'Saturday Night Live' Just Hired Its First Black 'Weekend Update' Host

'Saturday Night Live' Just Hired Its First Black 'Weekend Update' Host

Forty years into Saturday Night Live's historic run and the show has finally decided to put an African-American man behind its legendary news desk of "Weekend Update." Comedian, Daily Show correspondent and SNL cast member Michael Che will join Colin Jost as the black half of the show's first-ever two man operation. He'll be stepping in for Cecily Strong, who, after a season of supporting Seth Meyers and then Jost, requested to be taken out of the segment in order to appear in more sketches.

SNL creator, executive producer and comedy godfather Lorne Michaels described Che to the New York Times as "a strong writer" and "really funny." Che spent last season writing for the show and forming a "close relationship" with head writer Jost before becoming a Daily Show fixture in June of this year. In the stand-up world, he's best known for his laid-back delivery — and for being named by Variety as one of the 10 comics to watch in 2013. How fortuitous of them.

Here's an instant classic from The Daily Show, in which Che skewered the inescapable presence of violence against black people:

Saturday Night Live is, of course, no stranger to controversy surrounding race. The show has faced years of hot water for not having enough diversity, particularly African-American women. Sasheer Zamata joined the cast mid-last year, after a round of shockingly white hires (many of whom have since been fired). SNL has had several African-American cast members throughout its history, but the closest they've come to breaking up the whiteness of "Weekend Update" has been with Horatio Sanz, who filled in for Tina Fey in 2005 for a few episodes.

While Lorne Michaels is going to do what Lorne Michaels wants to do, it's promising to see him make strides to bring SNL up to speed with modern America. As the show hits middle age, if it wants to keep its edge (and ratings), it has to stay relevant. "Weekend Update," which is the show's ripest platform for news satire, certainly needed this.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Alex Rabinowitz

With his buzzworthy Tumblr blog and website PopCultureBrain.com, Alex has become a leading figure in emerging social networks and entertainment news. Sourced by dozens of top destinations, including NY Magazine, BuzzFeed, and Videogum, Pop Culture Brain has been featured by BuzzFeed and TIME as the best pop culture blog on Tumblr. Alex is currently a programming editor for Mic, and manages the media company’s Twitter and Tumblr presences. Alex's writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, GQ.com, Mic and Time Warner Cable.

MORE FROM

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.

‘Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later’ proves sometimes it’s OK to skip the reunion

If you're looking to trim down your Netflix consumption, start by avoiding this pointless sequel series.

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington was open about his pain. That doesn’t make his death less shocking.

“If it wasn’t for music, I’d be dead,” Bennington once said. “One hundred percent.”

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.

‘Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later’ proves sometimes it’s OK to skip the reunion

If you're looking to trim down your Netflix consumption, start by avoiding this pointless sequel series.

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington was open about his pain. That doesn’t make his death less shocking.

“If it wasn’t for music, I’d be dead,” Bennington once said. “One hundred percent.”