IOWA CITY – University of Iowa students lined up in droves to watch Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers perform as part of the school’s guest lecture series on Wednesday night.
And as a comic who originally hails from New Hampshire, Meyers took the time to both poke fun at and appreciate all that Iowa has to offer — first focusing on the Iowa Caucuses.
“Iowa, home of the nation’s first caucus. I’m from New Hampshire myself, home of the nation’s first primary,” Meyers said. “The difference of course, between the two, is a primary is real.”
“I know the caucuses are honestly great, but can we knock Iowa’s Straw Poll? Is it okay now to say the straw poll is a waste?” Meyers said. “The Straw Poll, of course, elected Michele Bachmann this year and then like, two months later she finished in eigghth place out of seven candidates and it was like — what happened to all that straw? All that straw changed it’s mind?”
But Meyers was sure to get the full Iowa City experience during his visit, adding he ate at the Hamburg Inn — famed for hosting politicians during their political visits during election years. He said he enjoyed a hamburger, but declined a pie shake because, well, he didn’t like the sound of it.
“(The waiter was) like, we’re famous for it, and I was like, that’s probably only because you’re the only people who do it — you want to be famous for your hamburger because everyone does a hamburger. But if you’re famous for putting a whole slice of pie in a shake you’re just crazy,” Meyers said. “You’re just famous like the way Charles Manson is famous.”
Now entering his 11th season as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, Meyers was the first of four guests the UI’s lecture committee will bring to campus this fall. This will be his sixth season as head writer and an anchor on the show’s “Weekend Update” skit.
Meyers graduated from Northwestern University where he told the crowd he studied film making and later focused on media writing. Before Saturday Night Live, he performed at ImprovOlympic and later Boom Chicago theater in Amsterdam after he graduated college.
Overall, students said they showed up — and waited in a line two blocks long — becuase they were curious to see what he had to say.
“Laughing is always a good thing and I thought I’d take advantage of his appearance on campus,” said 24-year-old Carla Frazer, who’s studying library studies at the UI as a graduate student.
His lecture was followed by a 30 minute question and answer session, where students seemed most interested in how he broke into the business. His advice? Get on stage and perform as much as you can.
Other upcoming lectures for the fall semester include:
- Barbara Ehrenreich, political activist and author of” Nickel & Dimed,” 7:30 p.m., Sept. 24, at the Englert Theater, 221 E. Washington St., Iowa City.
- L. Hunter Lovins, president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions,7:30 p.m., Oct. 4, in Room W10 of Pappajohn Business Building, Iowa City.
- Junot Diaz, 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning author of “Drown,”“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” and the forthcoming “This is How You Lose Her,” 7:30 p.m., Oct. 12, at the Englert Theater.