“SNL” head writer Colin Jost made his “Weekend Update” debut on Saturday, alongside Jim Parsons who also made his “Saturday Night Live” guest-hosting debut.
Following new, sleek opening graphics for the fake news segment, co-anchor Cecily Strong welcomed Jost to “Update.” Jost was all smiles, saying, “I’m so grateful and excited to be here tonight, this is really a dream come true for me, so thank you guys.” The video of his first appearance is embedded below.
Jost’s “Update” career officially kicked off with: “North Korea on Thursday launched four short range missiles into the east sea, as retaliation against a wave that knocked down Kim Jong-un.”
He turned to the professional sports world for quip No. 2: “Jason Collins made history this week when he became the first openly gay athlete to play on a major professional sports team. Said Red Sox fans, ‘How ’bout Jeter?'”
Next, Jost took a shot at a fellow anchorman: “Piers Morgan announced that he’s stepping down from his low-rated CNN talk show. Morgan said that he wants to spend more time gradually morphing into a potato.”
Then it was time for Paula Deen to get her comeuppance. “Paula Deen said this week that her struggles resulting from her use of the N-word were like those of gay football player Michael Sam, who she called ‘that black’ football player,” Jost said. “This according to her publicist’s suicide note.”
Earlier in the show, which featured Beck as the musical guest, fan favorite cast member Kate McKinnon broke out her Ellen DeGeneres impression in a cold open that featured guest host Parsons as figure-skater-turned-TV-personality Johnny Weir.
During his opening monologue, Parsons sang original tune “I’m Not That Guy,” which chronicled the differences between actors and the characters they play. He was joined by breakout characters from sitcoms past, including Bill Cosby (Kenan Thompson), Jaleel White (Jay Pharoah). Both the cold open and the monologue fell mostly flat, as did the majority of the show; watch both below.
The two highlights on Saturday, in addition to Jost’s capable debut, both revolved around Oscar-nominated movies. The first was an uncomfortable-yet-humorous spoof of the casting process for bit-part slave owners in Oscar-nominated “12 Years a Slave.” For the second, Vanessa Bayer and friends returned to Spotlightz Acting Camp to perform childish, exaggerated versions of the Best Picture nominees. Both sketches are posted below.
The 86th Academy Awards air live on ABC Sunday from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. The show coverage kicks off at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. DeGeneres is hosting.
Jost landed the plum “Weekend Update” seat next to Strong after the departure of longtime “Update” anchor Seth Meyers, who took over NBC’s “Late Night” on Monday.
Meyers’ talk show drew an impressive viewership average of 2.7 million for its debut — it was the second highest week in “Late Night” history the past seven years, trailing only Jimmy Fallon’s farewell week.
Watch the videos: