Colin Jost will have a new “Weekend Update” partner now that Cecily Strong is out. | NBC
Cecily Strong’s career as a fake newscaster is over after less than a year.
An NBC spokeswoman confirmed Thursday that the Oak Parker is stepping down from the “Weekend Update” desk on “Saturday Night Live.” Moving into the chair alongside Colin Jost will be Michael Che, a former “SNL” writer who over the summer was a correspondent on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”
Strong will remain on the show as a cast member performing in sketches.
“This is about a new era, what feels appropriate for now,” “SNL” executive producer LorneMichaels told the New York Times. “That’s why we did a lot of combinations and tests, and this is kind of where we came out.”
“Weekend Update” had been on a winning streak as a showcase for sole anchor Seth Meyers. But its stability was upset as the show prepared for Meyers’ departure to host “Late Night.” Strong came onas Meyers’ partnerlast fall, andthen she began co-anchoring with Jost after Meyers left in February.
“It struggled to find an identity last season,” Michaels said. “Because what had come before had been pretty brilliant.”
Strong, Meyers and their “Update” predecessors Amy Poehler and Tina Fey all came from Chicago’s improv scene. The new team will be the first in more thana decade to include no locally trained talent — as well as the first all-male duo.
Heading into its season premiere on Sept. 27, “SNL” has been thinning its overstuffed cast. Featured players Brooks Wheelan, John Milhiser and Noel Wells are reportedly out after their freshman season, and more shuffles may be pending. Michaels told the Times he expects to make one or two additions for the new season.