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Seth Meyers: 'Saturday Night' Life Lessons

Mark your Stefon of the Month calendars: Seth Meyers takes over NBC’s ”Late Night” desk on Feb. 24 at 12:35 a.m., with former ”SNL” costar Amy Poehler and Vice President Joe Biden as guests

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Seth Meyers is making the biggest move of his career — and it doesn’t even require a different elevator button. Saturday Night Live‘s former head writer and “Weekend Update” anchor will shift from Rockefeller Center’s Studio 8H to 8G to take the hosting reins of Late Night from Jimmy Fallon, now of The Tonight Show. Meyers, 40, will be bringing some valuable lessons with him as he begins his new gig.

Never Stop Looking For A Better Joke.
“Tina [Fey] never didn’t have her sketch in her hand. When she was running the place, you learned that it’s not that hard to change a line on the cue card, so you might as well keep shopping for a better joke right up until the time it airs.”

Write To The Top Of Your Intelligence.
“You’re going to have a lot of dumb ideas and a lot of silly ideas, but that doesn’t mean you have to write them the way a dumb or silly person would. Lorne [Michaels, exec producer of SNL and Late Night] always reminds you that he hired you because you’re smart and he would like to see that as often as possible, to know he’s gotten his money’s worth.”

They Can’t All Be Perfect 10s.
“Some things aren’t going to work as well as you thought. The nice thing about being in the volume game, which you are to a bigger degree in late-night than you are at SNL, is that you get another trip to the plate. That goes for the victories as well as the defeats.”

The Third Red Bull Is The Killer.
“If you’re having three Red Bulls in a night, you probably are better off doing hard drugs. The second Red Bull — maybe look in the mirror before you tab it, but there’s no coming back from the third Red Bull.”

Play To The Guest.
SNL hosts come in all shapes and sizes. A lot of them have tons of stagecraft; some have none. Some of them have been watching the show their whole lives. Some are newly famous and haven’t been able to stay up that late, so the writing staff at SNL has to adjust to the host as opposed to having the host adjust to them. That’s something I can use with how I’m interviewing people.”

Details Matter.
“At SNL, you get to work with the best hair department, the best wardrobe department, the best set-design department, and they’re always really open. If you have a sense of what you want the details to be, they can always help you find it. I feel like if you can show them you’ve been paying attention to detail, they will appreciate it.”

If Your Wallet Is Missing, Poehler Took It.