The new Lorne Michaels-produced evening talk show landscape on NBC continues to take shape with the debut of “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” starring the one-time “Saturday Night Live” Weekend Update anchor who will follow in the footsteps of such luminaries as David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and his fellow “SNL” cast member Jimmy Fallon in that slot.
The Illinois native spent more than a dozen years at “Saturday Night Live,” joining the cast in 2001, rising to co-head writer with Tina Fey in 2006, then head writer when she left later that year. That year, he also became co-anchor of Weekend Update with Amy Poehler, then sole anchor from 2008-2013, when he was joined behind the desk by Cecily Strong until his departure several weeks ago.
Marking this week’s debut as host of “Late Night,” here are Seth Meyers’ Top 10 “Saturday Night Live” episodes:
Season 27, Episode 4 ( Nov. 3, 2001): Meyers makes his first appearance on Weekend Update, as the lifelong Boston Red Sox fan insists the Yankees can win the World Series, if only Bosox fans don’t root for them to. In another sketch, Meyers plays amateur sleuth Bookie Newton, as he and his kid sister (Amy Poehler) partner up with host John Goodman’s disgruntled detective.
Season 27, Episode 7 (Dec. 1, 2001): Red Sox fan Meyers and Yankee great show host Derek Jeter go point-counterpoint on Weekend Update.
Season 28, Episode 1 (October 5, 2002): Meyers plays Carrot Top in a pointed NRA spoof in which he’s shot by a pair of gun-wielding bandits played by Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz in this season opener hosted by Matt Damon. In the Weekend Update segment, Bosox rooters Meyers and Damon give advice to Yankee fans.
Season 32, Episode 1 (Sept. 30,.2006): Meyers debuts as Weekend Update co-anchor with Amy Poehler, as Brian Williams mistakenly thinks he’s the new addition in a season opener hosted by Dane Cook with musical guests The Killers.
Season 32, Episode 12 (Feb. 3, 2007): Seth Meyers plays David Beckham in the “Versace Super Bowl Party” with Maya Rudolph as Donatella Versace, Fred Armisen as Prince, host Drew Barrymore as Posh Spice and Horatio Sanz as Elton John.
Season 34, Episode 11 (Dec. 13, 2008): Amy Poehler’s last show as co-anchor of Weekend Update finds her engaging in a final “Really!?!” with Meyers about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, while her announcement that she is really leaving “SNL” is interrupted by Fred Armisen’s wandering Governor David Paterson. The show was hosted by Hugh Laurie with musical guest Kanye West.
Season 34, Episode 12 (January 10, 2009): Seth Meyers makes his debut as sole anchor of Weekend Update, with Kenan Thompson as Charles Barkley making excuses for his latest traffic violations while Will Forte sings a song about the Bowl Championship Series. The show was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris with musical guest Taylor Swift.
Season 35, Episode 20 (April 24, 2010): Seth Meyers introduces “New York City correspondent,” Bill Hader’s Stefon for his debut Weekend Update appearance, where he offers his assessments of the town’s night life, which Meyers describes as “visions a dying gay man would have if he was under too many blankets.” The show was hosted by Gabourey Sidibe with musical guests MGMT.
Season 38, Episode 21 (May 18, 2013): Seth Meyers reunites with Amy Poehler for Weekend Update with a “Really!?!” that deals with the I.R.S.’ targeting of Tea Party tax returns, then hosts Bill Hader’s final appearance as Stefon, who storms off with husband Anderson Cooper over Meyers’ objections in the season’s last episode of the year, hosted by Ben Affleck with musical guest Kanye West.
Season 39, Episode 14 (Feb. 1, 2014): Meyer’s final Weekend Update before leaving to host “Late Night” finds Bill Hader’s Stefon returning along with former co-anchor Amy Poehler for a grand finale that also features Fred Armisen’s Governor Paterson wandering on-screen as well. The episode was hosted by Melissa McCarthy with musical guests Imagine Dragons.