It was announced on Sunday that Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update host Seth Meyers would be taking Jimmy Fallon’s seat as the host of the Late Night Show this February when Fallon takes over for Jay Leno on the Tonight Show. So with the new hosts for the future of Late Night on NBC officially in place, the question now becomes will Seth Meyers be the one that comes out ahead in all of this as the next great talk show host in late night television.
The answer seems to be yes, as no matter how much you may like Fallon, Meyers is far better suited to be a star in late night. Both are former hosts of Weekend Update, but Fallon had the benefit of having Tina Fey as a writing partner while Meyers is largely doing things on his own with this own staff. Meyers is a lot more personable as well, usually seen with that massive grin schmoozing with athletes and Hollywood elite.
Fallon isn’t unlikable, but if it came down to it, LeBron James would much rather party with Meyers than he would with Fallon, and it’s those kinds of connections that will make Meyers into a Johnny Carson like figure in late night.
To give you an idea of Meyers range versus Fallon’s, when it came time to replace Regis Philbin on Regis and Kelly, Meyers was a finalist and he actually would have made a great co-host to Kelly Ripa. It wouldn’t have been as seismic a move as Meyers taking over late night but the things was he fit the bill of a morning talk show host as much as he does a late night king.
That’s the brilliant balance of Meyers; he can schmooze with safe and wholesome guests like the ones that pop in cliché fashion on morning shows and then turn around and have a raunchy and hilarious time making politically charged jokes that would make Jon Stewart blush. Meyers could host Blue’s Clues and it would be brilliant and watchable.
He’s handsome, he’s hilarious and he’s popular with a key demographic for NBC which all rolls into the likelihood that Meyers soars over Fallon despite Fallon taking over prime late night real estate. Fallon is great for the generation that transitioned from the 90’s SNL to the popular run it had in the early 2000s, but Meyers covers a wider scope as young kids today love him as much as fans dating back to the Sandler/Farley/Hartman days of the show.
Really, this is a massive win for Lorne Michaels and SNL, as NBC’s late night block is now dominated by products of Michaels’ comedy factory.
While there won’t be as much physical comedy from Meyers as opposed to Fallon, Meyers gets by because he’s a lot more witty and quicker on his feet than Fallon is. Again, no one should hold anything against Fallon as he got Jay Leno’s seat for a reason.
But don’t be surprised to see Meyers gunning for that seat in the near future as far better suited for that gig and we’ll see that once we see his late night chops next February.