Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
The Meyers family
Photo: Lloyd Bishop/NBC

Look, getting your whole family together for a big holiday meal to-do can be challenging. You know, what with the travel, and preparations, and hard-suppressed resentments, and the hair-trigger minefield of national politics just guaranteed to send that one drunk uncle off on a Trump-happy rant about “those people.” Or maybe everyone’s super-nice, considerate, and all on the same page, socially—congratulations on living in imaginary unicorn land!

Well, for those people nursing emotional or actual hangovers from a Thanksgiving food-massacre of forced grinning and frequent cleansing smoke/cry breaks, there’s always Seth Meyers and the Meyers family. There’s mom Hilary, dad Larry, and younger brother and MadTV to Seth’s SNL Josh, all gathering on Seth’s Late Night Thanksgiving stage to swap embarrassing stories about Seth’s childhood headgear, show clips of Seth’s kids in turkey costumes and Josh being eaten by a camel, goad Seth’s mom into telling some risqué jokes, play some Pictionary, and generally be the sort of warm and happy (seeming) people you dream about when your parents are glaring at each other whenever the conversation turns to that one cousin. You know the one.


And, sure, Meyers (Seth) has plenty of relaxing-looking cocktails for everyone, and there’s the presumed allure of TV residuals and camera-hogging to smooth out any rumbling discontent in the old Meyers household, but damned if this comfy holiday tradition isn’t genuinely sweet and silly enough to provide a tonic to everyone whose after-dinner emotional state could charitably be described as “frazzled.” The world—as Meyers routinely outlines with dark comic clarity most nights—is a stressful mess of corruption, debased discourse, and reality show bigot-clowns tweeting out photoshopped glamour shots of themselves to distract from the ongoing impeachment hearings into how brazenly he’s turning the United States into a farcical simulacrum of a banana republic run by a vainglorious, racist lunatic. But, for one night a year at least, it’s sort of nice to bask in the pleasantly innocuous bonding of an aging white well-to-do family who seemingly hasn’t curdled into pinched, conservative misery. Plus, there are probably some prime leftovers in the fridge. See, it’s all gonna be ooooo-kay.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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