Seth Meyers rocks Jorgensen Theater
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 00:10
In a world of instant news and a high demand for comic relief, the writers of Saturday Night Live are well-accustomed to adapting their sketches and stories in order to remain on the cutting-edge of hilarity. SNL’s head writer, Seth Meyers, has anchored the show with his consistent charm and on-point parody since becoming head writer in 2006. Given the unflagging dedication of regular SNL viewers, it was no surprise to see a good turnout of eagerly anticipatory fans at Meyers’s appearance at Jorgensen Wednesday night. Faced with the arguable disadvantage of performing smack in the middle of midterms week, Meyers brought his well-loved cynicism and snark to a crowd who embraced this most literal form of “comic relief.”
The first few minutes of Meyers’s performance had a decidedly intellectual tone. He spoke in-depth about the interrelatedness of the various national economies throughout the world, and utilized hilarious and remarkably apt analogies to highlight the nuances of the European economies. This was the Meyers everyone was used to: humorously cynical. He almost seemed to tend toward what could be called “lighthearted pessimism.” These first minutes evoked the familiarity of Meyers’ “Weekend Update” personality; the stand-up comedy format, however, allowed him to speak to certain issues uninhibited by the one-two punch style that Weekend Update requires. Despite this freedom, Meyers was impressive in his ability to spend exactly the right amount of time on any one topic.
Meyers went on to lampoon several issues that more immediately impact the college student, with relationship issues and gender based comedy quickly coming to the forefront. A particularly hilarious moment was his discussion of his “towel situation” as a symbol of the crucial difference between male and female behavior. He discussed the ways that living with his wife has changed his lifestyle, adding that women pay attention to aesthetic, luxurious details like what he called “lookin’-at towels” (a.k.a. decorative towels) while also noting that they sometimes become unnecessarily obsessive over details like “having towels for different purposes.” In fact, one of the best aspects of Meyers’s stand-up comedy is his ability to use his own anecdotes to make a broader point without expanding too far into unfair generalizations.
Perhaps a highlight of the evening was Meyers’s reading of some “Weekend Update” jokes that didn’t make it past the NBC censors. Anyone who watches Weekend Update even semi-regularly knows that few comedians deliver a punchline better than Seth Meyers. Meyers read his “rejected jokes” to the crowd at Jorgensen with the same inflection and prosody with which SNL audiences have come to associate him. This is exactly what made them so enjoyable to listen to, their familiarity breeding anything but contempt. Meyers even has the vocal aspect of his delivery down to an art, and his “brand” is consistently effective. Witnessing the famous face of SNL give the kind of performance he’s best at, just a few feet away, didn’t hurt either.
Fans of SNL – and, by extension, Seth Meyers – are the kind who have come to appreciate the merits of satire as well as the restorative effect of a consistent source of humor. Seth Meyers has a knack for taking the events of a stressful world and bringing them to a level where audiences can grasp them, understand them, laugh at them, and come away with a new perspective on how to deal with them. Meyers is an anchor in more than one sense of the term. He is reliable and strong in his art, and his performance at Jorgensen cemented his role as the go-to guy for a really good laugh.