An hour before performing in Kulas Auditorium, ‘SNL’ head writer Seth Meyers talks about staying up to date on the news, Weekend Update, and just how funny Amy Poehler really is.
CN: What’s it like being the head writer on “SNL”?
SM: You’re really just like one of the other writers. The most fun is we re-write everything on Thursdays. It’s really fun to sit in a room and lead a group of incredibly talented writers and try to come up with better jokes for stuff.
CN: Out of all the “SNL” cast members you’ve worked with, who’s the most fun to be around?
SM: Amy Poehler is the most fun. She’s like everything wrapped into one. She’s a bit of a cheerleader, a quarterback, class president [and]class clown. She’s kind of a force of nature comedy-wise.
CN: How upset were you that you weren’t at breakfast with Andy and the Lonely Island when he found the prize in his cereal?
SM: You mean to go on the boat? It was a bummer.
CN: What is one of your favorite skits you’ve ever written?
SM: That’s a good question. One of my favorite sketches that I ever wrote, that’s super stupid, was a sketch called “Jon Hamm’s John Ham” when Jon Hamm hosted, and it was about ham you can eat in the bathroom. I was perfectly happy with that on a pure stupidity level.
CN: Who’s your favorite public figure to impersonate?
SM: I never really liked impersonating people that much. Really early on in the show I did Hugh Grant so that was kind of fun to just do a stammering British guy, but it’s been years since we had a reason to do that.
CN: Do you have to stay up to date with the news sources so that you always have a constant influx of material?
SM: Yeah, even on our off weeks where we sort of miss out on some big stories, but I definitely stay upon the news mostly via the Internet. We have cable news on in the background at work, but I like to read about it more than I like to watch it on TV.
CN: How is Weekend Update different from other sketches on the show?
SM: The biggest difference, and the thing I like most about it, is with a sketch on the show, if it starts bad it’s probably in trouble. Whereas with Weekend Update if you tell a bad joke you’ve got another one right after it. It can kind of save itself.
CN: What advice would you give to college students looking to get into comedy?
SM: Just to perform it as much as you can. It’s one of those things where the more hours you have doing it the better you get. Especially for college students, this is an age where the stakes are low enough where you can go out there and fail and I think you learn the most by failing.