Che, a popular stand-up comedian, joined the SNL writer's staff in 2013 and has been appearing as a correspondent on The Daily Show since June, though he's now leaving the Comedy Central series to focus on SNL. "I wanna thank Jon [Stewart] & the entire @TheDailyShow staff for letting me do this," he tweeted. "I had a FANTASTIC time there. 1st class all the way."
According to the Times, creator Lorne Michaels tried out "a number of different combinations" before deciding Che was a better partner for Colin Jost, who joined Strong at the "Weekend Update" desk midway through last season. "Michael is a strong writer, and he's really funny," Michaels said. "It's always difficult to make changes and make 'Update' different from what's gone before."
"It struggled to find an identity last season," he continued. "Because what had come before had been pretty brilliant."
Strong first joined Seth Meyers at the desk in 2013. Jost was then brought in to co-anchor in March following Meyers' departure for Late Night. But the longtime SNL writer struggled in the new position and by the season's end he had still not found his footing (or even the right camera, sometimes), making Michaels' decision to replace Strong and not Jost a bit baffling.
Michaels' choice also means that for the first time in SNL's history, "Weekend Update" will feature two male anchors (the series began featuring duel anchors in 2000, with every pairing featuring one woman and one man except for the years Tina Fey and Amy Poehler co-anchored together).
"This is about a new era, what feels appropriate for now," he continued. "That's why we did a lot of combinations and tests, and this is kind of where we came out."
However, Michaels insisted that he still thinks of Strong as one of the show's best players and that without her "Weekend Update" responsibilities, she can appear more frequently in sketches, a move the comedienne allegedly asked for.
So to sum up: We'll allegedly be getting more Strong, which is good. We'll also get Michael Che, which is good too. But we'll still have to deal with Colin Jost, which is not good.
Saturday Night Live returns Sept. 27 at 11:30/10:30c with host Chris Pratt and musical guest Ariana Grande.
What do you think of the "Weekend Update" shake-up?
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