As part of SXSW Comedy, Seth Meyers and "Late Night" Producer Mike Shoemaker spoke at a panel on Saturday to shed light on the new show, the differences between it and "SNL" and even some of Seth's weird eating habits.
Following a highlight reel of the show's first 10 episodes, the discussion was moderated by Olivia Munn -- after she tried out her best Barbara Walters impression, that is. Check out 15 things we learned from the panel, "Inside Late Night With Seth Meyers," below.
1. Fred Armisen never knows what question Seth will ask at the top of the show. Similar to how "SNL" writer John Mulaney used to surprise Stefon with new lines on "Weekend Update," Seth catching Armisen off guard makes the bit even funnier (although Armisen doesn't crack up uncontrollably). Now you can watch their bits knowing that Fred just has improvise or "Yes, and" whatever Seth says.
2. When asked to describe the show in one word, he said "Work-in-progress." That is, if he can use hyphens. If not, he would say, "Fun." Seth knows that if a show that starts at 12:35 isn't fun, "The viewers can just go to bed."
3. Seth still uses a Blackberry. Yes, in 2014. And even though he admitted that, “Nothing works in [his] life" because of it, he stays loyal to the brand. Here is using one back in 2008:
4. They're trying to be careful not to make the show "Too much of an 'SNL' party." Seth said, "We could obviously have an 'SNL' person on every night," but they're trying to temper it. Shoemaker added that "The temptation is crazy" since they work so close together, but they have no plans to poach "SNL" characters. However...
5. Stefon will show up on the show at some point. Because of course he will.
6. Seth makes all food into sandwiches. He loves sandwiches so much, if he's eating something like steak and a baked potato, he'll hollow out the potato and put the steak inside of it so he can eat it like a sandwich. The man likes sandwiches. But really, who doesn't?
7. Even though they do more shows per week, Seth's new schedule is way less stressful when compared to being an "SNL" cast member. "On 'SNL', you're there all the time," Seth said. "And every show feels like this huge release." On "Late Night," he's finding a better rhythm. There's also more consistency when you're the host, as opposed to having to work with a new host every week. And with 5 shows per week, there are more opportunities for feedback and growth.
8. Seth's three dream guests are "Putin, Obama and Merkel, just to figure everything out." But really, he admitted that every guest is actually a dream come true when you have your own show. For example, he didn't expect Ice-T and Coco would be dream guests, but they were.
9. Seth identifies first and foremost as a writer. He says he wouldn't have survived on "SNL" without Shoemaker's advice to "write [his] way on to the show." Seth says a common mistake new featured players make is not focusing on writing. "You can't survive as a cast member showing up to the table read like, 'What we got this week?'"
10. He's hired writers if they're funny on Twitter. After Seth reads your packet, he's going to look at the last 6 months of your tweets. If you only tweet 2 jokes a month, he says he'll be less interested.
11. He wants the show to use social media "like everyone else uses social media." Right now he says he doesn't have much involvement in the show's Twitter or Instagram accounts, but he appreciates that his audience won't fall for gimmicks. "I think the people who use social media are very aware when you try to over-do it or trick them," Meyers said. "It only works if you act like a normal person on it."
— Late Night (@LateNightSeth) March 12, 2014
12. He has a major pet peeve when it comes to "Selfies." Whoever has the longest arm has to take the picture. End of story. So, if you've got short arms and you want to snap a pic with Seth, you'd better ask someone else to do it.
13. His news consumption has actually increased since he was doing "Weekend Update." "The more you know the better you'll do," Seth said. They're trying to be as topical as possible, which it's easier now than it was on "Weekend Update" because they don't have to wait until the end of the week to tell a joke. Anyone who uses the Internet know that 5 days is plenty of time for people to forget about one scandal and move on to the next.
14. He thinks scallops are gross. Unfortunately, that's exactly what they were serving the night he hosted the White House Correspondents dinner in 2011. Just as he was about to eat, he mentioned to the person sitting next to him -- Michelle Obama -- that he was trying them for the first time, to which she replied, "Oh, don't make those your first scallops."
15. One of his writers pitched a "You're Welcome Notes" bit. It would have been an homage to Jimmy Fallon's "Thank You Notes," but Seth passed on it. He doesn't feel like he needs to emulate Fallon's "Late Night," because Fallon's still around. "It's not like his show is gone forever," Seth said. "I think everything that was worth maintaining, he took, in a good way. The things that he was great at on his show, I could never do those as well as him."