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Write On: 'Late Night' Host Seth Meyers

June 5, 2024
2 min read time

“Just a shout out to everybody who's listening who has ever written a movie. This is a true story –

I was writing a movie. I had been paid to write a movie and I was writing a movie when I got Late Night. And when I got Late Night, my first thought wasn’t, 'Oh my god, I'm going to have my own talk show.’ My first thought was, ‘Oh my god, I don't have to finish that screenplay. I'm so happy!’” says Seth Meyers, adding, “Anybody who can finish a screenplay – I have so much respect for you. It's so much harder than anything else. And that's the thing, when I watch a terrible movie, I always think, ‘Shout out to whoever finished it. They got three acts. All the characters had names, they did it!’”.

In this episode of the Write On podcast, I talk with Emmy-winning talk show host and former SNL head writer Seth Meyers. Seth talks about his origins of becoming a comedy writer and performer, his time on SNL, what he looks for in a TV writer, and how Late Night with Seth Meyers has grown over the years as he celebrates the show’s 10th anniversary.

I also asked Seth about the best ways to get your voice as a writer to show through in your writing sample. He says it’s difficult considering the highly competitive environment, but it comes down to making fresh choices.

“The hardest thing I would have to do when I was at SNL was we would receive say, 200 packets of sketch submissions and we'd split them up amongst four of us. It was a slog – not because they were bad sketches but because we'd spent our whole year reading sketches and so you could tell when somebody was aiming to write an SNL script. But then, every now and then, sometimes it was just one line in a sketch, sometimes it was even a character's name, there would be something that would just sort of break through the noise, and you'd look at it and say, ‘Oh, I don't think I've ever seen anybody make that choice before.’ So I just encourage people to try to do the thing that even you haven't seen,” says Seth.

To hear more of what Seth Meyers has to say, listen to the podcast.

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