In case it wasn’t clear from their episode of Day Drinking that aired last week, Seth Meyers is obsessed with Rihanna. As I mentioned in my post about the segment, it was a perfect fit, both for his show and her brand. Turns out, as Seth tells Variety in an interview about how it all came together, he’s been trying to get Rihanna on Late Night for a long time – what we saw on Thursday took over two years of work work work work work. Sorry. That was corny but it’s also what gets us off here at LaineyGossip: the WORK it takes to make something happen. 

Part of that work, given Rihanna’s schedule, was to NOT work for a day. After all, this is Rihanna. She liked the idea so she sent them her availability and, naturally, it’s not like Seth could have gone on to tape a regular episode after spending three hours day drinking with Rihanna. Typically they shoot Day Drinking on a day when Seth isn’t scheduled to shoot later but this was not one of those days.

“I think we knew for about six weeks. She gave us a date, and historically when we’ve done “Day Drinking” it’s been on a day without a show, because it goes without saying that it would be impossible to do a show that night. So we actually had to go to the network and say, “hey, we want to show a mid-week rerun,” which we never do, “in order to do Day Drinking with Rihanna.” And it was a very speedy approval from NBC.

I do want to point out that this was only the second time we’ve had to cancel a show, and the other was the birth of my first son. For the birth of my second son, I just went to work the next day. So the order goes, my first son, Rihanna, my second son.”

Also, the actual format of the show changed too to accommodate Rihanna:

“We did have to drop the monologue for the first time in a while…maybe the first time since the 2016 election?! So it was historic.”

Worth it, non? 

You don’t make adjustments like this for just anyone. But you certainly make them for a superstar – there are few of them, and Rihanna + Day Drinking 100% qualifies. Because you’re asking for at least three hours of her time, most of it on camera. This isn’t just an interview, it’s a mega exclusive opportunity. And the thing with Rihanna is she’s not going to show up, knowing she’s on camera for that long, and not deliver, you know? You’ve seen the segment, clearly she brought it. She came to have fun. And, according to Seth, she was fun throughout. This is not an entirely objective perspective, obviously. He’s a fanboy, he wants her to come back, but also, if it wasn’t worth it, he wouldn’t have to be giving interviews about it in the hopes of setting up the next Rihanna appearance. Which is exactly what he’s doing at the end, with his final answer about who else he wants to day drink with:

“I think I just want to bask in this for a little bit longer, you know? I don’t want Rih to think I’m just moving on that quickly.”

Smart answer, not just because he wants to respect Rihanna but because Day Drinking, as I noted last week, is still special. There haven’t been very many of them, Rihanna is by far the biggest get – and it’s probably going to be a challenge to top her anyway – and it’s not overplayed at this point like Carpool Karaoke. 

Now that Rihanna’s done it though, well, many others might be willing to. For Seth and his producers then, it’s a win either way. 

Attached – Rihanna at the BET Awards last night. She was there to present to Mary J Blige. That post is coming up soon. Here I want to talk about how much fun Rihanna was having at the event, in the audience, grooving along to the performances, especially when Mary and Lizzo were on stage:

Rihanna is selective about her time and still accessible in that when she agrees to spend her time on something, she makes herself known. All of the recent appearances she’s made in support of Fenty, and by promotional tour standards, it’s not a lot, have been strategically selected to highlight the brand message. Day Drinking is very much in line with who we see Rihanna, as are the few print interviews she’s done including The New York Times and her recent interview in Interview with her friend Sarah Paulson. I’m not a fan of celebrities interviewing celebrities but this one was better than most because their friendship sounds like it consists of all the ways Rihanna indulges Sarah for being a goof. You know how Seth, at the end of Day Drinking, sings Rihanna songs to Rihanna? Sarah does the same, kind of. Except she makes up her own Rihanna songs both to celebrate and annoy Rihanna and when you’re reading it, you’d give anything to SEE Rihanna’s reaction to Sarah and not just read it. 

And all of this goes back to Rihanna, your stylist, your musical director, your friend…but not really, which is exactly the right vibe to hit.

Also this photo made me laugh: