Late Night with Seth Meyers

Late Night with Seth Meyers
Also known as Late Night (franchise brand)
Created by David Letterman
Developed by Seth Meyers
Directed by Alex Vietmeier
Presented by Seth Meyers
Starring The 8G Band with Fred Armisen (house band)
Narrated by Ron McClary
Opening theme Late Night with Seth Meyers theme
Composer(s) Fred Armisen
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 455 (as of November 24, 2016) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Lorne Michaels
  • Alex Baze
  • Eric Leiderman
  • Mike Shoemaker
Running time 62 minutes (with commercials)
Production company(s)
Original network NBC
Picture format HDTV 1080i
Original release February 24, 2014 (2014-02-24) – present (present)
Preceded by
External links

Late Night with Seth Meyers is an American late-night talk show hosted by Seth Meyers on NBC. The show premiered on February 24, 2014 and is produced by Broadway Video and Universal Television. It is the fourth incarnation of NBC's long-running Late Night franchise. The show also stars bandleader Fred Armisen and the 8-G 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.

The program airs Monday through Thursday nights at 12:37 a.m. ET/PT. The show opens with Meyers' topical monologue, which he delivers from his desk. The program also contains comedy bits, sketches, interviews with a myriad of guests, and occasionally a musical or comedy performance. The show attracts an average of 1.5 million viewers nightly.

On January 13, 2016, NBC renewed Meyers' contact to remain as host through 2021.[1]


The series is the fourth incarnation of the Late Night franchise, originated by David Letterman. 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 on February 17, 2014. Meyers' first guests were fellow SNL alum and Weekend Update co-anchor Amy Poehler, Vice President 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. Every episode features a coffee mug on Meyers' desk from a different NBC affiliate.

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


Late Night with Seth Meyers originates from NBC Studio 8-G 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,[8] and Late Night tapes later in the evening, at 6:30pm.[9] The studio seats nearly 180 individuals, and is housed directly beside Studio 8H, longtime home of Saturday Night Live.[10] Architectural Digest writes that the stage "strikes an Art Deco tone, with its illuminated proscenium arch reminiscent of the Chrysler Building’s iconic crown."[11] 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 & 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 & 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 on 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.

Production process

Show structure and segments

Meyers in 2015

The show opens with Ron McClary proclaiming "From 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, it's Late Night with Seth Meyers!" and announcing that night’s guests and The 8G Band with Fred Armisen, and/or guest musicians, including Jeremy Gara, Jon Theodore, Chad Smith, etc. 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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] 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, a long-running NBC sitcom starring Meyers' former co-anchor and close friend Amy Poehler.[16] 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.[17]

The show eventually increased its focus on politics.[18] 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.[19][20] 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.[21]

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.[33] 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 guest Leslie Jones, [34] as well as a live Ya Burnt. 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.[35] 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.[36]

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.[37]

The third live episode followed the first presidential debate of the 2016 general election. Will Forte and Mandy Moore 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 Closer Look segment about the night's debate. It was the first live episode to go as planned, with no impromptu mishaps or swears.[38]




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.[39] Several months into its run, the show averaged 1.5 million viewers nightly, which was slightly down from Fallon's final average as host.[40] It remained at the same average one year later, in July 2015.[15]

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.[41] 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... "[42] 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."[43]

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."[13] 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."[15] Bruce Fretts of New York felt the show distinguished itself from its contemporaries with a heavier focus on politics.[18]

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.[44]


In MENA Countries, the show airs on OSN First Comedy HD, And re-two hours after the presentation on OSN First Comedy +2.[45]


