Nervous Seth Meyers makes Late Night debut with familiar faces, unusual set

Seth Meyers made his Late Night debut on NBC and revealed a visible degree of nervousness at the prospect, a bit of a departure from his confident and sometimes cocky disposition behind the desk at his former gig as host of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. Meyers didn’t have it as easy as Jimmy Fallon, who debuted on the Tonight Show last week with several years of Late Night hosting under his belt. Instead, Meyers comes from an environment in which he told rapid fire jokes with aplomb but had little opportunity to hone his interview skills. Perhaps that’s why he tapped a familiar face, fellow SNL alum Amy Poehler, as his first guest.

Poehler is more than that, of course, as she’s now more known as the star of the sitcom Parks and Recreation. But it was still a safe and familiar choice for the first slot. Meyers then moved on to a second guest who has an even higher profile, but is accustomed to being second banana: Vice President Joe Biden. In non-political environments Biden has a reputation for being informal and self effacing, which gave the host an easy time of it.

But so far Seth Meyers is about I, and probably everyone involved, expected: a great joke teller and monologue deliverer whose interview skills will have to develop in time. The good news for him is that he’ll continue to be fed a large lead in audience thanks to Fallon’s mostly well received debut.

One thing which may have to change quickly is Seth Meyers’ set, which looked bizarre to the point of being almost indescribable. Owen Rubin may have captured it best when he joked that he was “so happy someone has figured out how to use the Stargate SG-1 set.”