Cecily Strong is out as Colin Jost’s co-host on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update and Michael Che is reportedly in. According to the New York Times, the show’s shakeups haven’t ended as the 40th season approaches, as Lorne Michaels personally selected Che to replace Strong because of the 31-year old comedian’s strong relationship with Jost behind-the-scenes. The decision comes as the result of several weeks of testing different combinations of the show’s comedians and personalities, and Michaels ultimately decided that Jost and Che were best for Weekend Update moving forward.
“Michael is a strong writer, and he’s really funny,” Mr. Michaels said. “It’s always difficult to make changes and make ‘Update’ different from what’s gone before.”
“This is about a new era, what feels appropriate for now,” Mr. Michaels said. “That’s why we did a lot of combinations and tests, and this is kind of where we came out.” (via the New York Times)
A lot of people might argue that Strong carried the host pairing once Jost replaced Seth Meyers, especially since Jost’s creepy curling lip smirk was pretty distracting, but this isn’t the worst news in the world. While the show explores a new chemistry with two men behind the Weekend Update desk for the first time in the show’s history, Michaels believes that Strong will be better served playing a greater role in more sketches. If anything, that at least means that we’ll get to enjoy the return of The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party.
Meanwhile, if Che’s name isn’t ringing a bell, he has been appearing as a correspondent on The Daily Show since June, while writing for SNL since 2013.