Seth Meyers doubles down on Pittsburgh love with 2 stand-up shows
It’s no secret that NBC “Late Night” host Seth Meyers is a big sports fan, especially when it comes to the Steelers and Pirates. So, it comes as no surprise that Meyers is taking inspiration from baseball great Ernie Banks who famously said, “Let’s play two,” as he approaches his June 14 stand-up date at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall.
Tickets for what was originally scheduled as a single show sold so well that Meyers added a second show on the same night. The sold-out first show will start at 7 p.m. and the second at 9:30 p.m.
“I have young kids, so that’s one of the biggest restraints for me for going out on the road. So, anytime I can go out and do two shows in a night, it’s so great for me to get the extra reps,” Meyers says. “Also, it gives you a little bit more flexibility to try things in the first show and try different things in the second show. So, having the luxury of time to do new things is really fun.
“Also, it’s good that I have two shows, because my dad emailed me that he needed 37 tickets. So, now we have two shows to spread those out over.”
Meyers’ father grew up in East Liberty (Seth insists that readers should know that he pronounces it as “S’liberty”). His love of the Steelers comes from his dad.
“We grew up in New England and became fans of those teams, but the one nonnegotiable thing was that we had to be Steelers fans. Very early on I remember Christmas presents being Terrible Towels,” he says. “My dad gifted me the four ‘Sports Illustrated’ covers that covered the first four Steelers Super Bowls. That was a legacy that was handed down to me over the years, and I became rabid to a point where I’m truly trying to decide whether I should make my kids Steelers fans or if it would be more trouble than it’s worth.”
Meyers first made a name for himself as a cast member of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” especially after he took over the coveted “Weekend Update” anchor spot. Meyers brought an edgy, more politically tinged sensibility to the satirical newscast, which raised his television profile and undoubtedly led to his getting the “Late Night With Seth Meyers” gig.
“I’m really proud of the years I spent there and, as much as I’m proud of what we did with being satirical about the news, one of the other things I’m very happy about my era is making (“Weekend Update”) a place where crazy characters could come and crush it,” he says. “When you’re good at being a straight man, which I like to think I am, it was a really nice piece of real estate to have.”
With an SNL Emmy win in 2011 and the mark he is making on the “Late Night” franchise with signature segments like “A Closer Look,” one would think that Meyers doesn’t need to do a comedy tour. But he says it’s important to him to keep doing live stand-up.
“The person who gave me the best advice on it was Craig Ferguson, who was on my show once, and he said once you take a year off, you’ll never do it again, that ultimately stand-up is something you work a long time to develop but it atrophies very quickly,” Meyers says. “So, I’ve tried very hard to keep it as a muscle that gets exercised. It’s such a different feeling than doing a television show.”
Meyers spends a lot of time on “Late Night” skewering politicians like President Trump. But he says his stand-up shows are far less political:
“Whereas we’re sort of chasing down the day’s headlines every single night on ‘Late Night,’ doing stand-up provides me the opportunity to talk more about my family and more about my life.”
Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected].