We’ve covered a lot of Late Night with Seth Meyers clips here on Collider over the past few years. Primarily because, as an avid watcher/obsesser of late night TV I find him to be the best in the game right now: he’s sharp, funny, insightful, and his freewheeling, engaging interviews are an outlier in the age of fluff-filled content. But in 2016, Meyers also somewhat retooled his show to fill a gap left by Jon Stewart leaving The Daily Show. He and his team decided the show was better when it had a point of view, and that point of view involved frequent in-depth looks at politics and the media’s coverage of said politics.
This, of course, included the presidential election, and Meyers has a weird connection to “the rise of Trump” in that he hosted the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner in which he pretty much eviscerated the hotel magnate in front of a giant crowd, lambasting his flirtation with running for president.
And so last night, Meyers opened his show by breaking down the shocking election results. The monologue is a must-watch—an emotional, heartfelt, and personal reaction. There are a few solid jokes to be found, but for the most part this is a strikingly sober reflection on what happened and what it means. Again, Meyers’ show has a clear point of view, and so he’s able to express his own thoughts on the election without it coming off as out of character for Late Night, and we’re all the better for it. And Meyers’ closing line is one hell of a stinger.
This is late night TV at its best. While shows like Late Show and The Tonight Show are, obviously, first and foremost entertainment, this genre has always been at its best when the host makes a connection with the audience. Meyers is the most personable host on TV right now precisely because he’s up front and honest with his viewers—he has opinions and he’s going to share them. If that’s not for you, that’s totally fine, but I’ll take opinionated and engaging over shallow and forgettable any day of the week. This video is one of the many reasons Late Night with Seth Meyers has become appointment television for me, and as I share in the shock and grief that many people in this country are feeling right now, seeing someone like Meyers expressing the same sentiments, with total honesty and a tinge of hope, makes this all a tiny bit easier to handle.