Cecily Strong Weekend Update

Dear SNL: Please Bring Cecily Strong Back to Weekend Update

TV-MAWeekend Update has been a shell of its former self since Cecily Strong was dropped as co-anchor.

Full disclosure: I’m a huge Strong fan and was not happy when, back in 2014, the woefully underrated comedienne got booted as Colin Jost’s sparring partner and replaced with newbie cast member Michael Che. Although SNL deserved props for adding via Che some much-needed diversity to the anchor desk (and the show overall), it was perplexing to me that it was Strong who was forced to step down versus the unremarkable Jost.

But I kept an open mind, in part because Strong herself wasn’t the least bit bent out of shape about her ouster. “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,” she said at the time. “And now I get to do features with the very funny and wonderful Michael Che! 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.”

I have no idea if Strong is still happy, but I’m less than. Two-plus seasons into the Jost/Che pairing, I’m declaring the experiment a failure. Jost continues to be a poor man’s Seth Meyers, and Che still seems uncomfortable behind the anchor desk. And both guys’ recent efforts to inject some commentary into the proceedings have lacked the kind of passion needed to justify their existence. Basically, they seem bored. Or maybe I’m just bored.

Given the craziness happening in the world and the copious Weekend Update material that craziness is generating, SNL needs to have a Seth/Amy- or Seth Meyers/Tina-level A-team in place to do the headlines justice. And while reinstalling Strong wouldn’t necessarily mark a return to those peak Update years, it would certainly bring us closer than we are now.

I feel very uncomfortable advocating for the ouster of one of SNL‘s few minority voices, so my suggestion to Lorne Michaels is to either pair Strong with Che and allow Jost to focus all of his efforts on his other job as an SNL writer (where he’s admittedly doing a bang-up job of late), or have Che and Jost alternate weeks with Strong. In any case, Strong needs to be in the mix again, and preferably before this happens.

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62 Comments
  1. AJ says:

    Preach MA 🙌🏽

  2. Morgan says:

    Both Jost and Che are problems. I wouldn’t mind seeing Sasheer Zamata behind the desk; they’re not using her enough elsewhere anyway. My main problem with Jost and Che is that sitting behind that desk, they give off the impression that they’re somehow above it. Weekend Update has a history of being a bright spot, even when the rest of SNL is subpar. With Che and Jost, it has no bite whatsoever.

    • Klm says:

      I agree. They both seem like they think they are above it all. It’s getting worse by the week, too. These two have had long enough. Time to try a new pair behind the desk.

    • DL says:

      I at least think Che can be biting and topical in the midst of being smarmy. Jost, not so much. So I’d be perfectly okay with Che staying on, over throwing in a wild card we’re unfamiliar with in that role. But yeah, if Lorne would swap out Jost for Strong, Weekend Update would be back in business, in my opinion.

    • readenreply says:

      They seem to not know the difference between snarky and snotty.

    • Donna says:

      I thought about Sasheer Zamata too for the same reason especially after hearing some of her performances outside of SNL.

  3. Vfan says:

    Agree 100%. I felt like she should’ve replaced Jost back then and still do. Che is better than Jost and diversity would be nice. The only reason they have to keep him is for Leslie Jones to hit on him during her segments.

  4. Lauren says:

    They should poach some talent from the Daily Show. Roy Blount Jr. is amazing. I’m not sure it’s worth it to go backwards to someone they’ve already tried. Cecily wasn’t *that* good. I prefer her character work anyways.

  5. Robert Pecorino says:

    Amen!!

  6. Phillip says:

    I like Jost, not so much Che. I agree that Che looks uncomfortable and it makes me uncomfortable.

  7. Baddog says:

    You are kidding aren’t you? She was terrible on it and is turning into more of a one note performer now. She can’t even play someone different in a dam movie! And Drunk Girl at Party was the best she has ever done. Her Melania is horrible!

    • Jodi says:

      Agree, though I liked Melaniade.

      I love Jost and Che, but hate that it’s so Trunp focused. I miss hearing about random small town news story bits.

