Next month, Late Night With Seth Meyers will compete for best variety series at the Emmys for the very first time. It won’t be the show’s first time in the hallowed Emmy halls — Late Night has been nominated for its writing excellence in past years — but the host told THR that this, the holy grail of talk show honors, simply hits differently because of the way it represents the work of everyone on staff.
“It’s an emotional relief,” Meyers said during a recent THR Presents panel, powered by Vision Media. “And now we won’t feel the same stress next year, waiting for the nominations. The difference between zero and one is that if we get one nomination, forever, that’s totally fine, but zero forever was a little bit rough.”
Meyers has been hosting the fabled television show since 2014, but he still vividly remembers his early days on Saturday Night Live — he started at the age of 27 — and the ways the sketch show paved the way for the career he has today. He spoke on the panel about witnessing the massive amount of talent inside the walls of 30 Rock, and also how he was constantly aware that post-SNL success isn’t a given. “The very fair price you pay for being somewhere like SNL is you’re surrounded by people that make you think, oh I thought I was good, but I was never in a room with people like this before,” he said. “You also realize there a lot of paths out of SNL and it doesn’t mean you’re set for life.”
His work on SNL even gave him an Emmy statue of his own back in 2011 — Meyers won best original music and lyrics, alongside SNL writers Katreese Barnes and John Mulaney, for a musical monologue performed by Justin Timberlake. “I think we won that year because there were three Lonely Island songs nominated and they cost each other the votes,” Meyers joked. “Later that year I did a film with Jessica Biel and said, hey isn’t it cool we won that Emmy? She was like, what happened? I don’t think that win even came up at home.”
Watch the full panel above to hear Meyers reflect more on what his show’s current success means to him, his most memorable (for reasons both good and bad) late night guests, and his memories of going to SNL pal Andy Samberg’s bachelor party.
This edition of THR Presents is sponsored by NBC.