Compared with Jimmy Fallon's star-packed debut at NBC's Tonight Show last week, Seth Meyers' first night as host of Late Night was decidedly low-key. But that's a lousy way to compare the two shows. As USA Today's Richard Bianco notes, Late Night's three previous hosts — Fallon, Conan O'Brien, and David Letterman — span "an awfully wide range of personality types," which is "fairly good evidence of how adaptable the format is."
Fallon is bringing his strengths with him to The Tonight Show, and Meyers' Late Night will similarly play to his strong suits. Judging from the debut, those appear to include newsy "Weekend Update"–style jokes during his monologue (watch above), a conversational interviewing style, a charming habit of over-explaining his jokes, and friends from his years at Saturday Night Live.
Two of those SNL alum helped Meyers kick off his run at Late Night, including his bandleader, Fred Armisen — who will also act as his slightly atypical sidekick — and first guest Amy Poehler:
Meyers' second guest was Vice President Joe Biden, who gracefully deflected questions about his 2016 intentions by saying he didn't want to upstage Meyers' Late Night debut.
In the full interview, Biden also talked about working with Poehler, explained his antics during the State of the Union address, and discussed his dislike of New York's LaGuardia Airport and love of trains. Monologues, guest interviews, and banter with the bandleader aren't exactly new to Late Night, or late night talk shows. Meyers did give a taste of what else he will bring to the show with a geeky sounding, but sometimes bitingly funny, segment called Venn Diagrams:
With that, NBC's late night transition is complete. Fallon and Meyers both seem very nice. We'll see if audiences are into that.
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