Saturday Night Live head writer Colin Jost this week made his debut as coanchor of the NBC sketch series’ “Weekend Update” segment, alongside second-year cast member/freshman Updater Cecily Strong. What was your first impression of the new twosome?
Jost is the third consecutive head writer to serve as a Weekend Update news reader, following Seth Meyers (who bid SNL adieu on Feb. 1 to go take over Late Night) and Tina Fey. (In that capacity, he has contributed to penning such recurring WU bits as Drunk Uncle and Strong’s The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party.)
Going into this episode, I was a bit curious: Would Strong get to intro the segment, seeing as she boasts even a little seniority at the news desk? But while she got top billing during Weekend Update’s snazzy new credits, Jost was first to speak/welcome the audience. He then went on to sincerely express his appreciation for the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Seth, Amy, Tina, Chevy, Jane at al.
Strong seemed to get the lion’s share of this week’s material, and the better/longer of the interactions with the guests (Jebidiah Atkinson aka David Spade in old-timey clothes, versus Shaq and Barkley). The extremely genial, Sam Page-like Jost did fine for his first foray, but moving forward his voice needs to deliver his readings with greater urgency and vibrancy, a little less matter-of-factly. (He could also be heard chuckling at material when the camera was on Strong, which was mildly distracting.)