Seth Meyers Reveals How a Near-Panic Attack Led to ‘Day Drinking’

On Tuesday morning, NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers celebrated 10 years on the air with a “brief” oral history that was released on YouTube.

About halfway through the 50-minute video, Meyers recounts the origin story of one of the show’s most popular segments, “Day Drinking,” in which Meyers and his guest head to a local bar and throw back a few drinks on NBC’s dime.

It all goes back to St. Patrick’s Day…

In the early days of the show, Meyers used to tape field pieces outside of Studio 8G, and one St. Patrick’s Day, they wound up at a local Irish bar in New York City.

Naturally, Meyers considers himself to be pretty good at talking to people, but he began to freak out on this particular assignment because the writer in him feared having to rely on crowds to be funny, or at least interesting enough to be on television.

It was “as close as I’ve ever had to a panic attack,” confessed Meyers.

As it turns out, the more Meyers drank, the more his panic receded.

“This is not something a kid should listen to,” Meyers and his staff interjected. “Skip past this part.”

As it turns out, “If you’re having trouble talking to people, have a couple drinks,” Meyers mutters under his breath.

The host and his producers said that the mini panic attack didn’t directly lead to “Day Drinking” but you could “see the seeds,” as Meyers proved that day that he could “drink a lot and still be coherent.”

The very first “Day Drinking” segment was intended as a one-off that saw Meyers and his brother Josh get sloshed on camera. It aired in June of 2015.

Interestingly enough, it was Parks & Recreation star Retta who told Meyers that he should make “Day Drinking” a recurring segment with celebrities, offering to be its first brave guest.

Since then, Meyers has gone day drinking with a long list of high-profile figures, including Rihanna, Dua Lipa, Paul Rudd, and Lizzo.

Meyers concluded by suggesting that “the amount of A-listers who want to day drink right now” is wild.

“The only thing stopping it is my liver,” said Meyers.

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