Not My Job: We Quiz 'Late Night' Host Seth Meyers On Date Nights He'll answer questions about 17th century Welsh dating, a scientific hook up, and one extra weird celebrity date. Originally broadcast Dec. 29, 2018.
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Not My Job: We Quiz 'Late Night' Host Seth Meyers On Date Nights

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Not My Job: We Quiz 'Late Night' Host Seth Meyers On Date Nights

Not My Job: We Quiz 'Late Night' Host Seth Meyers On Date Nights

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/739039439/739185692" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

One thing you might know about those of us who work in the satirical industrial complex is that we all hang out together all the time. And we only do it in the most fancy places, like Carnegie Hall.

BILL KURTIS: Last winter, we allowed an audience to listen in as we chatted with our late night colleague Seth Meyers. Peter may not have been sure who he was, though.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

SAGAL: So we understand you have a television show of some kind.

SETH MEYERS: I do. It's on very late at night.

SAGAL: Yeah.

MEYERS: We tape at 6:30. And I am never awake when...

SAGAL: Really?

MEYERS: ...It airs.

SAGAL: Really?

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: Nope.

SAGAL: I have no idea what I would do if someone said, OK, you're going to be starring in a evening show four nights a week. And was that intimidating when you got that job?

MEYERS: It was. But "Saturday Night Live" was so intimidating when I got that job...

SAGAL: Sure.

MEYERS: ...That I was prepared to be intimidated again.

SAGAL: If you can do that.

MEYERS: Yeah.

SAGAL: Yeah. And so when you said to yourself, OK, we're going to have our own iteration of "Late Night"...

MEYERS: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...You said, I want to do - what?

MEYERS: I didn't know.

SAGAL: Really?

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: When I first started doing the show, your biggest fear was, how do you fill an hour? And that is not my fear anymore.

SAGAL: No, no.

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: It's been replaced with bigger fears.

SAGAL: Yeah.

MEYERS: But...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: More existential ones.

MEYERS: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Now, I was not joking. We are very proud that you came out of Northwestern College. And then you were at iO...

MEYERS: Yes.

SAGAL: ...Out of the great Chicago improv tradition.

MEYERS: Yeah. I was very lucky to go to a school that considered improv a profession.

SAGAL: Right.

MEYERS: You know, my parents did deserve some of the blame.

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: When they took me to Chicago - and again, we grew up in New Hampshire, but my parents also went to Northwestern. And when they took me there for my first week of school, they took me to Second City because it was something they had done in college. And so, yeah. There we go, Second City. And so...

(APPLAUSE)

MEYERS: ...Which was a grave mistake...

SAGAL: Yeah.

MEYERS: ...Because that was so much more interesting than any of my freshman year classes.

SAGAL: Yes - damn it.

MEYERS: But then I was very lucky. There was a theater called Boom Chicago that's based in Amsterdam...

SAGAL: Right.

MEYERS: ...In the Netherlands. And so I auditioned for that and moved overseas for a couple of years.

SAGAL: So you're doing improv in Amsterdam for Dutch people?

MEYERS: Yeah.

SAGAL: How did that go?

MEYERS: There were nights it was not great.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: And I have a love affair with the Dutch. So this will sound like a criticism, but it's a loving one. They are the most honest people in the world.

SAGAL: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: I remember after a show, a Dutch guy came over and said, hey, I'd like to buy you a drink. And I said, oh, did you like the show? And he said no.

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: And I said, why are you buying me a drink? He goes, I did not like your comedy. But that doesn't mean I might not like you.

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: That's optimistic.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Were the Dutch - were they a serious people? Were they hard to make laugh?

MEYERS: They would only laugh if it was genuinely funny. And so I do think, looking back, when you spend two years somewhere where polite laughter doesn't exist, it makes you a better comedian.

SAGAL: Right.

MEYERS: Yeah.

SAGAL: Because they put you through it.

MEYERS: You never think you were good when you weren't.

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: You know, I should point out that, of course, 80% of our audience was Dutch, and the other 20% were Americans who were visiting Amsterdam. And, of course, they weren't there because improv was legal.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Did that help or hurt?

MEYERS: It - you know, people say oh, my god, a stoned audience must be the best audience. They are the worst audience.

SAGAL: Oh, yes.

MEYERS: Because they laugh at the hat you're wearing.

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: You have a perfectly crafted joke, and they're already laughing because of how you walked on stage.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Has President Trump noticed you?

MEYERS: You know, we have a little bit of history. But, you know, recently, Michelle Wolf, who was a colleague of mine...

SAGAL: Yes.

MEYERS: ...She worked at our show. And after her Correspondents' dinner, he tweeted that she bombed as badly as I did during my Correspondents' dinner. And that was - I was thrilled. To be compared to her was...

