Former “Saturday Night Live” writer Michael Che will join Colin Jost behind the “Weekend Update” desk for the upcoming 40th season of the late-night sketch show, NBC told TheWrap on Thursday.
He replaces Cecily Strong, who will return as a full-time cast member, or repertory player, as the long-running comedy show refers to its sketch stars.
Strong co-anchored “Weekend Update” opposite Jost and Seth Meyers last season. When former head writer Meyers left “SNL” in February to replace Jimmy Fallon at “Late Night,” Jost stepped in to both the veteran’s “Update” chair and head scribe role.
He actually left “SNL” to join “The Daily Show” this summer. After that short stint, he returned to NBC’s famed Studio 8H. Che is no longer with “The Daily Show.”
Che has been named one of Rolling Stone’s “50 Funniest People” and Buzzfeed’s “50 Hottest Men in Comedy.” His first comedy special came as part of Comedy Central’s “The Half Hour,” which aired earlier this year.
In addition to Che’s re-hiring and Strong’s move solely to sketches, “SNL” has seen quite a bit of turnover this summer: First year players Brooks Whelan, John Milhiser and Noel Wells saw their contracts expire, while longtime cast member Nasim Pedrad left to join Fox’s “Mulaney.”
Last season, the show was marred by a controversial lack of diversity, which resulted in the mid-year hiring of new cast member Sasheer Zamata and writers Leslie Jones and LaKendra Tookes.
The new “SNL” season begins Sept. 27 with host Chris Pratt and musical guest Ariana Grande.
“Saturday Night Live” is produced in association with Broadway Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels.