Five former cast members or writers returned to Studio 8H to host SNL last season (Larry David, Will Ferrell, Bill Hader, John Mulaney, and Tina Fey). The year before that, it was two (Kristen Wiig and Jimmy Fallon), and the year before that, six (Tracy Morgan, Amy Poehler, Fey, David, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Fred Armisen). The honor of the first ex-SNL‘er to host during season 44 is Seth Meyers, who joined the long-running sketch series in 2001, and served as head writer from 2005-2013 and Weekend Update anchor from 2006-2013.
After amicably departing SNL, Meyers replaced Jimmy Fallon as the host of Late Night, which has turned into one of the best late-night shows to comment on these tumultuous times. (His “A Closer Look” segments are a hilarious and informative must-watch. Meanwhile, Fallon is playing Pin the Tail On the Donkey with, like, John Cena and Kylie Jenner on The Tonight Show.)
Tonight’s episode is the first time he’s hosted since leaving the show, and between SNL, the continuing relevance of Late Night, and the impending return of Documentary Now! (February 20!), the wonderful mockumentary series he created with Armisen, Hader, and Rhys Thomas for IFC, it’s a special couple of months for Meyers.
Also, the Girls parody he wrote with Fey is still wonderful. Blerta!
You can watch his monologue above. It recounted a bit of his history with the comedic institution as well as a bit of recent history for the show. He used a Friends analogy to describe his emotional departure from the show, only to move down the hall when he started Late Night.
“I had an emotional breakdown and basically moved from Joey and Chandler’s apartment to Rachel and Monica’s apartment,” Meyers said.
He recalled some of the cast-members he used to work with, including fellow Weekend Update host Amy Poehler. There was also a nice joke about Andy Samberg and one of the show’s most famous digital sketches.
“I love Andy Samberg so much I named my two sons ‘Dick’ and ‘Box,'” Meyers said.
Meyers closed the monologue by telling a story about Kanye West, saying he can no longer be surprised by anything he does. That’s because the show once pitched him on a sketch where he interrupted various award shows. But the sketch happened two years before the infamous Taylor Swift interruption at the MTV Music Awards.
It was a Kanye-heavy start for the third straight week for Saturday Night Live, but he’s certainly been in the news lately. And Meyers does have a point. After all, Meyers hosting is a jolt of not-so-distant past nostalgia in the first place. May as well stay as meta as possible, right?