One of the things I love most about Late Night with Seth Meyers is how the show highlights its writers onscreen, giving them a platform to be funny, but to also address issues, questions, or comedy that might feel a little uncomfortable coming from host Seth Meyers. It’s made an absolute star out of Amber Ruffin, a delight of a human being and a comedic force all her own (she is long overdue to have her own show, which she’ll get on the upcoming streaming service Peacock).
As the Black Lives Matter protests arose in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Meyers spent an entire week handing the opening of his show over to Ruffin to tell stories about her personal experiences dealing with police. It stood in stark contrast to pretty much any other late night TV “move” I’ve ever seen, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
Last night, Ruffin debuted a new segment a bit lighter in tone but still striking, as she answered frequently asked questions about Juneteenth—which is today! The holiday commemorates the emancipation of the final slaves on June 19, 1865, and while it’s certainly cause for celebration, the holiday is tinged with deep wounds and a more complicated history than some would like to acknowledge.
Ruffin gets into it in this delightful and poignant and extremely funny segment, which you should absolutely watch below. And for more on Juneteenth, check out our list of joyful Black movies you can stream all weekend long.