When I was a freshman in high school, I started to watch the television show Saturday Night Live. Although aware of the basis of the show, I found myself drawn each week to one segment – the Weekend Update, starring Seth Meyers. From that point on, all I wanted to do was see Seth Meyers in person and watch him do what he does best – make people laugh.
When I found out via Instagram that tickets were available to see the talk show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, I immediately went online to see whether there were still spots open. When I found an availability for October 29th, I took a chance and booked the reservation for tickets. I was ecstatic – I never thought that I would have a chance to be able to attend a taping of a show that was hosted by someone I watched on TV consistently every Saturday night! Although the producers didn’t announce the guests for that date, I still felt really lucky and excited to have this opportunity. I asked my friends if they wanted to go to the taping, and soon thereafter I had a group to attend the show.
Getting into the studio for the taping is a long and arduous process. After being instructed to go to the second floor of the NBC Experience Store to pick up the tickets, everyone has to wait forty-five minutes to an hour before going through metal detectors. Once security clears all the audience members, groups of about ten people go into elevators that immediately take you to the ninth floor, an interesting fact since the studio the show tapes in is called Studio 8G. What’s even cooler about the ninth floor is that right next door to Studio 8G is Studio 8H, the famous studio where Saturday Night Live tapes. Walking through the hallway that connects both studios, I felt an overwhelming feeling of awe. All I kept thinking at that moment was, “People who I’ve watched my whole life walk through this same hallway to host Saturday Night Live every week.” It made the whole experience feel more real to me.
When we got into the studio, the ushers brought us to the front row, right next to a chair that had pink tape on it. While we were asking each other what the story was with the chair, one of the directors came to me and asked how I would react if there was a camera on me. Not knowing what was going on, I told him that I probably wouldn’t, but I was confused as to why he asked the question. It turned out that the chair with the pink tape was one of the places for the actors that work for Seth Meyers in a sketch that would go on the air. My friends and I continued talking to the director, and we learned that he was the Director of Security for The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Seth Meyers. It was gratifying to see someone who held such an important job, and yet was willing to talk to the fans.
In between the tapings, (Ed Norton from the new movie Birdman was the main guest, along with author Michael Lewis) the best part of the night occurred. While the crew was setting up for the musical performance, Seth Meyers came into the audience and answered questions. I raised my hand and asked him what his weirdest fan encounter was, and he told a story about how when he was in Switzerland, a French family mistook him for Bradley Cooper. The whole audience laughed because he told the story so animatedly that you could actually picture in your head what had actually happened.
After answering a few more questions, my roommate raised her hand and asked about whether Seth was in an episode of one of her favorite shows, Portlandia, since Fred Armisen (SNL alum and head of the studio band) stars in the show. He then started talking about how he loved Portland and all these amazing things he did while being in Portland. In the middle of him talking, I screamed, “Seth! She’s asking you about Portland because that’s where she’s from!” He then started engaging her in the conversation and the discussion went on for five minutes. I never saw my roommate happier than she was in that moment, since she probably loves Seth Meyers as much, if not more, than I do.
When Seth had to go back to his desk to introduce the musical performer, I was starstruck. Not only did Seth Meyers come into the audience, but he had answered our questions! I never thought that it would ever occur, and the fact that it happened changed the way I viewed Seth Meyers.