Seth Meyers JFL42, Toronto ON, September 22
Published Sep 23, 2018Returning to headline JFL42 for the first time since 2014, Seth Meyers was hilarious, polished and poised, even when accidentally calling his wife his mom.
As the host of Late Night, Meyers might well be doing the smartest and most informed jokes about the current news cycle, which is primarily being pedalled around some sketchy neighbourhoods by Donald Trump. As such, Meyers spent some time at the Sony Centre discussing the president and his own supposed role in vaulting him into the White House.
He again lampooned Toronto's constant state of construction, implying that maybe we were taking American celebrities at their word when so many said they'd move to Canada if Trump were elected. He then recounted his fateful turn, as the comic relief at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, where he and, later that night Barack Obama, each made devastating jokes about Trump while the ghoul was in the same room. Many say the event made Trump more resolute about running for president and, for his part, Meyers told us that if that were true, we should all blame Obama, not him.
But even though politics, as viewed through the popular Late Night segment "A Closer Look," has been consistent grist for Meyers and his writing staff's mill, for this set he actually spent most of his time telling really funny family stories about being a father of two toddlers (and how his youngest son was born in the lobby of their building), the strange and amusing grudge matches his own dad got into when Meyers was a boy, and the endearing saga of his romance with and marriage to his wife.
Because he seems busy enough with his nightly show, we don't imagine Meyers finding time to also hit some comedy clubs to try out some family shit out before playing a festival like JFL42 every four years. And the stuff he did here seemed fresh (except for things like his excellent "men and their towel" and "Vegas fistfight" bits, which he performed the last time he headlined JFL42) but totally complete.
Even when he flipped up a joke about his wife being a great parent by starting it out with "My mom — my wife," which generated a huge, somewhat shocked laugh from the audience, Meyers took the Freudian slip in stride, saying "Truth is, I was married to my mom for a little while," like a smooth comedy criminal.
Already lauded for his clever writing and uncompromising perspective, Seth Meyers is simply a fantastic standup who makes it look easy. It's a joy to see and hear him work, as his setup/punch line combo is one of the quickest around.