Seth Meyers Takes ‘A Closer Look’ at the Year in Politics

It’s no secret that 2016 was a tough political year to sit through, and few have made that clearer than Late Night host Seth Meyers. The SNL alum rounded out the tumultuous year with a special ‘A Closer Look’ segment that took a hard stare at a confusing, strange circus of an election cycle.

Meyers chatted about all the usual suspects, including Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders, and also made sure to mention ever-batty Ben Carson, who, Meyers explained, has gone from “a closet, then he’s in a hallway, and now he’s in the Cabinet.”

He ended the clip with a cut to the “immortal words of Joe Biden: Oh god.”

Check it out below.

Seth Meyers Takes A Closer Look at Trump’s Environmental Policies

In his ‘A Closer Look’ special segment, Seth Meyers examined what exactly is going on with Trump’s environmental plans when he assumes the presidency.

He began by noting scientists have found 2016 to be the hottest year ever in history, making 16 of the 17 hottest years after 2000. “Of course, the other hottest year on record came in 1863, when Mary Todd Lincoln took a boob out at the Gettysburg Address.”

Meyers recalled that in addition to this year being the hottest ever, Trump won the presidency and the Cubs won the World Series. “I’m pretty sure that’s three out of the four horsemen of the apocalypse right there. If Dirty Grandpa wins Best Picture at the Oscars, we done for.”

Meyers also addressed how Ivanka Trump has met with both Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore to talk climate change policies. “She met with Leonardo DiCaprio first, and then Al Gore. That is the wrong order. I’ll have the hot fudge sundae for dinner, and for dessert, a cold bag of peas.”

Watch the full clip below:

Trump’s pick for head of the Environmental Protection Agency is Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy. Both are frightening choices – Pruitt has strong ties to gas and oil companies and Perry has outright mocked climate change as a result of human action.

The ‘Oh, Hello!’ Boys Took Over For Seth Meyers (Watch)

Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, stars of the acclaimed two-man play Oh, Hello on Broadway!, took over the host’s desk on Late Night with Seth Meyers this week at a Washinton D.C. taping of the talk show – in character.

The two play Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, two aging Upper West Side roommates who host a public access prank show, Too Much Tuna, in which they trick their guests by giving them sandwiches overstuffed with tuna. Their comedy act evolved from a sketch on Kroll’s Comedy Central series Kroll Show into an Off-Broadway production and national tour, and now into an Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) directed full-scale Broadway play at the Lyceum, and a New York Times Critic’s Pick.

Late Night With Seth Meyers airs on NBC at 12:35 AM EST. It’s currently taping in D.C., where tonight it will host guest Vice President Joe Biden.

Coco Rocha Schools Seth Meyers in the Art of Posing

Photo: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

Coco Rocha stopped by “Late Night with Seth Meyers” to give him a bit of schooling on the art of posing. In promotion of her new book, A Study of Pose, Rocha and Meyers took suggestions from the audience to reenact some of the 1,000 poses from the book.

The poses, which are only given numbers next to the pictures, were given new names like “Sexy Jump to Grab the Last Apple” and “The Gym’s Not Really Working,” by Meyers. “We made [the poses] numbers so people like you would give them names!” Rocha said.

Personally, I think this sounds like a fun fashion drinking game to try out. Check out the video below!

Jimmy Fallon Locks Down Leno Spot

The death of late-night talk-show television has been so slow, so painful, so very unfunny. Honestly it’s flabbergasting that David Letterman didn’t successfully sarcastify the genre into its grave twenty years ago—though god knows he has tried. But are we closer now to the sweet embrace of the pop-cultural crypt? 

Jimmy Fallon inking a deal to definitely, probably, eventually replace Jay Leno in NBC’s 11:35 PM slot, with Seth Meyers seen as the front-runner for Fallon’s current job, is a move in the right direction: just dump old “Weekend Update” anchors behind some fancier desks and have them participate in a terrible Harlem Shake type meme every now and then. Voilà! Instant non-entertainment.

Honestly I just feel bad for whoever ends up on this career track, it seems like a waking hell, and for what? So bloggers like me can make fun of you without ever bothering to watch your monologue? I think every comedian alive must have missed the point of The Larry Sanders Show. Get a new format, funnymen (and funnywomen, if and when you’re allowed a say in the matter). 

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter

Personal Faves: Maya Rudolph Hosts ‘SNL’

Instead of ending the year with a slew of Best Of lists, BlackBook asked our contributors to share the most important moments in art, music, film, television, and fashion that took place in 2012. Here, Joe Reid writes about Maya Rudolph’s return to Studio 8H as host of Saturday Night Live.

Since the beginning and the "Not Ready for Primetime Players," Saturday Night Live has always boasted something of a familial atmosphere. Even when—as has been documented often—those families were fucked-up and quarrelsome. The eras of SNL close ranks around themselves in our memory, though, and even when the reality resists it, we write these narratives anyway. This is why I will never not be fascinated by what goes on during the goodbye hugs at the end of each episode. Such a great peek into family dynamics. This sense of family on SNL has been especially strong on the last several years. The overlapping Tina Fey/Seth Meyers eras have been characterized by constant opportunities for crossover—on 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon—and a sense that graduated cast members are welcome back at Studio 8H any time.

