Seth Adam Meyers is an American comedian, television host, actor, writer, producer, and podcaster. He currently hosts Late Night with Seth Meyers, a late-night talk show on NBC. Prior to Late Night, Meyers was a cast member on NBC's sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 2014, and served as the show's head writer and anchor of their news parody segment, Weekend Update, from 2006 until his departure.
While attending college at Northwestern University, Meyers began performing improv comedy as a member of the Northwestern University improv sketch group Mee-Ow Show. He continued his career at ImprovOlympic with the group Preponderate as well as overseas as a cast member of Boom Chicago, an English language improv troupe based in Amsterdam, where his brother was also a cast member. When a Boom Chicago show he developed was mounted in Chicago, he was noticed by Saturday Night Live talent scouts and invited to audition.
Saturday Night Live
Meyers joined the Saturday Night Live cast in 2001. In 2005, he was promoted to writing supervisor, and in January 2006, he became co-head writer, sharing the role with Tina Fey and Andrew Steele. In 2004, he auditioned to co-anchor Weekend Update with Fey, but lost to Amy Poehler. With Fey's departure, Meyers became head writer for the 2006–2007 season and also assumed the role of Weekend Update co-anchor with Amy Poehler, though around this time, his cast contract was up, and they wanted him sign a contract where he would solely be the head writer, if he didn't get Weekend Update. Meyers refused to contract, and wanted to wait and see what they were going to do with the Update desk, and considered leaving SNL altogether if he hadn't got Weekend Update. In fall 2009, Meyers co-anchored two episodes of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday with Poehler. After Poehler's departure, Meyers anchored solo between 2008 and 2013. In the 2013–2014 season, Cecily Strong joined Meyers as co-anchor until his departure mid-season.
On SNL, Meyers impersonated such figures as John Kerry, Michael Caine, Anderson Cooper, Carrot Top, Prince Charles, Ryan Seacrest, Sean Penn, Stone Phillips, Tobey Maguire, Peyton Manning, Ben Curtis (also known as the Dell Dude), Ty Pennington, Bill Cowher, Brian Williams, Nicollette Sheridan, Wade Robson, Donald Trump Jr., Tom Cruise, and Kevin Federline. His recurring characters included Zach Ricky, host of the kids' hidden camera show "Pranksters"; Nerod, the receptionist in the recurring sketch "Appalachian Emergency Room"; David Zinger, a scientist who often insults his fellow workers; DJ Johnathan Feinstein, the DJ on the webcam show "Jarett's Room"; Dan Needler, half of a married couple "that should be divorced," (opposite Amy Poehler); William Fitzpatrick, from the Irish talk show "Top o' the Morning," and Boston Powers (one of the comedians in the "Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy" series). In the season 29 episode hosted by Lindsay Lohan, he portrayed Ron Weasley in a parody of Harry Potter.
Meyers received critical praise for his part in several iconic SNL sketches during his tenure. During the 2008 United States presidential election, Meyers wrote the sketches for former SNL cast member Tina Fey, who returned as a guest star to impersonate Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Meyers created the famed phrase uttered by Fey's Palin, "I can see Russia from my house."
During their time as hosts on Weekend Update, Meyers and Poehler had a popular recurring bit, "Really!?! with Seth and Amy." Both hosts would take turns mocking people in the news, ending each point with a heavily sarcastic "Really!?!", which Rolling Stone writer Jon Blistein characterized as a "torrent of exasperation and bewilderment." Following Poehler's departure from the show in 2008, they revived the "Really!?!" segment several times when she returned as a guest. After Meyers left the show for his own talk show, Poehler made a surprise appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers in June 2015 to join Meyers in mocking Sports Illustrated sportswriter Andy Benoit, after he disparaged women's sports as "not worth watching."
Additionally, the "Abe Lincoln" sketch Meyers wrote for Louis C.K., done in the style of his sitcom, Louie, and the Girls parody, starring Tina Fey as the new Albanian "girl", were praised by critics as among the best sketches Meyers contributed to SNL.
Meyers supported and picketed during the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike. When interviewed, he said, "We all know how lucky we are to have the jobs we have. We're not asking for much. You have to change the rules because people are watching TV in a different way." Even so, he mentioned in interviews that he regretted missing much of the presidential election primary season.
Meyers performed in his final episode of SNL February 1, 2014. Strong, Poehler, Bill Hader (in character as Stefon), Andy Samberg, and Fred Armisen (as former New York state governor David Paterson) joined him at the Weekend Update desk. Meyers returned to host the show in 2018, with Paul Simon as the musical guest.
NBC announced on May 12, 2013, that Meyers would be the new host of Late Night in 2014, succeeding Jimmy Fallon, as Fallon became host of The Tonight Show. Meyers assumed his role on Late Night on February 24, 2014, and his first guest was former SNL castmate and Weekend Update anchor Amy Poehler. Meyers announced February 10, 2014, that the bandleader for his house band "The 8G Band" would be his former SNL colleague Fred Armisen. More recently, he and his Sethmaker Shoemeyers Productions company signed an overall deal with NBCUniversal.