By Paula Hendrickson
While Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” segment is the epitome of fake news, the jokes often hit awfully close to home. Sometimes they barely stretch the truth at all.
National news doesn’t take a break when SNL is on a summer hiatus, so NBC is bringing the popular “newscast” back to primetime with Weekend Update: Summer Edition, a limited run of four half-hour episodes starting this Thursday. Current “Update” hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che will man the desk, and you can expect a few SNL cast members (and perhaps some friends of the show) to pop up here and there.
This isn’t the first time “Weekend Update” has made it to primetime.
The first time the faux newscast aired outside of SNL was in 2008, an election year, for three episodes with then-co-anchors Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler. The duo reteamed for three more “Weekend Updates” during the summer of 2009 despite Poehler having by then left SNL for Parks and Recreation. During election year 2012, it was back for two more episodes with Meyers taking on solo anchor duties.
Weekend Update: Summer Edition wouldn’t be worthy of the “Weekend Update” part of its moniker if it didn’t poke fun of and satirize American politics. But it has never limited itself to politics. Segments typically include humorous takes on actual “news of the weird” stories, business news, and international events, so one thing they’re likely to address is North Korea’s recent experimentation with missiles. Pretty much anything is fair game to Jost and Che.
“Weekend Update” fans know there will be at least a couple of jokes that elicit groans from the audience. It’s all part of the fun.
If you want to laugh about current events instead of crying over them, you might want to check out Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update—even if you don’t normally stay up late enough to catch the weekly version on SNL.
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update premieres Thursday, 8 p.m. on NBC. R.