Seth Meyers getting ready for part 2 of NBC's late-night transition

The Associated Press

FILE - This Jan. 19, 2014 file photo shows Seth Meyers at the NBC/Universal Winter 2014 TCA in Pasadena, Calif. Meyers' new show, "Late Night with Seth Meyers," will premiere on Monday, Feb. 24. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/File)

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"I was on my third generation of people at 'SNL' but it felt like a perfect fit for me," he said. "Other than the fact that people don't stay there forever, there was no downside. I had never gotten bored with it. You always creatively get refreshed by the new casts. But this came up and all of a sudden you realize you're the resident gray hair at 'SNL' and it makes sense to move on."

He was instantly identified in media reports as the leading candidate to replace Fallon, but Meyers didn't quite know how to take that. He remembered media reports that he was the leading candidate to be Kelly Ripa's partner in the job that went to Michael Strahan.

Then one day, when Meyers was staying at a Red Roof Inn in Iowa, there came a phone call from Michaels' office saying the ever-inscrutable late-night impresario wanted to speak to him.

"It was one of those great cryptic Lorne calls where he was saying, 'I think this will be good for you and you'll be good at it,'" Meyers recalled. "And I'm thinking, 'What? Is he offering me this job?'"

He was.

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David Bauder can be reached at dbauder@ap.org or on Twitter@dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder.

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