If you agree that Donald Trump is one of the worst things to ever happen to comedy, then your priority when you fire up Netflix to watch a stand-up special probably isn’t a bunch of Trump jokes. Seth Meyers has decided to riff on this in a creative way for his debut Netflix special, Lobby Baby, taking a cue from the choose-your-own-adventure technology of Bandersnatch to allow viewers the option to skip over his politics and Trump material entirely.
About 40 minutes into Lobby Baby (which premieres today), Meyers, before shifting to a series of political jokes, tells the audience that he’s presenting the next portion of his set a little differently to his Netflix viewers. “So I want to talk about politics for a second, but I also know there are people who don’t like jokes about politics. And because this is on Netflix, it presents us with a unique opportunity,” he tells the crowd. “We’re gonna have an option for people watching at home to skip politics. There will be a box right down there, and they can just click that, and it will take them to the next moment of the show when it’s not about politics.” After that, the “Skip Politics” button appears at the bottom-right corner of the screen and remains there until just after the 47-minute mark, but first, Meyers preps those who didn’t skip for what’s about to happen next: “We’re gonna have the people who left us join us again, but when they come back, I want them to hear me say something that will make them curious to go back and watch it.” After the “Skip Politics” button disappears, Meyers welcomes back the politics-skippers with a tease: “So I guess my point is, I misjudged him, and I do think he’s a very good president. And hopefully, based on how I laid it out, you agree with me too.”
“It was the idea of seeing Bandersnatch and realizing, Oh, that’s a thing you can do on a platform like this,” Meyers tells Vulture on his choice to include the button in the special. He adds that he’s “aware of the risk of talking about something unique to the moment for a special that’s ideally going to live on for a while, but I also didn’t want to do a special in 2019 that didn’t mention the moment we’re living through.” In any case, the button is not meant to be taken seriously, and Meyers says he added it as “a joking response to those who would complain about politics in their comedy.” Or, as he explained it to CNN, “I think, look, sometimes at a fancy restaurant they’ll put parsley on your plate and you’ll think, Well, that’s a nice touch,” he said, “but you’re not going to eat the parsley.”