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Opinion: ‘Saturday Night Live’ news desk gets an update, Colin Jost fits new seat

January 30, 2014

poedtke.2@osu.edu
Seth Meyers attended the Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden in New York. On Jan. 23 it was announced that Meyers would leave "Weekend Update." Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Seth Meyers at The Concert for Sandy Relief in New York Dec. 12. Lorne Michaels announced Jan. 23 that ‘Saturday Night Live’s’ Seth Meyers would be replaced by Colin Jost as co-anchor on ‘Weekend Update.’
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Creator and executive producer of “Saturday Night Live” Lorne Michaels announced Jan. 23 that the show’s head writer, Colin Jost, would be replacing Seth Meyers as co-anchor of “Weekend Update.” The sketch outlines the past week’s biggest news stories, and parodies each one with strategic and hilarious one-liners.

A former head writer himself, Meyers is leaving the “Weekend Update” desk after his final show Saturday to succeed Jimmy Fallon as host of NBC’s “Late Night” as Fallon moves on to “The Tonight Show.” Meyers has been charming audiences with his quick wit and impeccable delivery at the news desk since 2006.

Initially, Meyers shared the desk with co-anchor Amy Poehler. The two won audiences over with their brilliantly simple segment “Really!? With Seth and Amy.” The segment proved ridiculous, and all the anchors had to do was sarcastically exclaim “Really!?” and move on.

When Poehler left the show in 2008, Meyers went on as the solo anchor for “Weekend Update,” with occasional visits from “SNL” veterans like Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon. In September, cast member Cecily Strong joined Meyers as co-anchor.

Jost is set to  join co-anchor Strong who has been an “SNL” cast member since 2012.

Jost might not be a household name just yet but he has been a major player behind the scenes at “SNL” for quite some time. He graduated from Harvard University in 2004 and was hired by “SNL” a year later, according to the Washington Post. Jost won a Peabody Award in 2009 and was named the show’s head writer in 2012. The 31-year-old has an impressive résumé but he certainly has some big shoes to fill.

After watching his 2012 stand-up performance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” it is clear that Jost is incredibly talented and capable of connecting with his audience.

It’s no secret that the sketch comedy show has been grappling with poor ratings and reviews in recent seasons and many critics have blamed weak writing. Despite these struggles, “Weekend Update” has managed to remain my favorite part of the show. It has always intrigued me how “Weekend Update” anchors, both past and present, have mastered the art of keeping a straight face while saying the most outlandish things.

I can’t help but reminisce on the glory days when comedic dream team Fey and Poehler anchored the fake news sketch. As we witnessed once again at this year’s Golden Globes, the pair is simply a match made in heaven.

We’ll find out how co-anchors Jost and Strong manage when they make their official debut March 1.


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