Late Night with Seth Meyers Review
I love Seth Meyers, but Late Night with Seth Meyers is mediocre. It’s so mediocre that I could only bring myself to watch two episodes for this review. That being said, the show has some incredible potential. Seth’s in the same situation Conan O’Brien was when he began hosting late night: having writing skills doesn’t translate into being a good performer.
Part of Seth’s problem is that he delivers the monologue like it’s a Weekend Update. Rapid fire one liners may work on The Tonight Show, but on Late Night we’re used to a monologue that’s delivered like a one-sided conversation. Seth understands it, but when he attempts to joke about a bombed joke, he just digs himself deeper. He’s trying his best, but he doesn’t know when to move on. Not helping things is that a lot of his jokes miss the mark. If I have to think about the logic behind your joke before I understand it, it’s not a good joke. Seth’s still has to figure out that a monologue full of “just for us” jokes doesn’t work for the 12:35 crowd.
The monologue isn’t the only part of Late Night with Seth Meyers that’s going to have obvious growing pains. Seth’s recurring bits are going to need improvement. While Venn Diagrams is a great bit that will be extremely funny with the right jokes, Florida or Fiction needs to go. Every time I see audience participation on a late night show, it’s usually bad. Conan and David Letterman are the only hosts who do it well, but they only use audience members as a person to bounce off of. They don’t ask the audience real questions or give them real prizes. Seth doesn’t give prizes anyone would actually want. However, the bit is presented as a real game show with ridiculous questions. There are enough real game shows like that. We don’t need a bad parody.
The worst part of the show is Seth’s banter with band leader Fred Armisen. It seems like every episode Seth mentions Fred is an extremely busy guy, who has a new project. These projects are always ridiculous, not real, and unfunny. Obviously, Fred’s not really writing a 700 page self-help book called “Fill in the Blanks” that requires you to fill in every other words. It’s a dumb joke made worse by the fact that the rest of the show is so mediocre. To make matters worse, The 8G Band sound like a terrible garage band. Granted, The World’s Most Dangerous Band (which became The CBS Orchestra), The Max Weinberg 7, and The Roots did set a high bar, but The 8G isn’t limboing under the bar. They’re not even approaching it.
So are there any good parts to this show? Yes. Seth is an excellent interviewer. If Seth didn’t go into comedy, he probably would’ve become a journalist. He’s friends with his guests, but he doesn’t gush over them like Jimmy Fallon or interrupt them to talk about himself as much as Conan. Although, Seth is a little guilty of the latter offense when it comes to people he knows well. Seth would benefit from a better sidekick than Fred Armisen, who is awkward on camera, because he’s the most confident when someone is sitting next to him.
Once the monologue and the bits find their groove, Seth will be in great shape. I would give Seth a year. The show needs to come into it’s own. Switching from Weekend Update to the standard late night talk show format won’t be as easy for Seth as NBC probably thought it would be, but it’ll be worth the wait. Until then, watch Late Night with Seth Meyers once in a while, so NBC doesn’t kill it before Seth has a chance.
Posted on February 28, 2014, in Comedy, Late Night, NBC, Network Television, Talk Shows and tagged fred armisen, late night, late night with seth meyers, nbc, seth meyers, talk show, the 8g band. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.