When Jon Stewart left The Daily Show, there was a massive void on television for a specific kind of political commentary—one that was humorous, insightful, but also cathartically genuine. Seth Meyers quickly ramped up the political angle of Late Night with Seth Meyers in that wake, and the show has now become a nightly must-watch for its incisive, funny, and incredibly fast commentary. Through segments like “A Closer Look,” Meyers and his team have found great ways to expound on recent pieces of news that are hilarious but also pointed and, like Stewart’s Daily Show, cathartic.
But Meyers also understands his own privilege, and one of the reasons Late Night stands out is he gives voice to writers like Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel to offer their points of view on topics. Ruffin in particular gets the spotlight quite a bit and shines bright, but she may have just delivered her best work yet on a segment called “Amber’s Late Night Safe Space.” In it, Ruffin takes Meyers to her “safe space” she’s created in the office when the goings-on get too intense, and in this video Ruffin takes terrific aim at just how discouraging, frustrating, and demoralizing things can get—specifically in the wake of the Charlottesville white nationalist violence.
What’s brilliant about this bit is Ruffin and Meyers use it to explain what it’s like to be black in America right now. Meyers, like many, is rightfully outraged at many of the things that President Trump is doing, but it pales in comparison to how it affects the daily lives of non-white Americans. Ruffin elucidates this contrast brilliantly. Like all the best Late Night sketches this one is also hilarious, but it is deeply felt thanks to Ruffin’s smart and sharp observations.
Ruffin has long been a standout on Late Night with Seth Meyers, and it’s likely only a matter of time before she gets her own show. This is incredible work that showcases how Late Night is firing on all cylinders in various avenues, not just “A Closer Look” segments, and is a reminder that it’s must-see TV. Check out the video below.