Taylor Swift’s ‘SNL’ Monologue Was a Gift, Seth Meyers Says

Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

When Late Night host Seth Meyers appeared on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show this week, he dug into the high level of difficulty posed by the challenge of hosting Saturday Night Live. But Taylor Swift, who hosted SNL in 2009 when she was just 19, made the gig look easy, Meyers told Stern.

While most hosts deliver monologues written by in-house staffers to kick off their episode, Swift wrote a song—deftly titled “Monologue Song”—for the occasion, Meyers recalled. In it, she touched on all the tabloid headlines about her at the time: the rumors that she was dating Twilight star Taylor Lautner, her breakup with Joe Jonas, and the Kanye West VMA stage-crashing incident, which had taken place just months prior.

“I like writing songs about douchebags who cheat on me / But I’m not gonna say that in my monologue,” Swift sang on the SNL stage. “I like writing their names into songs so they’re ashamed to go in public / But I’m not gonna say that in my monologue.”

“It really speaks to what a force of nature she is and the depths of her talent,” Meyers, who was a cast member on SNL at the time, told Stern. “Here’s a 19-year-old who nobody is really helping out; nobody gave her a manual of how to do that show. And yet, she came to us and said, ‘I wrote a song for the opening monologue.’ So we brought Taylor into Lorne [Michael]’s office, and she sings this song which is not only a beautiful song by a beautiful singer, it’s a perfect SNL monologue. Fully formed.”

He continued: “To this day, I’ve never had a moment like that where someone brings you a fully gift-wrapped present and its exactly what you need it to be. When she finished I should’ve said, ‘Now Taylor, just for you, I want to look at you and read what we had written for you just so you know how much fucking worse it was. Not only is your song great, but you cannot even begin to imagine how shitty what we were doing for you is compared to how great what you did for yourself is.’”

Meyers added that in 2018, a few years after he’d left the NBC sketch comedy show, he went back and hosted for the first time—only to discover just how “insane” a gig it is.

“If you asked me what it was like to host, I would tell you today, and I worked there longer than almost anybody, ‘Howard, no one tells you anything.’ Even I, who had worked there, couldn’t believe how it works,’” he said.

“A host would sometimes say to me, ‘I don’t understand what I’m doing in this sketch,’ and in my head, what I wanted to say was, ‘Just fuckin’ do it,’” Meyers admitted. “And then when I hosted, there were a few times where I realized what I was thinking was, ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do in this sketch.’”

Despite performing on SNL a few times over the years—and recently making a cameo on the show to introduce musical guest Ice Spice—that 2009 episode remains the only time Swift has hosted. But maybe Meyers’ recent comments will inspire her to whip up a “Monologue Song” sequel for the show’s ongoing 49th season.

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