Seth Meyers has had a bit of a rocky start taking the helm of NBC's Late Night show. I loved him at the Weekend Update desk of SNL, where he served as head writer, but even there unless he was flirting with Stefan he could come off as too wry. As a late night show host, critics have suggested he comes across as formal and tense.
I'm giving him a chance to grow into his new shoes, though, for a few reasons. Following Jimmy Fallon can't be easy. Jimmy is an exhuberant puppy of a man who radiates joy. I mean, Justin Timberlake very effectively impersonates Jimmy by just repeating the phrase "it's so great!" Jimmy is fun incarnate, and most host in comparison would feel tight.
Michelle Wolf, Alison Agosti and Kimberly Thompson on Late Night With Seth Meyers
The big reason I'm willing to give Seth a chance to develop his show is his choice in writers. Women are still ridiculously underrepresented on comedy writing teams, but Seth has some outstanding female writers on his team. Perhaps Tina Fey and Amy Poehler trained him right, and most assuredly he has great taste.
He's showcasing the hilarious Amber Ruffin, for one. Amber is the first black woman to write for a network late night talk show. FIRST EVER. She's an incredibly talented performer as well and I'm hoping to see her from time to time on the show.
Seth's team, while admittedly comprised of more men than women, also includes Alison Agosti and Michelle Wolf. They performed in a bit last night which put the spotlight on show drummer Kimberly Thompson. The very fact that Seth is featuring his women writers front and center in a powerful way gives me a lot of hope about where Late Night is headed. I love when they say "how dare you" to him in this bit, and I love that it is focused on the powerful of female friendships and fandom. When is the last time we've seen that? It's subversive, unexpected, and a strong indicator of the role women will play in the voice of the show
Have you seen the new show yet? Late night talk shows are friendly comfort viewing for many, and some viewers like me dip into them now and then to calm down on busy nights. Jimmy Fallon is easy to invite into your home, and he's definitely a favorite in mine. I'm hoping Seth Meyers, buoyed by these smart writers, will become a frequent visitor as well. What do you think about Seth's show so far, and about Amber, Michelle and Alison?
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