      Cecile is overused. She’s the new female Taran Killam – every sketch.

      Can your next plea be how Sasheer needs way more screen time, please?

  8. Brock Hard says:

    Jost is just the worst, and why does Che keep gripping that pencil like it’s a service animal?

  9. Patrick says:

    Disagree strongly. WU is great

    • dan says:

      Although I agree that Update has been better this year, last week’s episode was terrible. The stories/jokes weren’t funny and there was a problem with timing and reading the teleprompter. It was uncomfortable trying to figure out what was planned and what was a mistake.

    • marge201 says:

      Hear hear!

  10. Jacques says:

    I like both Che and Jost, but it’s very clear Update isn’t working. Jost is probably the weak link of the two. That said, Update wasn’t working with Cecily Strong, either. The smart move would be to go outside and completely recast it. Second best would be to keep Che and pair him with someone new.

  11. abaker20 says:

    I love the idea of having the A-Team of WU on but maybe one team does one week and the other another and switch from that for how many weeks they’re on.

  12. Stacy says:

    I agree! I remember the exact announcement you quoted when she said she was happy and that she thought she was better at other things. I was so bummed, because I certainly thought she was the best part of weekend update.

  13. webly3 says:

    Colin Jost truly is a poor man’s Seth Meyers, and I’m honestly not a fan of Michael Che. I don’t think adding Cecily Strong would solve the problem. I think we just need a new Weekend Update team or just something to spice it up. There definitely should be a change.

  14. Kay says:

    What about Aidy Bryant? She might be able to pull it off

  15. Luis Roman says:

    I liked her as an Update anchor, but I liked her best as the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Stated a Conversation With at a Party

  16. Kevin says:

    Would be happy if Cecily Strong comes back to the Weekend Update desk. Disappointed that SNL let her go on the anchors’ desk to continue her work in sketches. I’m OK with Jost and Che but at least they could find someone to co-anchor with Strong.

  17. KatsMom says:

    As much as I love Cecily, I never cared for her as a WU anchor. She always seemed kind of uncomfortable with it.

  18. danoregon says:

    I disagree. You can find preachy, outraged comics commenting on news shows everywhere on the dial. SNL’s understated team actually works, because of their detached bemusement.
    Who they need to bring back is Drunk Uncle (I figure he’s been busy working on the Trump campaign and is now in some mid-level job in the Trump Administration). He deserves a decent send-off at least.

  19. T.W.S.S. says:

    When I started watching SNL regularly (about two seasons ago), Cecily was my favourite, along with Kate. But I feel she’s been underused lately.

  20. Matt Racine says:

    love jost, she could replace che.

  21. Raftrap says:

    I couldn’t agree more on the Colin and Michael thing, they are sadly terrible on Update, and the reason they are still around is beyond me, on the other hand while I do love Cecily Strong she’s a very powerful character player and the last time she was on Update she was featured less and less on the rest of the show which frankly would be bad business, I say just hire new people for update or go the crazy route and put Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones on the desk.

  22. Sue says:

    Michael Che is really annoying. All he does is laugh in the middle of his news stories and it’s not even that funny. I have no idea why he is on the anchor desk or what it is he’s actually laughing about. Totally unfunny. They should try and put Sasheer behind the anchor desk to see what she can do. They don’t use her enough at all on the show.

  23. Concerned Citizen says:

    Boo! Nope. No thanks. Nooooo.

    Admittedly, WU isn’t great now (certainly not as good as Fey/Pohler/Meyers), but Cecily Strong was definitely a Weak point. Keep Jost/Che or hire from outside. Despite their stronger ratings, this show could use a bit of a shakeup.

  24. peterwdawson says:

    Still find it weird how uncomfortable Che is. Maybe he’s better not being live?

    Jost has always felt just incredibly wooden and stiff, like a guy trying to be Seth Meyers but just not able to match that level of self-bemusement and and general animation.

