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Remember Louis C.K.‘s “Lincoln” skit on Saturday Night Live?
Seth Meyers wrote it.
The Girls parody featuring Fey as an Albanian refuge?
As the former SNL head writer and “Weekend Update” co-anchor readies for his new gig as host of Late Night With Seth Meyers, premiering Feb. 24 on NBC, he shares some of his best work with The Hollywood Reporter.
“Last year was probably my favorite year I ever had as a writer on the show,” says Meyers, who joined SNL‘s writing staff in 2005, in an interview for his THR cover story.
Though he’ll have new responsibilities as well as a new cast of characters (Late Night’s 12-member writing staff is filled with improv talent) in a matter of days, Meyers has no plans to slow down the comedy bits.
Here’s a look at some of his favorites.
Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton, beginning September 2008
“A Nonpartisan Message From Governor Sarah Palin & Senator Hillary Clinton” drew national attention during the 2008 presidential election and scored Fey an Emmy for her impersonation of the vice presidential nominee. “I can see Russia from my house,” jokes Fey, in character, alongside Poehler as Hillary Clinton. Due to the popularity of the sketch and its spot-on impressions, Fey reprised her role as Palin three more times, leading to another hit sketch in which she was interviewed by Poehler as Katie Couric.
A month later, Palin herself appeared on “Weekend Update.” The sketch involved a very pregnant Poehler rapping in the vice presidential nominee’s face as she “raises the roof.” Meyers has called it the most historic moment on SNL.
Louis C.K. as Abraham Lincoln, November 2012
When Louie C.K. hosted SNL in 2012 he played Abraham Lincoln in the style of his FX show Louie. Meyers told THR of the sketch’s inception: “I look up to Louis a great deal. He came into my my office and I pitched him the idea and he was o nboard immediately.” The sketch, initially conceived as C.K. playing Lincoln’s “dirt bag brother,” follows Lincoln as he joins a recently emancipated slave (Kenan Thompson) at a bar, does a stand-up routine about slave owners and argues with his wife (Aidy Bryant) about getting special treatment as the president.
History of Punk, April 2013
Ian Rubbish, a punk rocker who hates everything but Margaret Thatcher? High comedy, and Fred Armisen, who will become Meyers’ Late Night bandleader, nailed it. “I would love to have said that I thought of it,” Armisen tells THR, “but I did not.” Meyers conceived of the idea and wrote the lyrics to the punk song during one of SNL‘s infamous all-night writing session. “When people try to write punk lyrics sometimes they get it wrong. They kind of know it and it’s a little corny,” Armisen adds of Seth’s writing talent. “But he had it exactly right, the rhythm of it and the lyrical content. Seth is this comedian, but for some reason he’s got this secret punk living inside of him.”
Girls Parody with Tina Fey, September 2013
In last season’s Fey-hosted opener, the SNL vet kicked it off with a spot-on parody of HBO’s Girls. Playing Blerta, an Albanian refuge and Hannah’s new roommate, Fey puts the struggles the characters face in the show into perspective. “It’s OK. You are only 15,” Blerta consoles Lena Dunham‘s character (Noel Wells) at the end of the skit. “No, I’m not. I’m 24,” says Dunham, to which Blerta replies: “24? What the f— is wrong with you?” Dunham praised the spoof, calling it “a true honor” on Twitter.
Darrell’s House with Zach Galifianakis, May 2013
Meyers was also responsible for the two-part sketch with Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm (a Meyers favorite) and castmember Kenan Thompson that involved some serious live re-editing. Galifianakis plays Darrell Sparks, a man who, in the process of filming a public access TV show about having guests over to his house, asks a lot of his camera guy. Make sure to watch both parts.
The Sopranos Diaries, January 2013
Meyers saw in The CW’s Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries the opportunity for a spoof. Enter The Sopranos Diaries, the story of the teen years of Tony Soprano and the gang in the 1980s. Watch the high schoolers bully nearly everyone with whom they come into contact.
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