When Seth Meyers steps out from behind the desk of “Saturday Night Live’s” “Weekend Update” and on to the stage to perform stand-up comedy at the Paramount next week, you’ll hear him say things he wouldn’t on television.
“A lot of comic ideas you might have, just slot so much nicer into stand-up than they do into sketch comedy,” he explained.
For instance, in previous stand-up gigs Meyers has talked about getting older and how getting drunk and buying things on eBay is his new booty call.
“The worst-case sceneraio of a booty call is that a month later somebody shows up at your house and is like ‘I’m pregnant and it’s yours,’ whereas with eBay the mailman shows up and says ‘I need you to sign for this archery set,’ ” Meyers said.
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In Meyers’ tenure at SNL he has risen through the ranks from writer/performer to head writer and anchorman of the news-parody segment — both of which provide high-profile opportunities to flex his creative muscle.
Meyers, who will be performing stand-up on Thursday at the Paramount Theatre, recently spoke over the phone about his experience on “SNL” and how it helps fuel his creativity.
On “Weekend Update,” Meyers skewers politicians and popular culture, and it’s a role he’s played flawlessly for the past six years. He’s managed to endure two presidential elections and the emergence of pop-culture punching bags like Honey Boo Boo and Donald Trump, the latter of which is none too pleased.
“I cannot speak highly enough about how great it is to have him (Trump) as an arch nemesis,” Meyers said. “It’s been the gift that keeps giving.”
If being on the receiving end of some angry tweets is the collateral damage of comedy, Meyers isn’t too worried about crossing the line and offending his audience.
“I’m happy to say that when I look back there are very few things I regret having done,” Meyers said. “Lauren Michaels instills in all of us that you don’t want to tell a joke that if you saw the person you’d feel shame.”
Political comedy has been much of Meyers’ act in the past, and given his line of work, he acknowledges that a Mitt Romney presidency probably would have been more rewarding.
“If it’s pure sketch writing you would probably take Mitt Romney over Barack Obama,” Meyers said. “Obama has a self awareness that Mitt Romney probably lacked a little bit.”
For his current tour, however, Meyers is focusing less on politics and more on himself.
“When you have a full hour to do stand-up, it is a lot more loose and conversational, and stories about your life that would seem very indulgent on television are really nice to fit in the stand-up act,” he said.
Criticism is an integral part of any show’s success and growth, and after more than a decade on “SNL,” Meyers doesn’t seem fazed by it.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be on the show for long enough to know that it (criticism) just comes in cycles, Meyers said. “A lot of time the criticism comes from people who are really intense fans.”
Despite the grind of writing and performing on a weekly TV show, Meyers is still finding time to do stand-up and work on projects outside of “SNL.” He’s currently working on an animated superhero show, “The Awesomes,” which will be shown on Hulu.com.
“The 13-year old Seth Meyers is very happy about ‘SNL,’ ” he added, “but he’s also pretty excited about this superhero thing.”
Jeff Albertson: 206-464-2304 or firstname.lastname@example.org