Reception

Ratings

SeasonNielsen RankNielsen Rating [68] Tied With
2013–1441.9N/A
2014–1541.5N/A
2015–16N/A.71N/A
2016–17N/A0.26N/A
2017–18TBD0.23TBD

Late Night with Seth Meyers premiered to high ratings. It debuted to 3.4 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among the key demographic of adults aged 18–49—the best ratings for the Late Night franchise since January 2005. [69] Several months into its run, the show averaged 1.5 million viewers nightly, which was slightly down from Fallon's final average as host. [70] It remained at the same average one year later, in July 2015. [17]

Critical reception

The show initially received mixed reviews. The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman referred to Meyers' monologue as "staccato and hit and miss—sounding more like his 'Weekend Update' bits rather than a real monologue." On the other hand, USA Today's Robert Bianco felt Meyers was "shifting the show to suit his talents," making the show stronger and more traditional than Fallon's. [71] Reviewing the debut week, The A.V. Club gave a B grade: The show begins with, "essentially, a carbon copy of Meyers' Weekend Update / 'what's in the news' jokes [...] Meyers will settle in to the formulaic parts of this job quickly enough—he's a pro, and it shows... " [72] A month later, Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly gave the program a B+ and wrote, "In his first week, the very smart, very smiley former Saturday Night Live head writer gave stiff monologue, which was basically his Weekend Update newsreader shtick, delivered in his shouty, wiseassy, talk-to-the-camera manner, but standing up; he improved the more he connected with the studio audience. He rolls when sitting down. Meyers seems capable of creating chemistry and having quality chats with anyone, from riding the wild waves of Kanye West to spinning a funny anecdote with pal Brad Paisley about accidentally stealing a Porsche." [73]

Reviews have grown more positive as the show has evolved. In 2015, David Sims of The Atlantic wrote that the program "quietly [became] a heavy hitter, mixing a solid monologue with great scripted and semi-improvised bits from its writers." [6] The Wall Street Journal 's Sophia Hollander, with regard to the show's emphasis on authors, considered it "something of an intellectual salon, with authors and biting political commentary as well as celebrities." [17] Bruce Fretts of New York felt the show distinguished itself from its contemporaries with a heavier focus on politics. [20]

The 2016 election cycle allowed the show to further increase its focus on politics, satirizing the daily news both in the monologue and longform "A Closer Look" segments. At the behest of NBC executives, Late Night does not attempt to "equally cover" the news. Rather, jokes and segments are written openly from Meyers' more liberal viewpoint. This is also, in part, to help distinguish the show from its lead-in, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon , which attempts to skewer from an unbiased perspective. Meyers' transition from broad appeal comedy to his personal views has been critically praised, saying that the show has been able to find its own footing more in these political pieces. [63] Conversely, Jonny Coleman of LA Weekly called Meyers a "purveyor of toxic fluff" who has "demonstrated zero political efficacy." [74] Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times praised "A Closer Look" and Meyers for embracing a more political style, noting "This approach has helped "Late Night," which was drawing more than 1.6 million viewers at the end of last year, stand out in a crowded field of competitors, and has earned Mr. Meyers praise from viewers, critics and his fellow hosts." [75]

Broadcast

In MENA Countries, the show airs on OSN First Comedy HD, And re-two hours after the presentation on OSN First Comedy +2. [76]

The show started airing across Europe on CNBC Europe from November 1, 2016 at 23:00 GMT (00:00 CET), as a replacement for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon which used to occupy the same slot, however from November 2016 the Tonight Show has exclusive broadcast rights across Europe on the E! channel so Late Night was chosen as its replacement.

The show airs on CNBC Europe Mondays to Fridays at 22:30 GMT/BST (23:30 CET). Episodes now air in an uncut one hour format, airing episodes on a one-day delay from US transmission. On Saturdays and Sundays, episodes of the show air in an uncut one hour format from 20:00 GMT/BST (21:00 CET) with three episodes airing on a Saturday and three episodes airing on a Sunday. The weekend episodes are from editions which had aired around a week before across the USA. [77] [78]

In Southeast Asia, the show airs on Blue Ant Entertainment from Tuesdays to Saturdays (within 12 hours after the U.S. telecast).

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