Jim Parsons hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time last night with musical guest Beck, but all comedy nerds were tuning in for was to see the very first Weekend Update without Seth Meyers since 2006. Are Colin Jost & Cecily Strong destined to become the new Fallon & Fey?
Colin Jost started his tenure at the Weekend Update desk by solemnly saying how “grateful and excited” he was to join the Saturday Night Live cast, and then he and Strong got to the jokes. Jost was a little bit awkward at first and kept giggling off camera, but he had good delivery on a lot of his jokes.
What Jost really seems to be getting heat for this morning, though, is the show’s writing. Last night’s episode also marked the first Saturday Night Live where Seth Meyers wasn’t leading the way behind-the-scenes in the writing room and many fans and critics noticed a marked difference in the show’s quality. Now that people know that Jost is one of the program’s head writers, he’s getting flack for some of the less popular sketches, which may or may not be fair. I don’t know about you, but I thought “Bird Bible” was a delightfully bizarre addition to the show. Kudos to whomever thought of it (and to Jost for encouraging his staff to take risks).
Interestingly, Strong really seemed to shine last night. She always seemed like the eager little sister following cool big brother Seth Meyers’s lead on Update, but the tables have already turned. Her delivery seemed more confident and she set the tone for the entire segment. Maybe the fact that she gets top billing in the intro has something to do with this?
Jost and Strong feel like they’re shooting to keep Weekend Update snarky, just like Seth Meyers and Tina Fey were wont to do. However, they both look like real-life newscasters and there could easily be a movement to push Update into news satire. In terms of their chemistry, it will be interesting to see if Strong continues to lead onscreen or if Jost will assert himself more.
Saturday Night Live returns next week with host Lena Dunham and musical guest The National.