That Time I Went to a “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Taping, Or, How to be Alone

I happened to have tickets to “Late Night with Seth Meyers” this week (you should definitely sign up through 1iota if you find yourself in New York). I was supposed to go with one of my co-workers but when she had to unexpectedly bail, I was faced with a choice:

Well, I decided that I had already put the event in my calendar and the check-in was just two floors from my desk so… why not?

I can study in a library by myself. I don’t mind eating a meal alone in a restaurant with a book as company. We’re all in a sea of solitude on our morning commutes.

But was it terribly awkward to be there alone? You bet.

Going through the hassle of attending a taping is such a communal event. Being holed in the “Peacock Lounge” and waiting an hour before a show begins is something that sounds marginally fun only if you’re here on vacation with a group of friends or family and can gush about your excitement together.

TheWrathAndTheDawnCoverLuckily, I had a book I’d heard great things about. It was hard to get into it though because my reading kept getting punctuated with shrieks of “AHHH I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!” and “I THINK I’M GOING TO CRY.” Coming into 30 Rock every day at 7:00 AM for work takes away some of the, shall we say, magic of the building. It was fun to see such passion.

I also wanted to see the guests: Henry Cavill, Nia Vardalos, and Eric Holder. My heart broke a little when we learned that Cavill’s interview had been pre-taped and he wouldn’t be coming. Seth did an audience Q&A to make up for it. (Quick: Who does Seth Meyers credit for his success? His very supportive parents and Late Night’s executive producer who’s had his back since his days at SNL).

Very interesting… but can you blame me for being disappointed for not getting to see Super Man in the flesh?

cavill

As we got shuffled along to our seats, I groaned inwardly when the usher instructed everyone to pair up with who they came with to make moving easier. Newsflash: Not everyone had buddy!

When a page asked, “How many?” I bravely said, “One.”

I ended up seated next to a nice family from Texas. The dad shook my hand and said, “Nice to meet you!”

A warm-up comedian with the wild, crazy eyes of a man who wants to be the main act and not the opening, told a few jokes and chatted with some audience members. The first question: “Who are you here with?”

As he eased closer to my row, my heart thumped in my chest as I tried to mentally go over how I could flippantly throw out that I was here alone: I got stood up!

No, no, no, that won’t do, I thought rabidly. Use this opportunity to critique the unfortunate aversion our society has toward solitude and self-reflection. Yes. I’d be a hoot.

Luckily, he took one look at my terrified face and chose to insult the happy Texan family beside me instead. (Thirty-five years of marriage? So that’s why the husband looks so unhappy! — very creative stuff).

Then the lights went down, the show began, and it didn’t matter who I came with. We clapped when the sign said to clap and laughed appreciatively at Seth Meyer’s jokes about Guantánamo Bay:

 

My favorite guest was Eric Holder. He strolled on stage with the IDGAF-itude unique to a person who recently left office:

 

All in all, it wasn’t the worst way to spend a Tuesday evening.

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