SNL Weekend Update has been very popular in the United States for decades. It is a Saturday Night Live sketch and satirical news program that comments on and parodies current events. It is the show’s longest-running recurring sketch, having been on from the first broadcast, and is typically presented in the middle of the show immediately after the first musical performance.

If we talk about the history of SNL weekend update, one or two of the players were cast in the role of news anchor, presenting gag news items based on current events and acting as hosts for occasional editorials, commentaries, or other performances by other cast members or guests.


In modern times, dedicated anchors are chosen among writing staff, often lead writers, instead of cast or featured players. Chevy Chase has said that Weekend Update – which he started as an anchor in 1975 – paved the way for comedic news shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

History of SNL Weekend Update

Chevy Chase (1975–1976)

SNL Weekend Update was created by original anchor Chevy Chase and SNL writers Herb Sargent and Al Franken, and it appeared on the first SNL broadcast on October 11, 1975. Chase popularized several catchphrases during the segment, such as his “I’m Chevy Chase… and you’re not” greeting; and his repeated announcement that “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead”.

 Weekend Update segments frequently opened with Chase having an intimate conversation with someone on the phone, unaware he was “on the air.” Chase ended Weekend Update with what became its signature catchphrase: “That’s the news…good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.”

About Jane Curtin (1976–1980)

Jane Curtin substituted for Chase during Season 2 for a few shows due to Chase’s injury. Subsequently, she replaced him when he left in the fall of 1976. Curtin stayed as anchor until the end of Season 5 in 1980. She finished Season 2 solo but was then paired with co-anchors Dan Aykroyd (1977–1978) and Bill Murray (1978–1980), with Aykroyd being “promoted” to “Station Manager” in September 1978.

A frequent feature of SNL Weekend Update during this time was “Point/Counterpoint”, a send-up of the then-current 60 Minutes segment of the same name with James J. Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander.

SNL’s version featured Curtin and Aykroyd as debaters, with each making personal attacks on the other and their positions; a common pattern had Aykroyd announcing the topic, followed by Curtin making an opening statement, with Aykroyd retorting “Jane, you ignorant slut” and Curtin replying “Dan, you pompous ass”.

Charles Rocket (1980–1981)

Charles Rocket (later teamed with Gail Matthius) anchored during the one-season (1980–1981) tenure of new executive producer Jean Doumanian. Rocket is notable as being the only Weekend Update anchor to have experience as a real news anchor, having served as anchorman at KOAA-TV in Pueblo, Colorado, under his birth name Charles Claverie and WTVF Nashville under the name Charles Kennedy.

“SNL NewsBreak” (1981–1982)

The anchor position changed hands frequently under Dick Ebersol, executive producer of SNL from 1981 to 1985. Brian Doyle-Murray was teamed first with Mary Gross, then going solo for three months, then back with Gross for one more month before finally being teamed with Christine Ebersole for the remainder of the season. Doyle-Murray signed off each week with “Good night, and good news.”

Dennis Miller (1985–1991)

In 1985, Lorne Michaels returned to produce the show, bringing the Weekend Update name back with him. The new anchor was Dennis Miller, who remained in the chair for six years, the longest run for a solo Weekend Update anchor. Miller opened the segments by saying “Good evening, and what can I tell ya?” and signed off by saying “Guess what, folks? That’s the news, and I am outta here!” He would then scribble nonsense on his script, sometimes throwing it into the air. Miller left SNL in 1991.

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Kevin Nealon (1991–1994)

Kevin Nealon took over with his “Mr. Subliminal” character and as the straight man in many highlights such as “Operaman” and “Cajun Man” (with both characters being played by Adam Sandler) and also for Chris Farley’s “Bennett Brauer” character. Nealon had a three-year stint at the Update desk before requesting his departure, as he felt his time behind the desk was drawing away from other acting opportunities on the show. Nealon signed off with the tagline “I’m Kevin Nealon, and that’s news to me”.

Norm Macdonald (1994–1997)

Norm Macdonald, whom Chase called “the only other guy who did [the segment] funny,” took over the role for Season 20. Al Franken, whose history with SNL dated back to 1975, had been lobbying to replace Nealon as Weekend Update host. Accordingly, Franken left the show after losing the anchor spot. Although Nealon no longer anchored Weekend Update, he still remained on the show until the end of Season 20. Macdonald would open each segment with “I’m Norm Macdonald, and now the fake news.”

Colin Quinn (1998–2000)


Macdonald was replaced by Colin Quinn, who started on the first episode after Macdonald had been removed and served through the 1999–2000 season. His first edition of Weekend Update began with “Have you ever gone to a bar and found that your favorite bartender was replaced with a guy named Steve?” He would pause for a beat before continuing, “Well, I’m Steve; what can I get you?” His sign-off, borrowing from a Collin Raye song, was “I’m Colin Quinn, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!”

Saturday Night Live

Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey (2000–2004)

Over the summer of 2000, cast members auditioned to be replacements. Among the candidates were stand-up comics Kevin Brennan and Jeffrey Ross plus two duos: Ana Gasteyer with Chris Parnell, and Jimmy Fallon with writer Tina Fey.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (2004–2006)

Fallon left to pursue a film career in 2004 and was replaced by fellow cast member Amy Poehler as co-anchor, giving the sketch its first two-woman anchor team. Fallon became the announcer for the Weekend Update intro for the next few seasons.

The 2005–2006 season began with Poehler returning to her seat behind the desk.

The segment is featured in the 2006 film Man of the Year in which Robin Williams appears on Weekend Update alongside Poehler and Fey.

Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz (2005)

Fey temporarily left the show after giving birth to her first child and was replaced briefly by Horatio Sanz as co-anchor (Sanz wore horn-rimmed glasses during Fey’s absence). Fey returned to the show in October for the season’s third live episode.

Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers (2006–2008)

After the departure of Fey, Poehler continued as co-anchor along with new co-anchor Seth Meyers for the 2006–2007 season.[16] The duo began a string of running gags, including “Really!?! with Seth and Amy”, in which the pair lambast celebrities for lack of common sense. Poehler left SNL in fall 2008 to give birth to her first child.

During the 2007–2008 season, two previous hosts returned to the Weekend Update desk for one-off appearances–Chevy Chase, as “Senior Political Correspondent” and Tina Fey, as “Special Women’s News Correspondent”.

Seth Meyers (2008–2013)

Beginning October 25, 2008, Meyers anchored the segment alone with Poehler still being credited, but not appearing. On December 6, 2008, Poehler returned, four weeks after the birth of her child, to do Weekend Update with Meyers, but on the December 13, 2008, Weekend Update she announced to the audience that the show was her last one.

After that, Meyers continued anchoring Weekend Update solo. The “Really!?!” celebrity-mocking gag (retitled “Really!?! with Seth”) remained, featuring various hosts and guests including Tracy Morgan and Jerry Seinfeld in March 2009 and Kermit the Frog in November 2011.

snl weekend update

Seth Meyers and Cecily Strong (2013–2014)

On May 12, 2013, NBC announced that Seth Meyers would become the new host of Late Night in 2014, succeeding Jimmy Fallon, who would take over as the new host of The Tonight Show. In September 2013, Lorne Michaels confirmed that Meyers, who would stay on at SNL for at least the first half of the show’s 39th season, would be joined at the Weekend Update anchor desk by a new co-anchor, Cecily Strong, beginning with the show’s season premiere on September 28, 2013. Strong, who joined SNL the previous season and had been upgraded to repertory status in the cast for her sophomore season, was no stranger to the segment, making visits to the Weekend Update desk as her recurring character “The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party”.

Michaels, who also produces Late Night, hinted at Meyers potentially dropping in as Weekend Update co-anchor, noting that Meyers’s Late Night will not tape on Friday nights.[19] Meyers and Strong sign off with “For ‘Weekend Update’, I’m Seth Meyers!” “And I’m Cecily Strong, good night!” before performing a fist bump or blowing kisses to the audience.

Colin Jost and Michael Che (2014–present)

On September 11, 2014, it was announced that comedian and SNL writer Michael Che would replace Cecily Strong as the new Weekend Update anchor. His first episode was the season 40 premiere, hosted by Chris Pratt.[23] Che’s pairing with Colin Jost is the first in which both anchors are male. Che is also the first African-American Weekend Update anchor. As of the 2021–22 season, Jost and Che are the longest-tenured Update anchors in the show’s history, with Jost becoming the longest-running Weekend Update anchor on October 23, 2021, and Che rising to second place on January 29, 2022.

In the October 21st, 2020, during one of the Weekend Update skits there was controversy surrounding transphobia, Micheal Che was referencing the reverse of the law “don’t ask, don’t tell” and made a joke calling it “don’t ask, don’t tuck”.

 This joke was not taken well amongst SNL viewers leaving them stunned by the comment. Transgender advocates took quick action on different social media platforms speaking out about the skit, and critiquing its “insensitivity”. SNL never put out an official statement about the issue.


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