SAGAL: She - now, well, first of all, I thought she was pretty great. She was fearless. But you were especially fearless. This is the famous 2011 White House Correspondents' dinner...

MEYERS: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...Where you chose to make fun of a certain person in the audience...

MEYERS: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...Donald Trump.

MEYERS: Yeah - private citizen at the time.

SAGAL: I know.

MEYERS: Yeah.

SAGAL: And you completely mocked the whole idea of him becoming president. And some people say, of course, that that's when he said, I'll show them.

MEYERS: Yeah.

SAGAL: Yeah.

MEYERS: Well, color me shown.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You're like the Mrs. O'Leary's cow of the national conflagration.

MEYERS: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

MEYERS: The only difference is...

(APPLAUSE)

MEYERS: ...Even Mrs. O'Leary's cow that night didn't walk out of there going, I crushed it.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, Seth Meyers, it is such an honor to talk to you. We have invited you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: "Late Night," Meet Date Night.

SAGAL: So you host "Late Night," quite famously and quite successfully. We're going to ask you three questions about date nights.

MEYERS: OK.

SAGAL: Answer two out of three questions correctly, and you'll win our prize for one of our listeners. Bill, who is Seth Meyers playing for?

SAGAL: Rachel Barish (ph) of New York, N.Y.

SAGAL: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: OK. Dating has changed significantly over the centuries. If you were, for example, a Welshman looking for a date in the 17th century, what could you do to ensure you might catch her eye? A, walk loudly past her, as passion was considered to be proportional to the volume of footsteps; B, give your crush a homemade spoon carved with specific symbols indicating the nature of your love; or C, travel as far away as you can and send a letter, as love was proved by the distance it had to travel.

MEYERS: All really good, feasible options.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So one of these was the 17th century Welsh equivalent of swiping right.

MEYERS: I like the idea...

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: ...Of loudly walking past. I'm going with A.

SAGAL: You're going to go like you stomp...

MEYERS: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...Past. And that - my passion for you is so great that I must stomp.

MEYERS: I've met a couple of Welsh people. And I've always heard them coming.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No. I'm sorry. It was the spoon. Whittle her a spoon. Presumably, this means, I want to spoon with you. All right. You still have two more chances. Your next question. Scientists are nerds. But they look for love, too, as in which of these real-life cases? Which of these really happened? A, a researcher in Antarctica turned on Tinder and matched with someone in Antarctica a few miles away...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...B, a clinical technician was really impressed with the quality of a particular blood sample and looked up the patient to ask her out; or C, a medical researcher who managed to impress his crush with comic dioramas made with euthanized lab mice.

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: Oh, man. I'm going to go - I'm going to say Tinder in Antarctica.

SAGAL: You're right. It worked.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This researcher - who's down at the station and then says oh, I wonder - I'll just turn on Tinder. I guess the nights get long.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And he actually found somebody who was camping just a short while away. They did meet, but nothing happened. The scientist had said, the first Antarctic Tinder hookup has yet to happen. So last question. If you get this one right, you win...

MEYERS: All right.

SAGAL: ...Seth. Here we go. Celebrities have their own dating troubles. I'm sure you know that.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Actress Zoe Kravitz once went on a date, which she says went pretty well. He was nice. They got along. But then what happened? Was it A, at the end of the date, he said that was fun, but I've got to confess I only came because I thought I had a date with Lenny Kravitz...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...B, she pulled out her phone when she got home and saw that he had live-tweeted the whole thing; or C, the next day, the guy called her and asked her if she wouldn't mind looking after his, quote, "pet turtle," unquote. And she said yes because he was a nice guy. And who doesn't like turtles? And it turned out to be a 30-pound African tortoise named Gary, who stayed with her a month while this guy totally disappeared until he came back and said, hey, you want to catch a movie? And they went to the movie. And he never mentioned the turtle...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Which she ended up giving to a turtle rescue.

MEYERS: Wow.

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: I want it not to be C because...

(LAUGHTER)

MEYERS: ...Only because it's such a wonderful piece of writing.

SAGAL: I know.

MEYERS: I want that to be fiction. And then I tip my cap to whoever came up with it. And because of that desire, I'm going to say it was B - that it was livestreamed.

SAGAL: No, that is not what it was. I'm going say that was a hint and not a - I'm going to give you another chance.

MEYERS: It was C.

SAGAL: It was C.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Bill, how did Seth Meyers do on our quiz?

SAGAL: Seth did great - 2 out of 3, a champion.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Seth Meyers is the host of "Late Night With Seth Meyers." If, like me, you can't stay up that late, it's often on the Internet the next morning.

Seth Meyers, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MEYERS: Thank you, everyone.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Seth Meyers, everybody.

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