Seth Meyers kicks off 'Late Night' gig with Amy Poehler, Joe Biden

Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:30pm EST
 
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Seth Meyers stepped into his new role as host of NBC's "Late Night" talk show on Monday, welcoming comedian Amy Poehler and Vice President Joe Biden while delivering on a promise of a quirky program that still closely follows the basic formula for late night chat.

Meyers launched his "Late Night" venture with a nod to the show's previous host, appearing to write a thank you note to Jimmy Fallon for moving to his Manhattan-based "Tonight Show" gig, which debuted a week ago.

Meyers and Fallon both cut their comic teeth at "Saturday Night Live" before ascending to highly visible late night talk show hosting duties.

And while the new "Late Night" honored the talk show tradition of opening monologue, followed by banter with the band leader and comic sketches leading up to light-hearted chat with guests, some of Meyers' material ventured well beyond the usual, well-worn pop-culture fodder.

In one notably arcane reference, Meyers joked that among his competitors, PBS' Charlie Rose was featuring "the 100th appearance" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Safe to say that cracks about Pulitzer Prize-winning American historians are not what 21st-century network television audiences have come to expect.

Introducing what seemed to be intended as a recurring bit, the show presented a "Venn Diagrams" segment, harking back to high school math classes, in which two overlapping circles highlight commonality between two seemingly unrelated ideas.

One example: the overlap of snow and toilet paper - "things you won't find in Sochi," where the Olympics just concluded.

While his monologue featured a more rapid-fire delivery than other such hosts, it featured such topical issues as the Olympics, singer's Bjork's odd sartorial style, 7-11 chain stores, Taco Bell, and the reality show "The Bachelor."   Continued...

 
Host Seth Meyers takes part in a panel discussion about "Late Night with Seth Meyers" at the NBC portion of the 2014 Winter Press Tour for the Television Critics Association in Pasadena, California, January 19, 2014. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas