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At This Point, Does Fred Armisen Even Remember How To Get To Late Night With Seth Meyers?

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Funny that I stumbled onto this article just as I was remarking to my wife the other night "Why does Seth Myers even bother having Fred as a bandleader? He is never, and I do mean NEVER....there!" I guarantee come 2015 the Myers staff will wise up and they will make a joint announcement regarding his departure saying "We love Fred and wish him well". Secretly I'm sure they will all be grumbling about why they bothered in the first place.

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This is the story behind how Fred got the gig and it may explain things. http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=306155626 

Terry Gross: So the bandleader on "Late Night" now is Fred Armisen, who is an alum of "Saturday Night Live" and the co-star, co-creator of "Portlandia." How did you decide to make him the bandleader, and how much of it was about his musicianship, and how much was it about him as a comic?

Seth Meyers: Full credit to Lorne for that. Music was something that we - it wasn't on the backburner, it was just a thing I don't think any of us really had a handle on what we wanted it to be. Like, I love music, but I don't have musical skill. I don't have, like, I didn't have a musical vision for the show, and I sort of assumed it would just work itself out.

And we were getting closer and closer to the show starting, and some things sort of almost came together and then didn't, and very late in the game Lorne said, what about Fred? And as soon as he said it, it became one of those things that I would have been heartbroken if it hadn't worked out. I was so desperate that Lorne hadn't just said this off the cuff, that he at least had done some of the legwork to know that he could actually deliver Fred, because I know Fred as, you know, obviously he's one of the funniest people I've ever met, but he's also so musically talented.

And so it seemed like the full package when Lorne suggested him. Now, you know, Fred's approach to it was, and it was nice to have someone who is such a good friend as Fred so that you could actually have this conversation, he really wanted to take the job as a bandleader, as opposed to a sidekick or a sketch comedian, you know, with, I think the years where Fred was doing both SNL and "Portlandia" - like in the history of sketch performance, like that's almost like "Your Show of Shows"-type schedule, where he was doing almost like 50 weeks of sketch comedy a year.

And I think he was looking to have a break from that, so for him he wanted this show to be a musical job, which we were perfectly happy with as well. Lorne thought it would be nice to have someone comforting out there with me. It's certainly proven to be the case. And the speed with which Fred put that band together was outstanding because it instantly went from a huge problem to no problem at all.

I think the Tara's speculation that they didn't expect scheduling issues to be this complicated is probably right. On the other hand, I got the impression from the answer that having a band on his show isn't something imperative for Seth and that's why it was ok to have Fred as a band leader in the first place. He knew Fred's prime focus would be on Portlandia and there would be many days where Fred can't attend a taping. Since, apart from the Fred talk which is not what a band leader was supposed to do anyway, the band's presence on the show is almost nonexistent and Seth has found his feet quite early on it looks like either of them doesn't feel compelled to fix it. It's like if Fred is available - great, if not - no problem.

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I'm all for Eli getting the spotlight! Although I'm super biased - I grew up with the guy in Washington, D.C.

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Tired of FredEx.

 

 

Yes. Also annoying: Recapping every previous FredEx segment (at least he did this a few weeks ago) and having his intern come out to pick up the envelope. Do they really have to do that on-air?

 

 

Edited to add: Meyers (re-)explained Fred's hiring with Buzzfeed in an interview on Monday.

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lyapalater/seth-meyers-explains-how-fred-armisen-became-his-band-leader#ok9s4h

Edited by nowandlater

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