  25. Guy says:

    For over 10 years, from the start of the Tina/Jimmy pairing through Seth Myers, Weekend Update was a bright spot. Even in a bad episode of SNL, you could count on WU to land some excellent zingers because everyone behind that desk knew how to deliver a punchline. Now, with Jost and Che, it’s terrible. It’s easily the worst part of SNL now, sometimes unwatchable. While Jost isn’t exactly great, Che is the bigger problem. He has no comic timing behind the desk whatsoever. Let’s forget about forced diversity for a second and tell it like it is. He needs to go.

  26. dsrbroadway says:

    Sorry but no. Strong wasn’t that great as an anchor, and the segment is so much better served by the characters she rolls in with. If they really need a co-anchor, maybe try Sasheer Zamata. It would bring a female sensibility, and most weeks, she has literally nothing else to do.

  27. Paula Allen says:

    “The unremarkable Jost.”
    Truer words.

  28. EM says:

    Absolutely yes! Never understood why she was replaced but Jost was left to anchor. Plus he’s never improved.

  29. Thanks says:

    What a clown! Jost and Che are such a failure that SNL is spinning off Weekend Update. LOL

  30. Bruce Wayne says:

    Jost I said flat out terrible. Che, on the other hand, is pretty funny. Celtic you should be brought back and paired with Che.

  31. btm says:

    All three of them never did much for me on Weekend Update, to be honest. I think the answer to the segment’s woes is not yet in-house.

  32. I didn’t even read the full article yet – I WILL, MA, I PROMISE!! – and I already agree with every single word. #BringBackCecily.

  33. BOY, do I miss it when Seth and Tina were writers for SNL – WU jokes were GREAT back then…

  34. Pat says:

    Jane Curtin was the all-time best “Weekend Update” host!

  35. thomaskdean says:

    I agree that Jost and Che leave a lot to be desired, and I’d love to shakeup on WU. But I don’t want Cecily Strong back if it means her appearances in other sketches would decline or disappear (generally, WU anchors do only that on-screen). While Strong is often used as a utility player, she often shines when she’s allowed to in sketches, and her “Girl You Don’t Want to Talk to at a Party” (or whatever that name is) character would no longer be able to be on update. And, honestly, I didn’t think she was all that great on WU when she was on–her great talents lie elsewhere.

  36. Haddy says:

    I’d rather see Cecily Strong do sketches than just do the Weekend Update. She’s too good to stay behind that desk.

  37. crazycrab58 says:

    I could not agree more. I like Michael Che, so keep him as a cast member, or include him in filmed pieces, but reading the news is not his strong suit, to put it charitably.

  38. Celi says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize I was in the minority here. I actually really like Michael Che and Colin Jost now. At first, I couldn’t stand them but they’ve both grown on me. I love their understated approach. Besides, if we lost Jost, we would lose Leslie Jones making him turn beet red.

    • I was shocked as well. I really like Colin and Michael doing WU. I think the awkwardness is just a part of the segment. If you look back over the years – it happened during each run. I think they’re both rather charming and they have some strengths that Cecily just didn’t have. She’s great as a sketch performer though. I’d hate to see her move away from that.

  39. Fan says:

    Cecily and Kate..absolutely

  40. marge201 says:

    I totally love Jost and Che. Jost is soooooo adorable and what is funnier and greater than Leslie Jones fawning over him? Che, I really like his whole style and shtick. I say keep Weekend Update just as is. i think it’s fabulous!

  41. Carmela Infanti says:

    Totally agree with you. Weekend Update is just flat with Jost and Che on the desk. While the rest of SNL has really stepped it up, this segment gets worse each week. Come on Lorne, fix this. Also, please let Rpsie O’Donnell portray Steve Bannon. That would be one funny, one finger salute to #45.

  42. lcagee says:

    Michael che is not funny. Colin jost is not funny. They are both annoying. Cecily strong is funny and not annoying.

  43. Debb says:

    I think what gets me is that, in 2017, there are 2 male co-hosts on SNL Weekend Update. Need more diversity than that. I liked Cicely as a co-host. Agree about Leslie doing her one-note yelling appearances on the desk, too. Gotta admit, I miss me some of former castmember Bill Hader’s Stefon and his hilarious updates at the desk, too. ;)