Nearly five months after it was announced that he would be joining The Daily Show, comedian Michael Che will return to SNL to become the new Weekend Update co-anchor, alongside Colin Jost.
This means that Cecily Strong, who hosted alongside both Jost and Seth Meyers (before Meyers left to host Late Night), is out. The NY Times' Bill Carter reports:
After trying out what he said were “a number of different combinations” in the last few weeks, Lorne Michaels, the show’s creator and executive producer, said he had selected Mr. Che, 31, who worked on the show last season as a writer, to be the partner of Colin Jost, who began co-anchoring “Weekend Update” in the middle of last season.
Mr. Michaels said that Mr. Che, who has had a career as a stand-up comedian in New York, formed a close relationship last year in the writers’ room with Mr. Jost, one of the show’s two head writers.
“Michael is a strong writer, and he’s really funny,” Mr. Michaels said. “It’s always difficult to make changes and make ‘Update’ different from what’s gone before.”...
“This is about a new era, what feels appropriate for now,” Mr. Michaels said. “That’s why we did a lot of combinations and tests, and this is kind of where we came out.” For the first time, the ‘Weekend Update” segment will have two men at the anchor desk.
Earlier, Che had been reflecting on the day:
but enough about ray rice, oscar pistorius, 9/11, joan rivers, danny ferry, mike brown, st louis, isis, and ebola. how are YOU doing?
— Michael Che (@CheThinks) September 11, 2014
But he just Tweeted:
i wanna thank Jon & the entire @TheDailyShow staff for letting me do this. i had a FANTASTIC time there. 1st class all the way
— Michael Che (@CheThinks) September 12, 2014
Strong is staying on the cast, and apparently she asked to leave Update so she could appear in sketches. Michaels said, "It struggled to find an identity last season. Because what had come before had been pretty brilliant."
In other cast news: three of last year's rookies, Brooks Wheelan, Noël Wells and John Milhiser were cut from the show (but Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney both survived); according to the Times, "Mr. Michaels said that he would probably be making one or two more additions to the cast this season but that he had not yet reached a decision."
Anyway, Che was recently on The Daily Show, in a segment about Ferguson, Missouri:
SNL returns for its 40th season on September 27, with Chris Pratt as host.