- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Seth Meyers is no stranger to live television. For years he anchored “Weekend Update” on “Saturday Night Live.”

Nor is playing host on TV an alien experience. Since February, he has occupied NBC’s “Late Night” host chair.

So Meyers isn’t sweating his new role as master of ceremonies when “The Prime-Time Emmy Awards” airs Monday at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC.

“Butterflies tend to go away with the first laugh,” he said brightly, “so you try to make that happen as early as you can.”

Speaking by phone from Los Angeles, where he was prepping for Emmy night, he reported, “We’ve written our first pack of jokes. But the best stuff will come later in the week.

“The monologue is the biggest thing I do,” he went on, “but they are leaving spots during the telecast where I can comment on things that are happening, and if we come up with something silly this week, we don’t have to go hat-in-hand and ask for a minute here, 90 seconds there. It’s built into the program for us.”

Even so, Meyers said he will honor an Emmys tradition of front-loading the program with comedy, when those gathered at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles are most likely to embrace it.

“The longer the night goes, the less joy there is in the room, because by then a number of people have lost,” Meyers noted. “If it was the Golden Globes and the people were drinking, maybe they’d care less. But here, the host and the program are standing between them and the bar.”

Meyers is a TV veteran, but he said he also remains a TV fan.

“Even if I wasn’t in television right now, I would be watching the Emmys, mostly because of how good TV is right now,” he said. “I was really excited when the nominations came out, because most of them are shows that I watch.”

In a separate conversation, Emmycast producer Don Mischer praised Meyers’ ease on live TV and skill at thinking funny on his feet.

“But more than anything, he loves television,” Mischer agreed. “He really, really wanted to do this and he has really rolled up his sleeves. That’s what makes a difference.”

Like most viewers, Meyers has his favorites among the nominees.

In particular, he’s rooting for Amy Poehler, with whom he used to share the “Weekend Update” anchor desk. Poehler, who previously has been up for 10 Emmys but never won, is nominated this year as best actress for her NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”

“But here’s the good news,” said Meyers, surely wearing a grin: “No matter which way it goes, I’m VERY confident she’s going to be OK.

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