With Seth Meyers, ‘Late Night’ Will Continue to Speak Truth to Yankees Fans
The state of the Red Sox Nation in late night comedy is strong. Red Sox fans have long depended on Jimmy Fallon to speak truth to New York fans after-hours from his post as host of NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Fallon got bumped up to the big leagues as host of the Tonight Show, and adding to this good news is the announcement that Fallon will be replaced on Late Night by fellow Sox fan Seth Meyers.
The promotion, announced Sunday, seems to have surprised no one. Meyers shares much of the resumé that got Fallon where he is. They both come from Saturday Night Live where both helmed the Weekend Update segment that makes for a smooth transition to a full-time hosting gig.
Both Fallon and Meyers will film in New York. (The Tonight Show is relocating there from Los Angeles when Fallon takes over from Jay Leno.) But both hosts will now be diehard Red Sox fans. (Update: Okay, so Fallon is more famous for playing a Red Sox fan on TV, but he is a Red Sox convert.) Occasionally, that offers them the chance to play the sad clown to a delighted New York audience. When the Yankees failed to make the playoffs in 2002 for the first time since 1997, Meyers and Matt Damon appeared on Weekend Update (then hosted by Fallon and Tina Fey) to offer New York tips on how to entertain oneself in October from the perspective of those who do it regularly.
But Fallon and Meyers aren’t always doing a monkey dance on command for the Yankees-dominated audiences. In a Late Night interview, Fallon once tried to get David Ortiz to relive the glory of the 2004 season, and nearly forgot himself. “Let’s not talk about that here in New York,” Ortiz had to remind him nervously. “They don’t mind, they’re cool with it,” Fallon replied (half-heartedly?)
Meyers grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire, and he has the important quality Red Sox Nation looks for in all our cultural ambassadors: unjustified optimism. Last March, our own Jason Schwartz spoke with Meyers and asked for his predictions. Based on their terrible September performance, Meyer predicted a good April, with over seven wins. (The logic of it aside, his optimism bore out, if not for the season as a whole.) As for whether he’ll be brave enough to rub his fandom in the face of his audiences on Late Night, we remain bullish. Of his fandom, he told us, “I’m a bold man. I throw caution to the wind.” Stay safe out there, Seth.