And yet even by those standards, Maya Rudolph’s hosting gig last February felt especially familial. In the nearly five years since Rudolph ended her time as a cast member, she’d been back several times, but this was her first gig as host, and the sense of rallying around her for her big moment was palpable. Despite the fact that she was already starring in a sitcom on NBC, there was no reference made to Up All Night (the same would be true of Christina Applegate’s hosting gig in October, helping to cement Up All Night as one of the great "is that still on?" sitcoms of our time). It was the previous summer’s Bridesmaids that provided the boost in stature for Rudolph to host herself. Bridesmaids was a big influencer on SNL last season. Melissa McCarthy had been on to host in October, and the success of the film was probably that last push that Kristen Wiig needed to declare this her last season on the show. Which meant, in addition to Rudolph experiencing an old home week, there was also a sense that she was helping to usher Wiig into that great Beyond-SNL phase of her career, a sense that was only galvanized by Amy Poehler’s extended cameo.

Everybody figured Poehler would be back for a reprise of Bronx Beat, her and Rudolph’s popular recurring sketch. Betty and Jodi fell right back into their world-weary rhythms (it feels like Hoarders was a phenomenon created specifically to be gabbed about on "Bronx Beat"), and it only felt appropriate that their guests would be the sound guys played by Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake (one of the more popular recurring hosts of the Fey/Meyers era, keeping us on trend). 

NEXT: "The 2011-12 season had turned into Senior Week at high school."

Both Poehler and Timberlake would show up again during the show: Timberlake as Bon Iver in an "At Home with Beyonce and Jay-Z" sketch (though he would later TOTALLY puss out by carrying an "I <3 Bon Iver" sign during the goodbyes), and Poehler in her triumphant return to Weekend Update, and specifically to "REALLY??!! With Seth and Amy." That Beyonce and Jay-Z sketch was one of those treasure boxes filled with random fantastic celebrity impersonations, specifically Taran Killam’s Brad Pitt and Nasim Pedrad’s Nicki Minaj (which tragically was never paired with Kristen Wiig’s Bjork before Wiig left the show). But it was the return of "REALLY??!!" that sold the homecoming theme better than anything else. Seth and Amy had such great chemistry together, and his happiness at having her back for a week was practically radiating through the TV.

With Wiig and Samberg on their way out the door (and Jason Sudekis rumored to be as well), the 2011-12 season had turned into Senior Week at high school, with sketches seeming loopier and more likely to devolve into a pile of giggles. Wanton character-breaking like that can often test an audience’s patience with the show (see: the entire Jimmy Fallon-Horatio Sanz era), but for viewers who knew what was up, the season felt like watching fantastically funny old friends have a well-deserved goof-off day. (That day lasted 22 episodes, but whatever.) Thus the appeal of something like "Super Showcase," which consisted entirely of Wiig and Rudolph using weird voices to make them (and Bill Hader) laugh. The fact that Vanessa Bayer—new, still-trying-to-prove-herself Vanessa Bayer—was the only one to hold it together only strengthened the "Senior Skip Day" impression. 

NEXT: "The entire episode was consistently strong, a near-impossible feat for SNL."

The entire episode was consistently strong, a near-impossible feat for SNL. At 90 minutes worth of crammed-together sketches, perfection is an unattainable goal. (It also means that even the worst episodes can be redeemed by one great sketch, so it works both ways.) But Rudolph’s episode was remarkably steady: the cold open about racist "Lin-sanity" is so much more dated than anybody ever thought possible (it’s only been ten months but feels like ten years) but it also nailed that moment in time. The "what would it take for African Americans to not support Obama?" sketch was better than what usually gets tossed out at 12:45 AM. "What’s Up With That?" is never going to be for everybody, but it manages to get me every time, if for no other reason than the gleeful look on Sudekis’s face while he’s doing the running man. But, fine, say that’s the one "bad" sketch of the night. It’s more than redeemed by something like Maya Angelou’s prank show, if only for the part where Angelou assures Dr. Cornel West that her goof on him was not an act of malice but an act of whimsy. 

But really, what are we even talking about? Why did I just spend all that time talking about the rest of the episode when the show attained perfection via 30 short seconds in the second-last sketch? Not even the full "Obama Show" sketch. Just those perfectly calibrated Cosby Show opening credits. My favorite moments from those credits, in order: 1) Maya as Michelle Obama as Clare Huxtable, wagging her index finger at the camera; 2) Maya as Michelle Obama as Clare Huxtable dancing; 3) Jason Sudekis as Joe Biden as Theo Huxtable dancing; 4) Fred Armisen as Barack Obama as Cliff Huxtable doing the thing with the fingers; 5) Fred Armisen as Barack Obama as Cliff Huxtable dancing around Agent Conners. In the months since, I have watched those credits roughly seven thousand times. They don’t lose their luster. I only regret that the tag at the end of the sketch, where Poehler shows up as Hillary Clinton to lip-sych Ray Charles in parody of the greatest moment in Cosby Show history, isn’t available online due to the scourge of our time: music rights. MUSIC RIIIIIIIGHTS!!! [shakes fist]

It was only fitting, really, that this particular episode of Saturday Night Live was highlighted by a parody of one of television’s great families. Here’s hoping there’s one more of these homecoming episodes before Meyers, Hader, and company all move on. When does Kristen Wiig’s next movie open, anyway?

