If you are a fan of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, chances are you know the work of Colin Jost. The series’ co-head writer and host of “Weekend Update,” alongside pal Michael Che, will take the stage as the host of the 70th Annual Emmy Awards on September 17, but how much do you really know about the Staten Island native turned A-lister.
Jost, who grew up in the outer borough of New York City, began his writing career as a teenager. He contributed to the local newspaper The Staten Island Advance from 1997-2001 as a satirist, beginning when he was just 15-years-old.
He later headed to study the History and Literature of Russia and Britain at Harvard University, attending alongside another notable Harvard alum, Mark Zuckerberg. Jost comically stated in an interview on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live that he and the Facebook founder didn’t cross paths, although they did attend the esteemed institution of higher learning at the same time.
“I did go to college with him but everyone’s always like, ‘Did you meet Mark Zuckerberg? Did you hang out with him?’ and I’m like no because he was in a lab creating Facebook and I was, like, learning about alcohol,” he admitted. “Well, we did go to school and I think I’m not really benefiting from that relationship in any way.”
Jost was hired as a writer on SNL at the age of 22. He’s been a writer for the late-night comedy sketch series since 2005 and served as co-head writer for three of those years, according to the show’s official website.
Jost has won four Writers Guild Awards, a Peabody Award, and has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards for his writing on SNL. He also wrote and starred in the Paramount/Netflix film Staten Island Summer, based on his days as a lifeguard growing up in New York.
Jost participated in the television game show Weakest Link in 2002. The now-defunct show pitted two teams of contestants against one another in a battle of trivia. The teams tried to answer as many consecutively correct answers as possible and if they fell behind, they voted off the member of the team they deemed the “weakest.”
According to an article published by UpRoxx, Jost was contacted by the show to compete in its college version. He did pretty well, getting through four preliminary rounds against fellow students and winning $5,250.
Jost is currently involved in a relationship with actress Scarlett Johansson. The two have been dating since May 2017 after reuniting on SNL, though they initially met over a decade ago when she first hosted the late-night comedy sketch show in 2006.
The 70th Annual Emmy Awards will air Monday, September 19 on NBC.