In the promo video for Seth Meyers’ first stand-up special on Netflix (or anywhere, as far as I can tell), he asks a group of children if they’d like to play with a new action figure, “Stand-Up Seth.”
This Seth Meyers is unlike the Seth Meyers you might be used to, wearing a suit and sitting behind a desk as he did both on his talk show and on Saturday Night Live’s weekend update. This Seth Meyers is casual. He’s wearing a black colorless sweater as well as jeans on his never-before-seen legs, looking genuinely casual in a way he never has before in his performances.
But don’t let the new costume fool you. Meyers’ new special, titled Lobby Baby, is an absolute gem. It’s as good and as funny as he’s ever been.
The show is generally centered around Seth’s relationship with his wife Alexi. For starters, he explains that although she is Jewish, he, a man in comedy literally named Seth Meyers, somehow isn’t.
“All Jewish people assume I am Jewish, because of my name and my face and everything about me,” Meyers said (and this Orthodox Jewish writer confirms).
As right as he is about that, the real story there is how excited his wife’s parents were when they heard that their daughter was dating him. Of course, this was only because they, too, thought he was Jewish, and he eventually had to tell them this was not the case. He blames himself, however; he calls his name and personality “false advertising.”
He goes on to tell stories about how he eventually married his wife, including details about a trip to Paris. They took the trip after dating for five years, and it did not end in an engagement, much to his wife’s chagrin. She claimed it was misleading to take her to Paris for her birthday without a ring, while Seth argued that she was the one who even suggested that they go to Paris. His idea was Prague, “a place where, famously, no one gets engaged.”
Their wedding did eventually happen, even though his wife got food poisoning the night before. Seth was confident that his wife was wrong about her illness, though.
“So, I did something called mansplaining. If you don’t know what that is, ladies, it is when a man with no shared experience to what you’re going through tells you what’s actually happening.” Meyers assured his wife that she just was suffering from the wedding jitters.
He was wrong this time, though, as the next morning he called his wife only for her to pick up the phone in the hospital, where she’d gone because of her very real food poisoning.
The core of the show is about the birth of the couple’s two children. Their first son was born about 15 minutes after they reached the hospital, just narrowly avoiding being born in the back of a taxi. For the entirety of that taxi ride, Meyers’ wife was sticking her head out the window and repeatedly screaming the words, “I do not like this.” As Meyers described it, she was “being very economical with her word choice.” Still, their living in New York City meant that such a ridiculous sight was taken very much in stride by all those around them.
The highlight of this narrative, however, is the birth of their second child, the namesake of the show. You might think that they’d be more ready after such a close call with their first baby, but you’d be wrong. Their next son was born in the lobby of their hotel before they could even get in a car to the hospital. As they were about to exit the building, Meyers’ wife turned to him and simply said, “The baby is here.” Meyers explains that, in response, he went back to his old habit of mansplaining.
“The baby is not here. You only think the baby is here. We have more than enough time to make it to the hospital. Take it from me, a man who has also had a baby out of his vagina,” he mansplained.
Meyers’ confidence wasn’t enough to stop his wife’s labor, though, and he hilariously describes the rest of the process, including how his relationship with the two doormen on duty that day changed. One is practically a part of their family now, he says, and the other has yet to make eye contact with either of the parents since that day.
Meyers goes on to describe how he and his wife live together, how they parent and just how they interact. The final act of the show is Meyers doing 10 minutes of stand-up while his wife gives her perspective on the same things he just discussed.
The whole special is great. These last 10 minutes, however, are not only the best part of the entire thing, but they also make the previous jokes funnier, with callback after callback working flawlessly in the most hysterical of ways. This ending really cements an overall excellent show, and establishes firmly that even when Meyers is standing up straight with his legs visible, he’s still a brilliant comedian and well worth the watch.