Years ago, Seth Meyers was working crazy hours on the set of Saturday Night Live. But now, when he isn’t busy taking “A Closer Look” at the news on Late Night, he’s usually having a quiet evening at home with his attorney wife, Alexi, and their 1-year-old son, Ashe. “I used to be a real cool dude,” Meyers told the Cut when we caught up with him at the at the Equinox Bryant Park in Manhattan for last weekend’s Cycle for Survival indoor cycling event, which raised more than $32 million for rare-cancer research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Before we joined him to spin for a good cause, Meyers chatted with us about skin care, life after SNL, and that time he tried cupping.
How I start my mornings: Usually, first thing, one of us — either my wife or I — makes breakfast for the baby. It’s a lot of oatmeal; we’re trying to be very healthy with him from the jump. For our breakfasts, we make smoothies with almond butter, some protein powder, some dates, some chocolate nibs, some cinnamon, ice water, and I think that’s about it. I try to go to the gym Tuesdays and Thursdays before work. I don’t have time on Mondays because that’s usually the hardest day, as far as pulling together a whole weekend’s worth of news. Then I get to work by 8 a.m.
I kicked coffee after SNL, but it’s kind of seeping back in — I drink it on the weekends now. At SNL, I was drinking eight to ten cups of coffee a day. So I realized when I left that there was this chance to basically become a real person. But I started drinking this coffee substitute because I miss the ritual of coffee — Dandy Blend. It’s served its purpose, but I can’t tell you it’s as delicious as coffee.
How I sweat: I’ll run on the treadmill two or three times a week, and then I’ll go to the gym and do weights twice a week.
On taking off my stage makeup: I don’t take it off with much ceremony. I just have a hot towel and water, and I wipe it off. [Notices look of horror on Cut staff writer Lisa Ryan’s face] By the way, the face you’re making is the face my wife makes often, and I can assure you she doesn’t think I take great care of my skin. But I would contend that it looks pretty great. Yeah, so I really don’t do much skin care, other than taking off my makeup every night.
How wellness has changed for me since becoming a dad: When you have this new thing that hasn’t ever had bad stuff, you realize, oh, what goes in is going to be fueling this child. Then it makes you reflect on the fact that it’s true for you as well, even though you’ve kind of forgotten that over the years and you’ve found your own ways to eat lousy food when you’re hungry. And so it’s just nice to refocus: Okay, what we put in is what we get out.
How I unwind after filming: It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to get home after the show, and I feel like that’s nice, because you always have a bit of adrenalin after you do a show. The car ride home is a nice way for me to burn that off. I usually listen to a podcast or something. Then I get home and try to have dinner with my wife, and we go to bed really early because it’s an early start. The baby’s waking up around 6 a.m. That’s another thing that’s changed since SNL — less coffee, but I need it less because I’m getting eight hours of sleep. I usually go from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. It’s pretty lame. I used to be a real cool dude.
On being healthier since SNL: I think the thing about the SNL schedule that makes everybody sick all the time is that each day has different hours. On Tuesdays, a lot of people sleep at the office, because that’s the all-night writing night. I certainly did for 12 years. The thing about my job now is that there’s long hours, but it’s the same long hours every day. So your body learns: This is the only clock we have. We wake up here, and go to bed there. I think I’ve realized the importance of having a regular sleep schedule, as far as sickness. I get sick so much less.
The best wellness advice I’ve received: I was training for a marathon a few years ago, and I definitely overtrained and got IT-band issues, and I couldn’t finish the race. My friend who’s a doctor said, Hey man, you’re over 40 years old — I was 42 at the time, I’m not trying to bargain myself down. You have to stop training that hard for anything. So now it’s a lot more reasonable. I haven’t given up, but if I’m running a marathon, my goal time has scaled down.
The craziest wellness trend I’ve tried: I tried cupping. It’s nice because seeing the bruise makes your head think, well that obviously had an effect. Whether or not it actually did, I can’t speak to that. But it was not as bad as I thought it would be. It was pre–Michael Phelps, but he didn’t learn it from me. I’m sure he was already trying it. [Laughs] I’m a cupping trailblazer, and it was all home-cupping, I used my own cups. I’m not sure if it had the desired effects, but that was the thing, I never had a professional do it. [Laughs] But we’ve tried a lot of stuff. Not anything major, but we take vitamins. I wish I could tell you the kinds, but my wife would happily tell you that she’s the one who buys and bags them for me. But there’s nothing I wouldn’t necessarily try.
Why Cycle for Survival is so important to me: I know the founders. Dave Linn is someone I went to college with. His wife [Jennifer], who started this and is someone we lost a few years ago, was one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met. I’m so happy that her memory lives on, and how this grows every year. It’s great to come back.
On spinning: I don’t really like spinning. I’m here today for a good cause, but I don’t like collective exercise. It’s people screaming, “Let’s go!” It’s encouragement. Those are all the things I don’t like. I think I would like to spin in a dark room where no one was talking to me. I like cycling, though.
This interview has been edited and condensed.