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Seth Meyers Explains Why He Feels The Need To 'Apologize' To Past SNL Guests After He Returned To Host For The First Time

Late Night with Seth Meyers screenshot
(Image credit: NBC)

Seth Meyers was a cast member on Saturday Night Live for 12 and a half seasons before leaving to host NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2014. He returned to guest host SNL for the first time since his tenure in 2018. It sounds like this return to his old stomping ground really impacted the former cast member, and he recently revealed he even felt the need to "apologize" to former hosts of the show. 

During a Tribeca Film Festival storyteller conversation, Seth Meyers was joined by other former SNL cast member Aidy Bryant, who was just starting out on the sketch comedy series during the end of Seth Meyers’ tenure with the show. The duo discussed their experiences writing and performing at SNL, and the Late Night host took the opportunity to reflect on his experience coming back to the show as a host:

I felt like I had to apologize to so many hosts from my time there. When I was the head writer there, a lot of times the host would call you into their dressing room and say, ‘I don’t like this joke’ or ‘I don’t like the monologue.’ In the back of my head, all I ever thought was, ‘Fucking shut up and do it… Trust us. Just do it. We wrote it.’ Then I was the host and all of a sudden it was like, ‘Oh, I don’t like this joke. Oh no, I don’t like this sketch.

Variety

While I've heard stories about SNL hosts not always loving the sketches the writers pitch them, I am surprised to hear how much Seth Meyers' perspective changed when he was on the other side of things. This must have been an incredibly intimidating situation, as the former "Weekend Update" host confesses he found it "terrifying" to be in the host position, despite acting as SNL's head writer from 2006-2014. He said:

When the writers came into my room, I was like, ‘Oh man, [being] the host is terrifying.’… I just assumed it was easy and it was a whirlwind.)

Variety

While Seth Meyers may have been nervous to host, he had plenty to draw upon. He held the record for hosting the most "Weekend Update" shows, before Colin Jost surpassed Meyers in 2021. When he hosted, the audience roared when he brought back his popular “Really?” "Weekend Update" sketch, which he previously performed with Amy Poehler when they co-hosted the segment together from 2006-2014. 

During the conversation, Aidy Bryant praised Seth Meyers for his guidance when they worked together early on in a run that ended up lasting longer than Bryant had expected.  To note, Aidy Bryant, along with Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney, exited SNL this year after almost 10 years with the show.  She said of Meyers:

He really was the most generous, truly kind, helpful. I was always so impressed because Seth would read over every single writer’s [and] every cast member’s script on Tuesday night at like five in the morning. And just to give people like ‘Oh, maybe cut this’ or ‘Punch this up, here’s some jokes for this page.’ Not everyone does that.

Variety

Maybe Aidy Bryant, like Seth Meyers, will come back to SNL as a host? We should be learning about the upcoming SNL hosts soon, but in the meantime can dream. For now, you can watch Late Night with Seth Meyers weeknights on NBC at 12:35 a.m. ET and check out what else is coming this fall with our full TV schedule

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