With The Roots joining Jimmy Fallon over on The Tonight Show, Late Night will not only feature a new host, but also a new house band. And by the looks of it, Seth Meyers is keeping it in the family, tagging fellow SNL alum Fred Armisen to serve as band leader.
If you’re questioning the move, consider this: Armisen’s music career actually pre-dates his work in comedy. In the late 80s, he played drums in the punk band Trenchmouth and later served as a backing musician for the Blue Man Group. He remained heavily involved in music, even after hitting it big on Saturday Night Live, contributing to Les Sevy Fav’s 2007 album Let’s Stay Friends and performing live with Joanna Newsom in 2011.
On SNL, he created the character Ian Rubbish, a spoof of Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten, and has since released music under the moniker. He’ll also provide Meyers with one absurd rolodex of potential music guests, as everyone from Eddie Vedder to Jack White to St. Vincent has appeared on his IFC program Portlandia.
So, yeah, as ridiculous as it sounds, Armisen leading the new Late Night band actually makes a lot of sense. Plus, anyone want to take bets on how long it takes Armisen to appear in a sketch?
According to Meyers’ Twitter account, Armisen “will curate and lead the band, and continue to run it even when he’s off shooting Portlandia.” Late Night With Seth Meyers officially premieres Monday, February 24th.
Update: As Stereogum points out, the band also appears to include Les Savy Fav members Seth Jabour and Syd Butler, Eli Janney of Girls Against Boys, and Kim Thompson, whose previously worked with Beyoncé.
Here’s a selection of Armisen’s best musical moments: