SNL’s Weekend Update Shakeup: Michael Che Replacing Cecily Strong

Saturday Night Live is getting yet another shakeup before its premiere. Cecily Strong will no longer hold the fort as a co-anchor for Weekend Update. Instead, The Daily Show’s Michael Che will replace Cecily and act as Colin Jost’s co-anchor for the season.

Confused? So are we, seeing as Cecily was obviously the stronger of the Jost/Strong pairing. This is definitely not a good look for SNL, as it’s been trying to break free from its “boys club” reputation since they appointed Tina Fey the head writer/co-anchor spot during her time with SNL. This move did a lot to break away from that reputation, but this is a huge step back.

According to The New York Times, Cecily Strong will still be listed as a member, so hopefully this means Strong will have more freedom to participate in sketches. Right now we don’t know if this is a decision that executive producer Lorne Michaels decided to make on his own, or if Cecily was included in this decision. As far as we can see, right now it doesn’t look like this is a decision that Cecily came to Lorne about based on his words to The New York Times.

Lorne Michael had this to say about the big change. “This is about a new era, what feels appropriate for now. That’s why we did a lot of combinations and tests, and this is kind of where we came out.” Think this explanation is incredibly vague, that it explains nothing at all about the decision? You’re not alone. People have already reacted to the news about Strong’s replacement. Even industry vets are a little miffed about this big shakeup over at SNL.

Cecily Strong is the single best, most versatile cast member on SNL. She deserves better than the desk anyway.

— Kristopher Tapley (@kristapley) September 12, 2014

As for Cecily’s replacement Michael Che, he is a New Yorker that started his career in stand-up in 2009 before joining SNL as a writer back in 2013. With the move to SNL’s Weekend Update desk, Che plans to depart from The Daily Show.

As for players that didn’t make the cut into the new season, featured members John Milhiser, Brooks Wheelan, and Noel Wells will not return for the upcoming SNL season, while the underrated Nasim Pedrad left for a television show titled Mulaney.

[Image via NBC Universal]