  1. Wagmeister, Elizabeth (January 13, 2016). "Seth Meyers' Late-Night NBC Deal Renewed until 2021". Variety. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  2. Carter, Bill (2013-05-12). "Seth Meyers to Succeed Fallon on NBC's Late Night". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  3. Evans, Bradford. "Here's Your 'Late Night with Seth Meyers' Writing Staff". splitsider. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  4. Adalian, Josef. "Seth Meyers Gave Reporters a Late Night Update". Vulture. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  5. Monez, Mindy. "Fred Armisen Is the "Late Night with Seth Meyers" Band Leader! - Blog - Late Night with Seth Meyers - NBC". NBC. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  6. Sims, David (August 13, 2015). "What Seth Meyers Is Doing Differently". Atlantic Monthly.
  7. Meyers, Seth (September 2, 2014). "We're back tonight with an all new show and a brand new set!". Twitter. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  8. "Tickets and NBC Studio Tour". Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  9. Carter, Bill (February 16, 2014). "Tonight Show Returns to New York After Nearly 42 Years". The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  10. Jason Gay (February 24, 2014). "Seth Meyers: From Saturday Night Live to Late Night". Vogue. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Holbrook, Damian (June 20, 2016). "A Had Day's Night" TV Guide. pp 28-29.
  13. 1 2 David Sims (August 13, 2015). "What Seth Meyers Is Doing Differently". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  14. Dave Itzkoff (August 11, 2015). "Seth Meyers Decides to Take a Seat to Deliver His 'Late Night' Monologue". The New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  15. 1 2 3 Sophia Hollander (July 16, 2015). "Seth Meyers's 'Late Night' Literary Salon". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  16. The Parks and Recreation Cast Sings “Bye, Bye Li’l Sebastian” - Late Night with Seth Meyers. 25 February 2015 via YouTube.
  17. ""Late Night with Seth Meyers" The Cast of Sisters/Ilan Rubin (TV Episode 2015)". IMDb. 17 December 2015.
  18. 1 2 Bruce Fretts (June 11, 2015). "How Seth Meyers Is Positioning Himself As Late Night's Political Kingmaker". New York. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  19. David Sims. "Seth Meyers Joins the Late-Night Evisceration Fray". The Atlantic.
  20. Joanna Robinson. "Why Seth Meyers Might Be the Real Heir to Jon Stewart". Vanity Fair.
  21. Hayes, Chris (October 9, 2015). "Extended interview with Seth Meyers". MSNBC.
  22. A Closer Look: Oregon Shooting and Gun Violence - Late Night with Seth Meyers. 6 October 2015 via YouTube.
  23. YouTube.
  24. Seth and His Mom Go Day Drinking - Late Night with Seth Meyers. 9 September 2015 via YouTube.
  25. "Watch Late Night: Seth Meyers "Deep Google: Father's Day Edition, Part 1" Highlight -". NBC.
  26. Drusilla Moorhouse. "Seth Meyers wins with Fake or Florida game show on 'Late Night'".
  27. 1 2 Fred Talks: Freddie Krueger Gloves for Kids - Late Night with Seth Meyers. 11 August 2015 via YouTube.
  29. Amy Poehler and Seth Reunite for a New Really!?! - Late Night with Seth Meyers. 24 June 2015 via YouTube.
  30. Teen Slang: Sethster, Depp Perception - Late Night with Seth Meyers. 16 September 2015 via YouTube.
  31. Seth's Netflix Rant - Late Night with Seth Meyers. 20 May 2015 via YouTube.
  32. Ya Burnt: Halloween Stores, NYC, Pope Francis - Late Night with Seth Meyers. 16 October 2014 via YouTube.
  39. Michael O'Connell (February 25, 2014). "TV Ratings: Seth Meyers' 'Late Night' Debut Tops Fallon's, 'Tonight' Opens Week 2 Strong". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  40. Rick Kissell (September 24, 2014). "Latenight Ratings: NBC's Fallon, Meyers Easy Winners for Q3; ABC's Kimmel, 'Nightline' Up". Variety. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  41. Brzeski, Patrick (February 25, 2014). "Seth Meyers on 'Late Night': What the Critics Are Saying". The Hollywood Reporter.
  42. Sims, David (February 28, 2014). "Seth Meyers has the chops, but is that enough to get audiences to care?". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  43. Jensen, Jeff (March 20, 2014). "Late Night (2014)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  45. "TV Schedule -". Retrieved February 16, 2016.

External links

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