Sunday, October 24, 2021

Prepare for some new ‘Weekend Update’ star power — with a few D-list guests thrown in

For the guy who was the left behind in the internet age, you gotta hand it to Joe Biden – he knows how to get the word out.

The former vice president will be the third major presidential contender to appear on “Saturday Night Live” this week, appearing alongside female comedians who know how to deliver a zinger.

For the most part, these are smooth punches – sharp zingers and all – and yes, some of the two-week-old material from Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump-as-President is hilarious, but it’s nonetheless red meat to the hard-core pro-Clinton base and would-be Trump opponents. Even later in the week, fans of the early comedy scene (in Hollywood and on the Left) might pay attention to the live-broadcast commentary, and this has nothing to do with political analysis. You could say these are the kind of jokes where the host might crack a dry one-liner, get that cult audience chuckling then step back to let the comedians develop their characters further before continuing.

This is, for a variety of reasons, no longer how most political comedy goes about, the last place where it’s possible to talk with affection and sincerity about our two sides, a position only recently adopted by Trump. There are, after all, so many other avenues for political jabbing.

Well, today, Biden brought back the schtick we saw with Hillary Clinton last year in a “SNL” taped promo. Up next, too, is another former presidential candidate who won’t be quite ready for the “Weekend Update” desk – Michael Dukakis – but will definitely be shown interacting with cast members. This will be from next week’s show, which also features both Pence and Alex Borstein, who plays Captain America’s mom.

The only non-member newbie of the cast, actor Chris Redd, appears in the clip in some sort of pre-meditated comedy arc. Redd, from the hip comedy and sketch show “Key & Peele,” will be sitting in for “Weekend Update” anchor Colin Jost, who is currently off sick.

For all of the jokes about presidential politics, both in real life and on television, there is one thing that the self-deprecating lyrics to the theme song for this show symbolize.

It’s also remarkable that a major television show is creating awareness and progress in a field where very few people do.

Watch the full video here:

But wait! What did I say about “Weekend Update” host Colin Jost? Jost has something to say as well!

On the 17th episode of the season (and the first with Jost as the sole anchor), Jost made news when he told host Trevor Noah that that Jost wants to be a section editor at The New York Times, and so some very interesting changes might be coming soon.

In this week’s episode, on December 18, Jost actually does a more personal interview with a reporter named Hamza Shaban (already a viral hit), as a section editor. Jost talks about his dual life as an avid observer of social media, and then a cultural reporter and writer, a career he pursued after leaving college. To the delight of thousands of dedicated “SNL” fans – and no doubt his writer friends – Jost admits to having “a handful of bizarre Twitter followers.” One is a famous music blogger who recently noted that not only has Jost “formed a solid punk rock voice” on Twitter, but has developed a “a voice for drugs and a voice for art.” Jost answers some questions about The New York Times section, and his career goals.

During a game of “Word Freak,” Jost discusses a character from his upcoming musical comedy, which is inspired by his efforts to correct a common mistake: when the singer says, “the song that I wanna hear is..,” when in reality, he really just means “the song that I wanna sing.”

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