Mayor Mike Bloomberg brought in some serious entertainment power to really spice up his press conference this afternoon: Saturday Night Live.
Well actually, it was just Seth Meyers. But he got to use the whole stage of SNL at 30 Rockefeller Plaza! We were hoping for some Kristen Wiig or maybe even a Bloomberg-impersonating Fred Armisen, but oh well, you can’t have it all, right? And Meyers certainly managed to make it more colorful and comedic than, well, the average mayoral announcement.
Before we get to the true meat of the event — Bloomberg responding to non-stop questions about why he has not hosted SNL before — let’s quickly summarize the actual news here.
Bloomberg, standing with Katherine Oliver, the city’s Media and Entertainment Commissioner, took the stage at SNL today to announce the results of a report, which finds that the film and television industry has spent $60 billion in New York City over the past decade and that television production is at an all-time high. It was pretty much the same take-that-Hollywood message that the mayor has presented several times this year, notably at his press conference with the cast of Gossip Girl in January.
The city was announcing results of a study from the Boston Consulting Group that details the growth and economic impact of the city’s media and entertainment industries over the last decade. The economic growth is the strongest in history, the report says, noting that the industry generated direct spending of $7.1 billion in 2011, which is an increase of over $2 billion annually since 2002. Film and TV production now employ 130,000 people — an increase of 30,000 jobs since 2004, the mayor reported today.
“This past year, a record 23 primetime TV shows were shot in New York, and last year the TV shows shot in New York City earned 110 Emmy nominations,” Seth Meyers said before introducing Bloomberg. “And as the mayor says, that’s the kind of high-quality entertainment you can make when you’re not loaded down with trans fats.”
“That’s about as good as my jokes go on Saturday as well,” Meyers said.
When he first took the stage at the beginning of the press conference, Meyers said, “This feels so much like a sketch to me, I’m not gonna lie.”
“He’s gonna come from out there,” Meyers added, pointing to the back of the stage where hosts typically enter. “We told him that counts as hosting the show so afterwards please tell him that he did great.”
In the start of his speech — after he made the odd host-like entrance in front of the small crowd of reporters — Bloomberg said, “They still haven’t really asked me to host. This does not count.” The mayor suggested an “all New York edition” with Bloomberg hosting with musical guest the Naked Cowboy.
That comment was most definitely not the last we heard about the potential for Bloomberg to host.
In the question-and-answer session, reporter after reporter asked the mayor some variation on the questions of why he has not hosted yet and whether he actually wants to host, and to Seth Meyers, will Bloomberg ever get a shot?
When first asked if he would do it if offered, Bloomberg, after (somewhat jokingly) criticizing the reporter for asking a silly question, said, “I never speculate. I’ve not been offered and I don’t want to let anybody off the hook, but I do have an agent and he certainly can speak for me. Do you have any other more substantive questions?”
The reporter then asked if Bloomberg would write his own script. “Some people would like me to, and most people probably would not.”
When someone asked if he was “offended” that he had not been asked, Bloomberg audibly muttered, “Jesus Christ!” before saying, “I don’t think ‘offended’ is the right word. Here, I’ll give you a headline: ‘Deeply hurt.'”
Another reporter asked if SNL has ever even asked him to do a walk-on or something like that. Bloomberg said, “You know, I’ve done television for a lot of shows and I saw Jimmy Fallon last night, and I said, ‘You know, I made your career.’ … I’ll let Seth listen to this and he can make his own decision.”
“He’s doing great!” Meyers chimed in.
But would Meyers actually like to have Bloomberg as host, and did today’s announcement inspire any jokes?
“The performance was great,” Meyers said. “I don’t know if it inspired many jokes, I would hate for all the incentives [in the industry] to go away…I think he would make a wonderful, wonderful host. I know he’s very busy.”
Nothing is certain, though. Meyers added: “This is a non-binding commitment.”
Would the mayor like to do the Weekend Update with Seth Meyers?
“I don’t know,” Bloomberg said. “Seth, you wanna have the last word on this topic?”
“I feel like today has just been a sting operation to trick me into asking the mayor to host the show,” Meyers said.
One final silly question for Meyers: What did he think of Bloomberg’s Spanish? (The mayor does a brief summary in Spanish at every press conference — and we noted today that Meyers did seem amused at the Español portion of the news conference).
The SNL writer and actor responded: “That was the highlight for me. It reminded me that I really have to bone up on my Spanish. I do realize how much news you can miss out on, because I completely zoned out when he was speaking English.”