Follow Joe Reid on Twitter.  

Weekend Update Was Pretty Great This Week, Or, More Cecily Strong, Thanks

For those who missed it because you have lives and weekend plans or something, ­this week’s Saturday Night Live had a lot going on. Martin Short was an unusually effective host, the Royal Baby sketch was goofy and fun and a whole lot of special guest stars showed up, including Samuel L. Jackson and Carrie Brownstein on “What’s Up With That,” Larry David and Alec Baldwin. Paul McCartney and the former members of Nirvana played together again, and Macca did three (three!) songs.

And, with the horrific school shooting in Newtown still painful and raw in our collective memory, too raw for any incensed commentary or even for words, the show paid a touching tribute to the victims by opening with a children’s choir tenderly singing “Silent Night.” It was one of the most moving openings the show has ever done, to the point where we’re really hoping that some opportunistic website doesn’t do a “10 Most Moving SNL Responses to Horrifying National Tragedies” slideshow. Nope nope nope.

But even with so much heaviness of heart and a stacked guest star bill, some of the show’s best moments still came from the regulars, and they came during Weekend Update. Vanessa Bayer reprised her role as Jacob, the Bar Mitzvah Boy, explaining the miracle of Chanukah to viewers in the format of a d’var torah, the speech Jewish kids give on the day of their bar/bat mitzvah explaining what they learned and what their reading is about. You’re told to write jokes into it, but the sort of jokes a nervous, socially awkward 13-year-old in front of his grandparents would tell. It becomes—and Seth Meyers put this perfectly—“a low-level roast of your family.” And Bayer nails the moment, to the point where I had some serious flashbacks to the bar and bat mitzvah circuit.

The other Weekend Update interview was with newcomer Cecily Strong, who reprised her role as the “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party.” And the timing couldn’t have been better, nor could her commentary on the holiday season ("You asked for an iPad Mini? I asked for an end to genocide."). Between the holiday season, New Year’s Eve and recent current events that will unfortunely lead to some negative and ill-informed discourse during family and social gatherings, she once again served as a funny but somewhat painful reminder of what’s in store for us during the most wonderful time of the year. Strong had some other solid moments too, particularly as Fran Drescher in “You’re A Rat Bastard, Charlie Brown.” And if as a featured player, she already has at least one memorable recurring character that people like, she’s on the right track to becoming a headliner. Basically, SNL, more Cecily Strong, please and thank you. Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant too.

Chris Christie And His Fleece Drop By ‘Saturday Night Live’

The real Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie — not just Bobby Moynihan with a thick Italian accent — hit up Weekend Update last night and cracked wise about NJ after the hurricane. 

"I get it, screaming at people at gas stations is a New Jersey tradition — but you don’t do it during a crisis," Christie warned. He played up his bristly personality for laughs, snapping at Seth Meyers throughout the skit, although it’s much funnier when he’s telling everybody else what idiots they are. 

I prefer Bobby Moynihan as Christie, personally … but this wasn’t as bad as virtually any other Republican they could have gotten.  

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Michael Kors Honored For Philanthropic Efforts to God’s Love We Deliver

“I’m excited,” said Michael Kors Monday night at the 2012 Golden Heart Awards, where he was honored for his contributions to God’s Love We Deliver, a charity that prepares and delivers nutritious meals to people with severe illnesses. “Anything we can do to help is very gratifying.”

Among those who turned out in support of the designer, who announced a five-million-dollar contribution to the organization, were Anna Wintour, Gwyneth Paltrow, a host of models, and actress Bette Midler, who presented Kors with his Lifetime Achievement award.

“I’m here for the charity, and of course, for Michael,” said Midler, wearing all Michael Kors. “He’s adorable, divine.”

The sold-out event, held inside the Cunard Building, also honored writer Ryan Murphy for the Community Service award and Cinty Little for Outstanding Volunteerism.  “It’s just a great event,” said comedian Seth Meyers. “I’m just excited to be here, especially this far downtown—it’s a rarity for me…anytime you get this close to the Staten Island Ferry, you know…”

The night began with a cocktail hour, followed by dinner, an awards presentation and live auction for the 600 guests, who raised over $1.35 million.

A native to New York, Kors has been involved with God’s Love We Deliver, which began as an HIV/AIDS organization and now helps people with more than 200 individual diagnoses, for over 20 years. “It’s fun to see all the people who are big supporters of me and of God’s Love,” said Kors. “We want to have a good time and also just celebrate all the great work they do.”

Photo credit: Getty Images for Michael Kors