Jokes Seth Meyers Couldn’t Tell (But Tina and Amy Should Have)

Pop Culture

Jokes Seth Meyers Couldn’t Tell (But Tina and Amy Should Have)

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


t the Golden Globes last night, the final segment in Seth Meyers’ fiery opening monologue was a bit borrowed from his talk show: Called “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell”, a segment he does with his writers Amber and Jenny by stating upfront that Amber is black and Jenny is gay and they’re both women. Seth is not, so, he reads the setup for jokes and they deliver the punchlines. A funny, irreverent comedic bit that lands not only because of the ingenious setup but also because of how uncomfortably delighted Seth looks every time Jenny makes a pun on the woodworking skills of lesbians or when Amber delivers a joke on police brutality with a straight face.

I always thought the idea that the writers on his staff get an opportunity to deliver jokes that are relevant to their culture and politics was revolutionary. Until I realised, courtesy the genius of Amy Poehler, that the idea of a white man allowing his female writers to tell jokes on his show, might be somewhat… problematic. At the Globes, when Seth Meyers attempted to complete his segment and went to Amy Poehler to give her a chance to chime in on a joke for Call Me By Your Name, things didn’t go as planned. Poehler, if only jokingly, reclaimed her right to tell a joke without having it mansplained or prompted beforehand and went, “Said the peach in Call Me by Your Name, this scene is the pits.”