Why You Need To Start Paying Attention To Seth Meyers

Above: Are you watching 'Late Night' host Seth Meyers? You should be...
Above: Are you watching 'Late Night' host Seth Meyers? You should be...

There is a difference between comedy and satire. Comedy is funny, it’s light, it makes you laugh and pokes fun, but never enough to harm. Satire on the other hand is defined by the the use of humour, irony, or ridicule to expose people’s stupidity or vices and bring contemporary political issues to light. America is in dire need of some satire.

Look at US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. He’s running rampant south of the border threatening to build walls, calling Mexicans rapists, and yet by some inexplicable miracle of God, still winning election support. In the past, as soon as a crazy person has gotten close to the White House, an iconic sketch (think Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin) has served to remind the American people that maybe they better say “nah, maybe not.”

The problem is, all of the great satirists are gone. Ok, they’re not gone, but they’re definitely off the air. John Stewart left The Daily Show in August 2015 and Tina Fey hasn’t appeared on SNL since December 2015 (despite our certainty that she would play an excellent Melania Trump.)

Cut to Seth Meyers. Meyers has been running the Late Night franchise on NBC since February 2014 when he replaced Jimmy Fallon. Although Late Night With Seth Meyers is still predominantly a talk show featuring celebrity appearances and sketches, Meyers has slowly turned the last part of the show into a short political sketch called ‘A Closer Look.’ Here, he regularly offers a small dose of what America needs to cure its political illness – satire.

If ‘A Closer Look’ seems familiar its because Meyer has a long history of political commentary. He was a regular on SNL between 2001 and 2014, hosted the “Weekend Update”, and Tina Fey has credited him with the writing of the infamous Sarah Palin sketches during the 2008 Presidential elections. What makes the Late Night successful is that many of its writers followed Meyers from his post at Saturday Night Live and have crafted ‘A Closer Look’ into a well written political satire.

But, back to Donald Trump. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Trump cited Abraham Lincoln as his favorite president because he “did something that was a very important thing to do, and especially at that time.” Meyers pulls this quote up and asks “Why so vague? Did you forget he ended slavery or are you worried that some of your supporters are still bummed about that and are you tying not to bring it up?” This. This is why people need to start watching Seth Meyers. Because Trump seems to be supported by a strong contingent of voters who are swept up by his outrageous declarations and don’t look into the logic behind them. Seth Meyers dissects these comments and uses satire to counterbalance the crazy. And Lord knows it’s much needed.

Take a look at some of his best moments below:

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Liz Willcock

Liz is a writer and photographer from Vancouver. She is an expert vegan baker and spends her free time writing short stories and reading Dickens and Orwell. You can follow her on instagram at @lizwillcock.

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