I have to say, I don't write about television all that often, and when I do it is normally to rip into a network or a host or some other form of complaint. As I did regularly, until NBC wised up and replaced David Gregory with Chuck Todd on Meet The Press (just to give one obvious example). But today, I write in praise of a late-night host.
Now, it's going to be pretty hard to keep two things separate here, because no matter how hard I try this is going to look like I'm just sucking up. But that cannot be helped, so let's get the personal part of it out of the way to begin with. And I know I'm going to sound like a giddy teenager with a blog, but again, that just can't be helped.
So, here goes: Didja see Late Night With Seth Meyers last night? Because it featured my "Friday Talking Points" column from last week! Woo hoo!
If you didn't happen to be watching television at 12:45 last night, here's what you missed. Seth does a rant (his regular "A Closer Look" segment) on the political situation down in North Carolina. YouTube has it, if anyone wants to check it out. At about 2:15 into the segment, he talks about the elections board being in charge of Democrats in odd years (when there are no elections) and Republicans in even years (when elections happen), and he throws up a still of FTP  at the Huffington Post with the title bar clearly visible (although, alas, the author's name is not).
So, not to sound repetitious, but, once again: Woo hoo!
I believe this is the first time I've been quoted on national broadcast television. I remember an MSNBC host quoting me (oddly enough, right around New Year's) a few years back, but that was on cable.
I'd publicly like to thank Seth Meyers (and his research team) for the citation, but (moving out of teenager-with-blog territory) I'd also like to thank him for the show he regularly puts on. I saw this citation because I was already watching his show, in other words. And I watch regularly because he's the best thing on late-night television these days.
Now, regular readers might wonder whether Seth Meyers has taken the place in my heart previously occupied by Craig Ferguson. Ferguson was the only other late-night host I've ever devoted a full column towards (on more than one occasion), and I was extremely sorry to see him go (to... shudder... game show hosting). But what Ferguson provided was so unique that I don't think anyone will ever really replace him -- Ferguson's show was the closest thing to "surreal television" since The Prisoner, in my opinion.
Meyers isn't like Craig, but he is just as smart, funny, and quick-witted as Jon Stewart in his prime. Seth is the best political commentary currently on late-night, because he isn't afraid to be offensive to roughly half the county. Jimmy Fallon, by comparison, is pretty tame stuff (because he's on at an earlier time slot, one assumes, where networks are more sensitive to not offending large demographics).
Meyers started off with a pretty standard format, but he got tired of doing the standup part at the beginning so now what you get is, essentially, Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" for the first 10-15 minutes of his show: Seth, behind a desk, riffing on the news of the day, with photos and videos as props. On most nights, this ends with his "A Closer Look" segment, where he rips into one subject in an extended (and fast-talking) manner.
So even if he hadn't used one of my columns, I still might have eventually written about Meyers. We're headed into four golden years for political comedy, that much is an iron-clad guarantee at this point. Because it'll be like shooting fish in a barrel, it'll be hard for any one comic to stand above the rest -- the material is just so easy it writes itself.
But Meyers has already proven, over the past year or so, that he can do a better job at it than the others, so I do expect him to gain viewers over the next four years. If you're a night owl (like me) and have nothing better to do at 12:35 in the morning, I urge you to tune into at least the first 15 minutes of Late Night With Seth Meyers.
See? I told you it was going to be hard to separate the "sucking up" part of this column with the "praise where praise is deserved" part. I mean, I could swear I was going to write a nice column about Seth eventually until I was blue in the face, but not everyone would believe it. I will admit that Meyers did make it a whole lot easier for me to fit such a column into my blogging schedule by featuring my work -- to not admit this simply wouldn't be honest (or believable). But whatever the reason, I would truly recommend checking his show out to those who have never seen it. If you miss Jon Stewart (or if you miss Craig Ferguson, on another level), check out Seth's show. You won't be sorry you did.
-- Chris Weigant
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant