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'Saturday Night Live': Chatting Up Head Writer Seth Meyers

By:
Sep 12, 2008 | 7:13pm EDT

As a fan of Saturday Night Live I was thrilled to shoot the breeze with head writer Seth Meyers. Who knew he loved Woody Allen, used to deliver sandwiches or that he’s dying to have Robert Downey Jr. on the show. Read on for more on Meyers.

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Hollywood.com: Do find yourself prone to Liz Lemon moments?

Seth Meyers:

Absolutely. I think it’s a unique fraternity being head writer of that show, it’s thrilling, it’s exasperating, it’s a lot of pressure, and you only look as good as your writing staff makes you look.

HW: You must eat and sleep jokes 24/7.

SM:

No, but I would say your radar is always up. Your antenna is always up for comedy, but at the same time I probably watch drama more than comedy.

HW: Such as …

SM:

I’m a big fan of The Wire, which I know is over now and Battlestar Galactica is a big show for me. These are some of my hits [laughs].

HW: You’re eventually going to lose your Weekend Update co-anchor Amy Poehler. Do you have anyone in mind?

SM:

No, but I think we will need extra security to keep Brian Williams away from the desk.

HW: Are you just thrilled about her baby news?

SM:

I couldn’t be happier…It is always hard to leave SNL and I don’t think she could be leaving for a better reason, motherhood and a great [new] show…I think she’ll make a great mom.

HW: How will you utilize her while she’s still on the show and showing?

SM:

I don’t think a few extra pounds are going to make Amy any less funny. She’s so good at generating material with stuff like that, we know at the very least we will have her at the desk and any more she can do for us will be great.

HW: What does Amy’s Emmy nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a comedy series mean for the cast moving forward?

SM:

Obviously we got reclassified this year to a more accurate representation of what we do, because I do think that we are sort of supporting actors and we are all thrilled that she got the nomination and hopefully in the future we will get a few more. I know there are a couple of other people who deserve them as well.

HW: Who is on your wish list for hosts this season?

SM:

 Robert Downey Jr. He’s an old SNL vet and I would love to have him back…Sir Ben Kingsley that’s another person…I would love to spend a week with Sir Ben.

HW: What about musical guests?

SM:

I would really like to see a band called The Hold Steady.

HW: Weekend Update alum Jimmy Fallon will soon have his own show on late night. Do you see yourself following in his footsteps? Is it scary to think about doing a show five nights a week?

SM:

The idea of doing a show five nights a week is terrifying and daunting, but I think Jimmy is certainly up for it. I think he was a great choice for it. I’m thrilled to do a show once a week for right now. You walk before you run.

HW: Who are some of the comedians that influenced you growing up?

SM:

 Woody Allen and also Steve Martin and Richard Pryor. That’s who we listened to the most. My parents were big comedy album people. Bob and Ray and then Monty Python was some of the first stuff we watched. All that stuff like from the 60s and 70s my parents were fans of. The Woody Allen stand up comedian album is one of my first comedy albums.

HW: What kind of jobs did you have before getting into the biz?

SM:

I worked in a lot of restaurants, waiter, bartender, delivery boy. I delivered subs for D’Angelo’s Sandwich Shop in Manchester, which was a good paying job, but I smelled like onions. That was in high school, which was a real set back.

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