If Colin Jost is Hosting 'SNL' Weekend Update, What Are the Other Guys Even For?
On Thursday, Saturday Night Live announced that when Seth Meyers exits the show to take over Late Night, his seat at the Weekend Update desk will be filled by head writer Colin Jost. It has nothing to do with Jost personally, but this is a completely unnecessary addition that is only going to make one of SNL's biggest problems worse.
Besides the fact that Meyer's current cohost Cecily Strong is more than capable of hosting on her own, another cast member, especially a man, is the last thing that SNL needs. Lorne Michaels seems to have panicked at the end of last season, when Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen all left the series, so he brought in six new cast members. His fears were certainly warranted, the three men appeared in almost every sketch and were responsible for many impressions and characters, but Michaels took it too far when he replaced two white men and a latino man, who played people of every race, with five white men.
Even if Michaels was thinking ahead to this February when Meyers leaves, that's too many new guys—especially since Meyers rarely appears outside of Weekend Update. Add Jost to the mix and that's six new white men in one season, plus the two new female cast members, Noel Wells and Sasheer Zamata — though her presence was greatly needed.
And Zamata has already had more to do than the five male featured players. Do you recognize any of the following names? Brooks Wheelan, Mike O'Brien, Kyle Mooney, John Milhiser, Beck Bennett. They are all on SNL right now. So why couldn't any of them fill in for Meyers if Strong had to have a male cohost? Bennett, who you might recognize from the AT&T commercial where he interviews kids, even has a newscaster look to him. Here's a closer look at the five new guys and just how little they're needed on a season where the women are slowly taking over, while the veteran men take care of the rest.
That's Bennett, also part of the comedy group Good Neighbor, in one of his AT&T commercials. He seems like a good fit for update, with the voice and suit, but instead he continues to fall to the background of various sketches. His most memorable appearances include a small, small role as Uncle Ted in the best sketch of the season, "(Do It On My) Twin Bed," and the sketch below, where he plays a CEO who acts like a baby.
Mooney might not be the best fit for a weekend update host, and would be best left to play characters who appear on the segment, like Bruce Chandling in the video above. Mooney is also part of Good Neighbor, with Bennett, and is currently on Stephan Merchant's HBO series Hello Ladies, so if Michaels realized he didn't need all these guys around, at least Mooney has some other things going on. So far most of his appearances have been in digital shorts with Bennett, the most memorable of which is the bizarrely funny "Dancing," below.
He's been an SNL writer since 2009 but is probably best known for his web series, "7 Minutes in Heaven," where he interviews celebrities like Tina Fey (above) in a closet and tries to kiss them at the end. It's easy to forget he joined the show's cast, since he's rarely seen on the show and even then usually in very small roles. Below is his one of his few main roles as, ironically enough, an aspiring news reporter.
Like the rest of the new male cast members, Milhiser comes from a respected comedy background. He's a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade and co-founded the group SeriousLunch.com. Also like the rest of the new male cast members, he hasn't seen much screen time this season. When he has, it's often impressions, like his impressive Jon Cryer, above.
Enjoy the video above, because that's probably the most you'll ever see of Brooks Wheelan. It's hard to even comment on his performance when there's so little to judge. Before joining SNL as a writer and cast member, he wrote for College Humor and did standup. Now, he's so seldomly seen on air that his role as a cast member was used as the punchline to a joke in the Family Feud sketch below. However as this season has proven, any of the new SNL men could have stood in for him. But hey, why not add another one, right Michaels?