On Monday’s show of Late night with Seth Meyers, Meyers told the story of the birth of his second son Axel. The beginning of the clip starts with the hilarious story of his wife, Alexi Ashe, giving birth in the lobby of their apartment. The end of the video is the story of where the middle name of their son came from.
Axel Meyers’ middle name is a maternal family name. It is the last name of Ashe’s grandparents. Her grandparents met the day after liberation. Both had been Holocaust survivors in Austria.
Seth Meyers continues with thanking them for working hard to survive, and all they had to go through for them to survive, because if Ashe’s grandparents had not survived and met each other, Meyers posits, teary eyed, that he would not have a family.
The timing of the birth of their son Axel and the thanks Meyers gives comes two days before Holocaust Remembrance Day. The whole story is quite funny and ends on a beautiful note. Oftentimes in the world of late night talk shows, the hosts are reluctant to talk about more serious things. As time goes by, it seems that audiences that watch the show crave more genuine conversations, and the hosts seem to be indulging audiences.
Talking about the Holocaust in a popular late night talk show is a risky move, especially given that talk shows are run by comedians. Meyers did a nice job of touching on the Holocaust and acknowledging the hardships that survivors go through. His remembering was not revisionist, nor universalizing. He gave thanks and honored Ashe’s family by giving the family name to his son.