SNL Star Entertains OU, Athens Crowd

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Comedian Seth Meyers performed stand-up to a packed house at Ohio University’s Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Feb. 24. The show was part of the OU Performing Arts Concert Series. 

Meyers, best known for his role as the anchor of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live, is also the show's head writer.

Over the course of a set which touched on everything from middle school French to drunken Vegas bar fights and the G.O.P. primaries, he displayed his skill for performing live, as well as a knack for knowing his audience.

Meyers’ routine started off with a handful of college-themed jokes, which, despite containing one or two incisive observations about Athens, generally felt tired. 

However, he quickly transitioned into a running bit about the pretentions of studying abroad that set the tone for the night. It was a quick but sharp reference to the Greek austerity cuts that confirmed Meyers is right at home in the realm of politics and topical humor. 

The second half of the act consisted primarily of political and news-based jokes. Towards the end, Meyers did a bit of recycling, telling a collection of “Weekend Update” jokes that were vetoed by censors. Cheers from the crowd qualified as “consent,” which was for the best, as the uncensored one-liners were firmly past the line of being family-friendly. While much of the routine was inappropriate for children, Meyers kept things relatively clean throughout the night. The language was strong and the innuendos bountiful, but thematically, things stayed fairly inoffensive.

In addition to some cutting remarks about current events, Meyers offered a few celebrity impressions and a couple of quality anecdotes. One impressive element of the routine was the transitions; he bounced from one topic to the next with a series of clever segues. The tight organization of Meyers' set belies his time spent writing for Saturday Night Live, as well as his comfort with stand-up.     

Meyers obviously knows who his audience is. From the academic quips at the beginning of the set to the raunchy news briefs at the conclusion, he never lost sight of the fact that he was there to entertain a college audience. It was clear from the storm of applause that the OU audience appreciated the consideration.