Watch Seth Meyers’ Late Night Players Act Out the New Yorker’s Famous Cartoons

Along with its whim­si­cal, hand-drawn cov­ers and its sur­pris­ing­ly read­able arti­cles on unlike­ly sub­jects, like nick­el-min­ing, The New York­er mag­a­zine is known for its car­toons – sin­gle pan­el doo­dles that can be either wry com­men­taries on our cul­ture or, as a famous Sein­feld episode point­ed out, utter­ly inscrutable.

Trans­lat­ing the car­toons to tele­vi­sion seems a task doomed to fail­ure but Seth Mey­ers, the new­ly-installed host of Late Night, man­aged suc­cess­ful­ly to do just that. The show’s “the­ater group-in-res­i­dence, the late night play­ers” reen­act­ed some of the magazine’s more famous recent car­toons. Many of the magazine’s most endur­ing car­toon set ups are rep­re­sent­ed – a bar, a wed­ding recep­tion and, of course, a desert­ed island.

Pro­vid­ing dead­pan com­men­tary on the per­for­mances is The New York­er’s edi­tor-in-chief David Rem­nick. When select­ing car­toons for the mag­a­zine, he notes, the pri­ma­ry cri­te­ria is that they “should be fun­ny.” Check it out above.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

New York­er Car­toon Edi­tor Bob Mankoff Reveals the Secret of a Suc­cess­ful New York­er Car­toon

Improv with New York­er Car­toon­ists

Einstein’s Rel­a­tiv­i­ty: An Ani­mat­ed New York­er Car­toon

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow.

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