Seth Meyers kayos Trump, saves punchlines for Tahoe
Funny thing about Seth Meyers, his timing is perfect.
His appearance at the April 30 President’s Correspondents Dinner is the most talked about comedy performance in years.
He hurled zingers at Donald Trump during short time the humorless man with electric hair was toying with the idea of a presidential campaign. And while Meyers was killing it at the podium, the poker-faced president was killing Osama bin Laden.
But Meyers was modest about a showing that transcended his career beyond the one he has built at “Saturday Night Live.”
“The people who watch CSPAN on a Saturday night thought I did a good job,” said Meyers, who performs Saturday, May 28, in the MontBleu Theatre.
Meyers joked bin Laden, who was still missing, had a show on CSPAN, which has so few viewers nobody noticed. President Obama laughed, not letting on to what he had to be thinking about.
Meyers said it was “nerve-racking” to speak after the president, who proved himself as accomplished at standup as he is at campaigning.
The host of the Improv Harveys, Howie Nave, praised Meyers, because he is the first comic in about six years to not be shown up by the president.
“Obama outdid (Jay) Leno,” Nave said. “That’s the problem when the president is funnier than the comic. I loved it. Not only did he nail it but didn’t waver at all, especially with Trump glaring at him. I still love that after the raid on Osama’s compound the media kept showing that clip of Meyers looking at Obama (who was about) to go after Osama in just a few hours. That part still blows my mind.”
“Donald Trump has said he is running for president as a Republican which is surprising because I thought he was running as a joke,” Meyers said as the reality television star stared with steely eyes.
“Seth Meyers has no talent,” Trump fumed afterward. “He fell totally flat. In fact, I thought Seth’s delivery was so bad that he hurt himself.”
Meyers practically blushed at the critique.
“I really enjoyed that because the people he’s feuding with are all my heroes,” Meyers said, “so to be on that list of all the people he’s unhappy with is just an unbelievable place to be because guys like (Jerry) Seinfeld, (David) Letterman, Robert De Niro – it’s like a Mount Rushmore of talented people that I love.”
Several news sources credit Meyers for convincing Trump to pull out of the race.
The best-known political comic in the business, Will Durst, complimented Meyers.
“Seth Meyers kicked major Correspondents’ Dinner ass,” Durst said. “He was incredible. The crowd started out soft, but he just kept on coming and coming and hitting them with more and more jokes and eventually won them over. Besides which, he had to follow the president of the United States. (Which is) always tough to do because Obama is good. The guy knows what he’s doing. Seth Meyers is a hero and he kept on Trump’s butt.”
Of course there were other targets besides Trump, including Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly, whose reaction of annoyance was apparently feigned.
“I have to give it to Bill O’Reilly – afterward and he was very complimentary,” Meyer said. “He admitted that he didn’t want to like me but he did like me. He was very polite and complimentary.”
Meyers said he had to pull about 10 to 15 jokes, including one about Rep. Michelle Bachmann, because there were about subjects Obama had used in his monologue.
Meyers is the head writer on “SNL,” and he does the Weekend Update, which is usually the last material written.
“On Tuesday Obama might give a speech,” Meyers said. “You realize by Thursday everyone has moved past that speech. If we hold it until Saturday, it will be extra stale. Weekend Update is the most flexible part of the show.”
The season concluded last week with an appearance by Lady Gaga. Meyers was ask to compare Lady Gaga and Sarah Palin, who was a guest host when she ran for vice president.
“Their one similarity is that they are both show people,” Meyers said. “They know what they do well and they are really good at doing it. Sarah Palin is incredibly charismatic. You don’t have to spend much time with her to realize that if you shared her political point of view she must be a dream come true for you. She connects with people really well. She was incredibly charming when she was there.”
Meyers was equally effusive about Sen. John McCain.
“By showing up you are certainly saying you are a good sport,” Meyers said. “John McCain’s always had a great sense of humor. He’s always been willing to poke fun at himself.”
Other than making some standup appearances and hosting this summer’s ESPY Awards, Meyers said he was going to travel and “try to recharge his batteries” before next the next season of “SNL.”