‘SNL’ Weekend Update: Cecily Strong “Genuinely Happy” About Replacement
Last Thursday saw a uniquely surprising shift in 'SNL''s upcoming 40th anniversary season, as senior "Weekend Update" host Cecily Strong was relieved from the desk, and replaced with writer Michael Che alongside head writer Colin Jost. Many had taken the swap as an unfair slight against Strong in favor of Jost's writer seniority, though now Strong herself has spoken out on her feelings toward the "Weekend Update" shakeup.
“I don’t see this as me leaving Update, just as me being on update in a looser, goofier way that is a lot more fun for me and in a way I think I’m better at,” wrote Strong in an Instagram post to fans (one that curiously followed Strong's still-unexplained suspension from Twitter). “And now I get to do features with the very funny and wonderful Michael Che!"
While many had believed the Jost-Strong pairing that followed Seth Meyers' departure for 'Late Night' had proven notably weaker than its predecessor, most fans would agree that Strong had shown more confidence than Jost, whose delivery seemed heavily based on Meyers. Strong denied any bitter feelings over the change however, continuing "No point in being angry or sad for me for something I’m genuinely happy about! Unless you are just a person who enjoys being angry or sad. Then I guess play on, playa.”
During the initial announcement regarding Che, 'SNL' creator Lorne Michaels offered his own explanation for the shakeup:
Michael is a strong writer, and he’s really funny. It’s always difficult to make changes and make ‘Update’ different from what’s gone before...It struggled to find an identity last season, because what had come before had been pretty brilliant.
This is about a new era, what feels appropriate for now. That’s why we did a lot of combinations and tests, and this is kind of where we came out.
As we head toward the new season, the long-running NBC sketch comedy recently announced 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star Chris Pratt as its September 27 premiere host, accompanied by Ariana Grande. Comedian Sarah Silverman and Maroon 5 will follow the subsequent week, while recent rumors also placed iconic alum Bill Murray as a potential host.
We've included some of Cecily Strong and Colin Jost's highlights below, but what say you? Do you believe the "Weekend Update" change as amicable as Strong claims? How would you like to see the segment tinkered with going into the 40th season?