Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen Talk All Things ‘Late Night’
Late Night successor Seth Meyers is on the cover of this month’s issue of The Hollywood Reporter, which includes a lengthy interview with the former longtime Weekend Update anchor and SNL head writer about his journey to the late night throne. It’s full of SNL anecdotes from Meyers and his collaborators and also has a nice glimpse into his first few years as a cast member back before he found his footing:
He joined the cast in 2001, the same year Amy Poehler did, but it would take him a few seasons to get comfortable. “I had so much self-doubt about my role on the show,” he says, aware that he “couldn’t hold a candle” to Fred Armisen or Will Forte as a sketch performer, and castmates Hader, Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis simply were “better actors.” He heaped pressure on himself: “After every table read where things didn’t go well, I was worrying about what that meant on a grander scale … making every micro a macro.”
“We talked about me not really talking very much. I didn’t need it to be my show — Seth has that covered. [Meyers suggests viewers eventually will see Armisen do characters.] I’ll do anything for Seth because he’s my friend and he’s brilliant, and my answer to things is usually, ‘Yeah, let me try it. This is new to me.’ I like to think, ‘What would [Flaming Lips frontman] Wayne Coyne do?’ I love how he lives his life and I think he would have done this. Also, and I really mean this, ‘What would James Franco do?’ because James Franco has turned his life into a real art project. In my opinion, that’s the way to live.
“Questlove redefined what a band can be [on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon], and Paul Shaffer [of Late Show with David Letterman] and Max Weinberg [formerly of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien] really put their own spin on it. I bow down to these people. All of them.”
The confirmation of Armisen characters on Late Night is just another hint at just how amazing the debut of Seth’s Late Night will be next week. Thankfully the wait is almost over.