Late night host Seth Meyers takes 'A Closer Look' at the news

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NEW YORK — From "covfefe" to Sean Spicer's press briefings, the Trump administration has provided a steady stream of material for late-night shows.

NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers" now devotes up to 12 minutes of airtime three to four days a week with a segment called "A Closer Look."

During these segments, Meyers and his writers take an element of news and do a deep dive. On Monday it was President Donald Trump's efforts to discredit former FBI Director James Comey while also trying to bolster his own reputation. He asked Cabinet members to give him compliments in an on-air round table.

"Is there anything creepier than Trump making his staff go around the room and praise him? Even Kim Jong Un is like, 'Dude, have some self-respect,'" joked Meyers in "A Closer Look" segment.

Meyers says his interest in current events and politics stems from his childhood.

"My parents are very much into reading newspapers, watching the news every night," he says. "I grew up in New Hampshire, so presidential politics were on our front door every four years for six months."

"Late Night" head writer Alex Baze says people are paying attention to politics.

"You can do your best work when the audience has a lot of information," he said. "When you have to explain the whole story and then make a joke, it really loses steam along the way."

Sal Gentile, designated writer for "A Closer Look," says it's "a lot of rapid-fire joke writing."

"First you're processing news and on top of that you've got to write jokes," he says. "It requires speed and discipline."

"Late Night" producer and showrunner Mike Shoemaker says it's "the thing that excites us."

"If you asked me a few years ago, 'Do you think you'll have 12-minute segments that will even go on YouTube much less get a million views by the next day,' I'd be very surprised. ... People accept it at every length and sometimes even the longer ones do better," he says. "We learned to let the segment run and figure out the rest."


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