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Seth Meyers Live in Evanston

Alumnus and 'Saturday Night Live' star brings laughs to Homecoming

October 24, 2011 | by Matt Paolelli

Television viewers were stuck with a “Saturday Night Live” rerun this weekend, but Northwestern students and returning alumni got a live “Weekend Update” from Seth Meyers (Communication ’96), when he returned to campus Friday to serve as grand marshal of the 2011 Homecoming Parade.

Meyers joined student groups, the football team, the Wildcat Marching Band (NUMB), the NUMB alumni band and others in a north-to-south procession down Sheridan Road, culminating in a pep rally on Deering Meadow. The rally featured performances by NUMB and WildPride, as well as remarks from University President Morton Schapiro and head football coach Pat Fitzgerald.

But Meyers stole the show.

Introduced by accomplished director and fellow alumnus Garry Marshall (Medill ’56), Meyers joked that perhaps Northwestern should change the honorary title bestowed upon its Homecoming parade leader.

“I think ‘grand marshal’ is a perfectly fine title for every other school in this country, but I really think you should just start calling yours the ‘Garry Marshall,’” he said. “So I’m going to tell everyone that I went back to Northwestern to be this year’s ‘Garry Marshall.’”

Meyers -- celebrating his 15-year reunion -- briefly reminisced about his time as a student, which was highlighted by the football team’s trip to the 1996 Rose Bowl during his senior year. He said he followed the team very closely and deftly rattled off the outcome of each of Northwestern’s games played during the 1995 football season.

“And then they went to the Rose Bowl, and I TiVo-ed it,” he joked. “I haven’t watched it yet -- no spoilers.”

All kidding aside, Meyers said he is proud of his Northwestern heritage and the football team’s more recent successes.

“It was so great to go to a school as good as Northwestern and have a football team that good,” he said. “And it’s been so exciting under the Fitzgerald era to have this team be this good and this competitive.”

Meyers expressed his hopes for a Northwestern victory against Penn State at Saturday’s homecoming game -- hopes that were ultimately dashed in a 34-24 defeat -- and poked fun at the age difference between the two teams’ head coaches.

“With Joe Paterno versus Pat Fitzgerald, it’s the largest gap in age ever between two football coaches,” he said. “It’s 155 years.”

Meyers ended the pep rally by crowning the winners of the Homecoming Court competition. Communication senior Janna Kaplan won Homecoming Queen, and Weinberg senior Andrew Duble was crowned Homecoming King.

“Congratulations,” Meyers said. “I’ve always dreamed of putting a weird purple crown on a dude’s head.”

Topics: People