Seth Meyers is readying his own version of late-night talk when heinherits Late Night from Jimmy Fallon, with his Weekend Update pal Amy Poehleras his first guest.
How will the show, due Feb. 24 at 12:37 a.m. ET/PT, be different?
Meyers, who's been head writer on Saturday Night Live for eight years and makes his last appearance there Feb. 1, says he isn't looking to reinvent the format.
"We are going to have a monologue, guests, music, comedian, but the biggest way we can define ourselves is the two or three acts of comedy before the guests come out."
He plans a house band, and will draw on his strengths from SNL, whose Update writer Alex Baze will follow him to the new show as head writer. (Mike Shoemaker, Fallon's former Late Night producer, will run the new show.)
"I'm drawn to making jokes about current events," Meyers says, but "one of the things about Weekend Update is, we write jokes on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday that go stale by Saturday." A daily rhythm (the show will air Monday through Thursday after its first week) allows him more currency.
One element he'll "steal" from Update is the use of fictional characters such as Bobby Moynihan's Drunk Uncle as guests. "It would be fun to develop characters like that from our show," just different ones, Meyers says. It will help fill gaps from celebrity bookings, as Meyers must now compete with Fallon and David Letterman for guests.
And while he respects his forerunners -- and Fallon's role as a "music aficionado," which he can't hope to mimic -- "if you get hung up on the legacy of what you're taking over, it's tough to do the work."