Cecily Strong out, Michael Che in on 'SNL's' 'Weekend Update' desk
Strong will be replaced by "SNL" writer and "Daily Show" correspondent Michael Che at the anchor desk this season, making he and co-anchor Colin Jost the first male-male "Update" pairing in the show's history, according to the New York Times.
“Michael is a strong writer, and he’s really funny,” "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels told the Times. “It’s always difficult to make changes and make ‘Update’ different from what’s gone before.”
Strong became "Weekend Update" co-anchor at the beginning of last season, first joining Seth Meyers for his last two shows before Jost was brought on as Meyers' replacement.
Michaels admits the segment "struggled to find an identity last season," and that a number of combinations were tried out before he ultimately settled on Jost and Che.
“This is about a new era, what feels appropriate for now,” Michaels said. “That’s why we did a lot of combinations and tests, and this is kind of where we came out.”
Che joined "SNL" as a writer last season, though he has never appeared on camera. Strong's exit, meanwhile, will allow her to star in more sketches this season - a move Michaels claims the actress herself had requested.
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"Saturday Night Live" premieres Sept. 27 with host Chris Pratt and musical guest Ariana Grande.