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As Seth Meyers prepares to make the jump from Saturday Night Live‘s popular “Weekend Update” segment to taking over from Jimmy Fallon as the host of NBC’s Late Night on Feb. 24, he’s nailing down what kind of host he wants to be.
“I like that everyone before me has established this as a place to try things out,” Meyers told Time magazine of Late Night. “It’s 12:35 at night. You can do crazy stuff.”
What sort of “crazy stuff” will he do? For starters: minimal music. Meyers is much less a song-and-dance man than Fallon and doesn’t even know if he’ll have a house DJ or band.
And since Meyers’ interests center more on politics, sports and current events than pop culture, he and producer Mike Shoemaker (a longtime SNL producer who also helped launch Fallon’s Late Night) will take advantage of their lower status on the late-night-show booking chain by lining up more authors, politicians and experts. (No word yet on whether they’ll be asked to play Fallon’s egg Russian roulette or odd-itemed basketball shootout.)
The show will be filled with more sketches than songs, with staffers playing recurring characters. Such decisions will help the show echo Meyers’ SNL career highs, like his impromptu wedding to Bill Hader‘s departing “city correspondent” character, Stefon. “People will say to me, ‘You were so good with Stefon, I can’t wait to see you do interviews!’ ” said Meyers. “I have to remind them, ‘You know those were scripted.’ “
Still, he promised he’s not reinventing the wheel — he’ll kick off the show with a monologue, then sit at a desk and chat with celebrity guests. Until then, he’s bouncing between his Late Night and SNL studios at 30 Rock in New York. “It’s like having two families. I feel like Ray Liotta at the end of Goodfellas, with the helicopter following me.”
Meyers makes his Late Night debut on Feb. 24.
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