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Watch Writers Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel Take Over for Their Boss Seth Meyers

Late Night’s Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel are back with recurring bit “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell,” and while many of those jokes make the audience groan with dismay, it’s great from start to finish.


Ruffin and Hagel introduce themselves as a black woman and a gay woman, respectively, and thus are able to crack wise about subjects Seth Meyers can’t touch with a ten foot pole. At a certain point, even they have trouble with their own punchlines, which are at times both funny and painful, like Ruffin’s quip about a captured white lobster who “got to live.”

The winner of the night may be the set up from Meyers for Hagel, where he says, “A group of parents at an Alabama school recently started a petition to have the rainbow flag outside a teacher’s classroom taken down, saying it’s the same as the Confederate flag.”


“And it is,” Hagel finishes, “except the gays won.”

At the end, Meyers tries a couple of jokes outside his wheelhouse. Ordinarily, white guys pointing out the things they can’t do isn’t my cup of tea, but Ruffin and Hagel’s enjoyment of the moment carries it through. When will one of these two be hosting a late night show?

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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That is my fave recurring bit on Seth Meyers’ show. They seem to be having so much fun doing it, and I always love how much joy Amber Ruffin shows when a joke generates a huge groan in the audience.

Plus, comedy shows have always had writing rooms that are almost 100% male. Even liberal icons like Jon Stewart somehow couldn’t find more than one or two women to write for him... yet not only does Meyers’ hire them, he gives them prominent roles in front of the camera. It’s still a terrible situation, with basically a single female late night host, but kudos to Meyers for hiring some hilarious women.