Today is Seth Meyers 41st birthday, and it’s hard to believe just how long he’s been in our lives. He debuted on Saturday Night Live in 2001 — the same year as Amy Poehler — and it didn’t take long for him to become one of the more memorable presences on the show.
Before anything else, he was known for his Red Sox fandom. When Derek Jeter hosted the show in December 2001, Meyers provided one of the better moments in an otherwise “meh” episode when he “debated” Jeter in a version of the Weekend Update segment Point/Counterpoimt. The topic at hand? Derek Jeter Sucks Vs. No, I Don’t. Jeter is an affable straight man in this sketch, but it’s Meyers parody of an obnoxious Sawx fan that makes it a stand out. Of course, this was before 2004, when the Sox won the first of the three World Series titles in a 10-year span, so it’s quite likely that at least a bit of Seth’s rage was real.
The following year, when the Yankees were eliminated in the first round by the Angels, ending the streak of four straight World Series appearances, Seth was a bit kinder, offering some advice to Yankees fans, along with Matt Damon, who was hosting that week.
Indeed, Seth’s Update commentaries were a big part of why he became one of SNL‘s better-known names in the early-to-mid 2000s. He did have a few recurring characters, like Dave Zinger, a scientist who was more interested in “zinging” his colleagues that getting any work done, but that sketch only appeared a few times, and never became one of the show’s signature segments.
But when Seth appeared on Update, he often did his best work, and when Tina Fey left the show in 2006, he was the obvious choice to join Poehler as the co-anchor. That duo lasted for three years, and developed a fair amount of chemistry over the period. Perhaps more than anything else, they were known for the “Really?” segment, which quickly became a crowd favorite.