New anchor proves promising

March 3, 2014 6:16 AMComments Off

Opinion by Stephanie Kocer

Stephanie Kocer Columnist-w800-h800This past weekend was a big deal for me. The Oscars happened, which was great, but more importantly, “Saturday Night Live” finally had its first show with new “Weekend Update” anchor Colin Jost.

Jost is a pretty big deal, and not just because he’s taking over one of the most coveted positions in comedy.

He graduated from Harvard University and was hired right out of college to write for the late-night comedy show.

He was named head writer of the show in 2012, which makes him another successor in the long line of head writers who have managed to go from behind the scenes to the “Update” desk (Tina Fey and Seth Meyers included).

There has been a lot of criticism in the last month after SNL’s long-time producer and creator Lorne Michaels announced that Jost would take over the “Update” desk.

Things have been pretty shaking for the show since it had to hire an African-American female cast member after media controversy that the show is basically only a place for white male comedians.

People have also been annoyed with SNL because some say it isn’t fair that the show didn’t give Cecily Strong, who started “Update” in September, a chance to do the job on her own. It hasn’t been since Jane Curtin in the 70s that a woman worked the desk on her own.

I understand that argument, but truthfully, I hate having only one anchor. As an SNL super fan, it was always hard to watch Meyers do “Update” on his own. When a joke didn’t work out quite right, Meyers would just sit there awkwardly smiling until the moment passed, and he could move on to his next punch line.

With two people at the desk, it is easier to bounce jokes off of each other and turn to the other person when you need help.

Take Jost’s debut Saturday night, for example. There were definitely some glitches when Jay Pharaoh and Kenan Thompson came on to play Shaq and Charles Barkley (pretty sure someone forgot their lines), but Jost and Strong just got to laugh about it with each other, so the awkward was taken down a notch.

Although it was obvious that “Update” was made to be pretty low-key for Jost’s first show, he had a set of pretty good jokes to start his first week with. He made fun of Paula Deen, Pop Tarts and Boston Red Sox fans. I’d say that’s a pretty solid first night.

Sure, Jost might have laughed at the jokes sometimes (Meyers did that all the time, so people can’t complain), but I think he’s promising. It’s a pretty scary gig to take over, and he didn’t really seem to be intimidated. I also thought he had nearly perfect joke delivery.

If nothing else, at least he’s pretty adorable and nice to look at, right? I mean, have you seen his hair?

Kocer is a junior magazine and English double major and can be reached at stephanie.kocer@drake.edu

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