"We think Seth is one of the brightest, most insightful comedy writers and performers of his generation. His years at SNL's 'Weekend Update' desk, not to mention being head writer of the show for many seasons, helped him hone a topical brand of comedy that is perfect for the 'Late Night' franchise," said NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt.
The Chicago-trained comedian will be only the fourth host of "Late Night" since David Letterman launched the 11:35 p.m. (Chicago time) show in 1982. Conan O'Brien succeeded Letterman in 1993, and Fallon took over in 2009, when O'Brien left for his brief run as the "Tonight Show" host.
Lorne Michaels, Meyers' boss at "SNL," will remain the "Late Night" executive producer while also running Fallon's "Tonight Show." The date of Meyers' debut was not announced.
"I don't want to make any broad pronouncements about how the show is going to be, whether it's going to be the same or different," Meyers told the New York Times. "But I have to draw on my background in improvisational comedy and sketch comedy and stand-up comedy and try to find some mix of that."
The Times reported Meyers will remain on "SNL" this fall until leaving, probably in January, to begin his "Late Night" preparation.
He has been the rumored front-runner for the "Late Night" job since Fallon's ascension was announced
Speculation about his next move heated up last year when Meyers did several on-air tryouts for the "Live With Regis and Kelly" job that eventually went to Michael Strahan. He also hosted the ESPY Awards twice and irked Donald Trump with his cutting comments at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.
A Northwestern graduate, Meyers cut his teeth as an improv performer at Lakeview's iO Theatre and the Boom Chicago theater in Amsterdam, made up of transplanted Chicagoans. His big break came when an "SNL" scout saw him performing at the Chicago Improv Festival in 2000.
With 12 years in the "SNL" cast, he has been one of the show's most durable performers. Meyers has been the show's head writer for eight seasons and a "Weekend Update" anchor for seven.
He is scheduled to perform stand-up June 14 at the Chicago Theatre as part of the Just for Laughs festival.