Seth Meyers hopes his ‘Late Night’ packs some Chicago flavor
BY MIKE THOMAS Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org June 2, 2013 9:32PM
TBS JUST FOR LAUGHS COMEDY FESTIVAL
When: 7:30 p.m. June 14
Where: Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State
Updated: July 4, 2013 6:25AM
‘Saturday Night Live” star Seth Meyers takes to the Chicago Theatre stage on June 14, a month after NBC announced he’ll succeed Jimmy Fallon as the host of “Late Night” next year.
He’ll perform here with fellow comics Hannibal Buress and Al Madrigal during the TBS Just for Laughs comedy festival.
The Evanston native, Northwestern grad and former local improviser spoke with the Sun-Times about his next TV showcase. Chicago, he said, will definitely influence its tone and possibly even its talent.
Q. Any new career developments we should know about?
A. [laughs] My dad’s got some yard work for me this summer.
Q. You’re stagnating lately, not really going anywhere.
A. It seems like everything’s on pause. It’s hard not to feel that way. No, it’s really exciting. It’s strange to get a job that starts in eight months or however long it is, but it’s going to be an exciting eight months figuring out what it’s going to be and how we’re going to do it.
Q. Do you have a concept yet of what you’re going to do?
A. It’s a developing concept. I think with something like this, you’re going to spend all this time trying to think about how you want to do a show, and then you’ll do one show and learn a thousand things you couldn’t learn without doing it. It’s nice to be in a time slot that’s historically allowed people to try a lot of things, which I’m looking forward to.
Q. Between you and me, it’s not going to be that hard to outshine Jimmy Fallon.
A. [laughs] Jimmy’s a light, are you kidding me! He’s the light of the network.
Q. It sounds like you’re going to hew to the same format he has — monologue, Q&A session.
A. I really don’t want to put anything in writing yet as we talk about it. But I do want to try to preserve elements of “Weekend Update” that I’ve really enjoyed over the years. I don’t know exactly what that will look like, but I’ve so enjoyed playing straight man to people over the years and I’ve so enjoyed writing in the sketch format or the “Weekend Update” feature format. I hope there’s a way to keep that alive with this new show.
Q. Will you go the route of another “Late Night” host, Conan O’Brien, and hire some Chicago writers?
A. When you finally get a show like this, in the back of your head you’ve always had a list of five or six people that you have hoped you’d one day be able to say to, “Do you want to come work with me?” I have several people [who come] from Chicago … and those I’ve certainly already called.
Q. These are people on your wish list, or you’ve already hired them?
A. I haven’t hired anybody yet. I don’t even know, if we told NBC, if they would even know who we are yet [laughs]. But those are conversations that have started.
Q. What is it about the Chicago comedic sensibility that might play well on your new show?
A. I’ve always thought it was nice to come out of Chicago because, with all due respect to New York and Los Angeles, Chicago feels more like the rest of the country in the way that these [late-night] shows have to be if they work. But also, coming out of the Chicago improv scene, as I did, there’s that sense of ensemble, which is really important and something I want to have on the show.