Q&A with Seth Meyers
CFF: What do you like about performing on Orlando/Florida? Do you visit any of the tourist spots when you're here?
Meyers: Well, unfortunately when I'm on the road like this, I'll only be there for a day. I got a show in the middle of Illinois so I've got to fly to Chicago and rent a car, so unfortunately I wish I could be there a little longer because obviously there's a lot that Florida has to offer, but I will not be doing much tourist things on this trip.
CFF: Who or what inspired you to pursue comedy?
Meyers: At a very young age, I started watching Saturday Night Live. My parents introduced it to me probably when I was way too young, so in a lot of ways that was the show made me think like 'Oh I'd really like to do that.' But my parents had old stand-up albums and we used to listen to them all the time, my brother and I, it just sort of seemed like you know, try to make people laugh for a living.
CFF: How is performing in front of an audience doing stand-up different from performing in front of the studio audience at SNL?
Meyers: When you're on television, the real estate's a lot more valuable in that Update's only like 10 or 12 minutes long, you kind of have to have a real economy with what you say and the order in which you say it, whereas on stand-up, it's a well-rehearsed act. But you have the luxury of time. You get to spend over an hour with an audience of people, just yourself. And so it becomes a lot more of a sort of personal endeavor than the act of just sort of sitting behind the desk telling a bunch of jokes into a TV screen.
CFF: In your past stand-up you've included Weekend Update jokes that didn't make it to air; do you always include SNL-related material in your stand-up? Do you ever try to separate yourself from it?
Meyers: I just like that part, you know, that's the thing I still like to do at the end of the show, cause obviously that's how people know me is from SNL, and so it's kind of like a nice like treat at the end of the show to do something from the show.
CFF: This is your 12th season at SNL. What's the best part about getting to work with the new cast members/writers when they come in? How do you deal with their departure?
Meyers: Well it's obviously like, really sad. And the hardest part is just on a personal level, like they're your friends and when people like Kristen [Wiig] or Andy [Samberg] leave it's heartbreaking because you get to spend so much time with them and you work on the show with them. Whereas when new people come in, you don't know them personally, but there's this real excitement of getting to see what they're good at and over the course of the season, certainly over the course of this season, the new people we've hired, you just have this-it's really delightful to just go like, 'Oh wow, this person can do this thing that no one on the show does.' And I kind of feel like in a weird way the most exciting years on the show are the years where new people are figuring it out. It's a really exciting thing to be around.
CFF: What is the process like for finding the news stories you talk about on Weekend Update?
Meyers: We basically just follow the news. It's not harder than that, but you are connected to news every week and you kind of just get a sense of what people are talking about. It's very hard for us to cover small stories on SNL, so it's nice for us when something big happens that everybody around the country is paying attention to. It's a little bit harder when the material's dry, when it's something like sequestration; it's a little bit tougher to make jokes out of that. Sometimes you get lucky when there's a Carnival cruise ship stuck in the middle of the ocean. Lucky for us, not lucky for the people on the ship!
CFF: Of your projects outside SNL, what was the most fun/exciting for you?
Meyers: I think probably doing the White House Correspondents Dinner was the most exciting just because the stakes of performing in that room were really high and I was happy with how it went, but nothing is quite as fun as SNL. At the end of the day, there's a reason I keep doing it.
CFF: Can you tell us anything about The Awesomes?
Meyers: It's going to be on Hulu this summer. It's a superhero show; I read comics when I was growing up and it's sort of an animated superhero show about a once-great superhero team that's trying to restart with new heroes.