The network said Sunday that the 12-year “Saturday Night Live” cast member will replace Jimmy Fallon at the 12:35 a.m. “Late Night” show next year. Fallon is moving up an hour as Jay Leno’s replacement on the “Tonight” show.
Meyers was considered the lead candidate for the “Late Night” job ever since Fallon’s promotion was announced. The announcement solidifies Lorne Michaels as the comedy kingmaker at NBC. He’ll be the executive in charge of “Late Night,” ”Tonight” and “Saturday Night Live,” which will all originate from New York’s Rockefeller Center.
Meyers, 39, has been the head writer at “Saturday Night Live” for eight seasons. He’s in his seventh year as “Weekend Update” host, to which he devotes all of his on-air time now.
And like Fallon before him, Meyers is making the move from “Weekend Update” to “Late Night.”
“We think Seth is one of the brightest, most insightful comedy writers and performers of his generation,” said Bob Greenblatt, NBC entertainment chairman. His topical comedy is “perfect for the ‘Late Night’ franchise,” he said.
The late-night show began with David Letterman in 1982, and its other hosts have been Conan O’Brien and Fallon.
Meyers is a Northwestern University graduate and began his comedy career in Chicago. His chief television competition will be Craig Ferguson on CBS and “Nightline” on ABC. Like television in general, the late-night audience has dispersed in several directions, with DVR viewing of shows taped earlier a big alternative at night.
Late-night comedy is one of the NBC’s few strong suits, with “Saturday Night Live” often drawing a bigger audience than most of what the network airs in prime-time. With Meyers’ appointment, NBC is hoping for a smooth transition to a younger generation.
“I only have to work for Lorne for five more years before I pay him back for the time I totaled his car,” Meyers quipped. “12:30 on NBC has long been incredible real estate. I hope I can do it justice.”
Behind the scenes, Michael Shoemaker will remain with “Late Night” as producer, NBC said.
Source: Associated Press