Q&A with Seth Meyers
Seth Meyers is famous for the “Saturday Night Live” sketch “Weekend Update,” which pokes fun at current events, trends and politics. After Rutgers University Programming Association’s “An Evening with Seth Meyers” last Thursday, the Daily Targum sat down with the comedian to discuss ad-libbing, hotdog toppings and eating dinner with the first lady.
Daily Targum: How do you come up with the material for “Weekend Update?”
Seth Meyers: We have three joke writers, [one] of them myself and they’re just like constantly crawling through the news through the course of the week. … There are about 400 jokes that get written for like the 12 that air. That’s in one week, so they each write about 30-40 jokes a day, each person, and then I read them all on Friday, and we cut them down to ultimately about 12.
DT: Do you have any side projects that you’re working on or know what you want to do after “Saturday Night Live?”
SM: I don’t know what I want to do after “SNL.” … I’ll be doing my stand up. But I’m working on a cartoon right now for Hulu … it’s going to be more like a superhero cartoon.
DT: Do you think you’re funny?
SM: I think I’m all right.
DT: If you weren’t a comedian, what would you be?
SM: I don’t know, gainfully unemployed.
DT: What do you do when you get writer’s block? Do you get writer’s block?
SM: I do get writer’s block all the time. I think it’s important to get up [and] walk around. I think it’s good to stop writing while you have a lot of stuff to write — so that time hopefully you could sit down and have a couple things ready to go.
DT: How much do you ad-lib?
SM: It depends. It depends on the house on any given night, and like if you feel like there’s something that they’re going with you in a way that you feel they want to hear more about it, that sort of dictates if I ad-lib.
DT: What’s the dumbest thing you did in college?
SM: The dumbest thing I did in college — I did a lot of dumb things in college. I guess like there were a few times we drove home from bars where there were too many people in the car, so I’d just get offered to get in the trunk. It was probably not too smart.
DT: What was it like hosting the White House Correspondents’ dinner?
SM: It was good. You just want it to go well. You know I feel like a lot of people are paying attention and people have been great, and people have been not-so-great, and you want to end up on the right side of that ledger.
DT: What was it like to meet the president?
SM: Well it was exciting. It was mostly like weird to me knowing that you have to tell jokes right in front of them. I was very nervous. My biggest memory of the night was having … to eat with the first lady — I sat next to the first lady and ate next to her so I spent 90 minutes worried about my table manners. I was worried if I was using the right forks and stuff.
DT: Soup, salad or breadsticks?
SM: Soups, you caught me in the winter. … If it were summer I probably would have said salads.
DT: Are you superstitious?
SM: I’m a little superstitious. I won’t walk underneath a ladder if I could avoid it.
DT: How many hours of the news do you watch?
SM: I think it gets pretty repetitive, so I [like to try and] keep it to five if I can.
DT: Who do you think is funnier, Tina Fey or Amy Poehler?
SM: Oh I — I think they are equally funny. It’s like watching Gods fight.
DT: What’s the most frequently played song on your MP3 player?
SM: “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers.
DT: Are there any movies that made you cry?
SM: There are so many movies that made me cry. I cry a lot at movies. I’m a crier. Stuff gets me all the time.
DT: What’s your favorite TV show?
SM: I’m going to go with “Breaking Bad.”
DT: Do you think TV shows are getting better or worst?
SM: I think the last 10 years has been the greatest it’s ever been. I just hope it can maintain it.
DT: What scares you the most?
DT: What do you like on your hot dog? Do you like hot dogs?
SM: I like hot dogs. I would have it with mustard, relish and like crispy onions.
DT: Do you and your brother get into a lot of fights?
SM: We’re great. We’re like best friends. We never fight.