Top Ad unit 728 × 90

A Bill Kuchman Pop-Ed: Who'll Replace Seth Meyers as 'SNL' 'Weekend Update' Anchor?

When the credits begin rolling as Saturday Night Live's Feb. 1 episode ends, the Seth Meyers Era at Weekend Update will come to a close. After joining the Weekend Update desk as Amy Poehler's co-anchor in 2006, becoming the segment's lone anchor in 2008 and then gaining Cecily Strong as his co-anchor in 2013, Meyers will graduate from SNL as he replaces Jimmy Fallon as host of Late Night.

While talking with TheWrap earlier this week, Meyers mentioned that SNL would most likely find a Weekend Update co-anchor for Strong, saying, "It's still up in the air, but Cecily comes from that Chicago ensemble world and … she loves playing off of someone, so I wouldn't be surprised too see her with someone else."

So if SNL is going to give Strong a new co-anchor for Weekend Update, who can we expect to see sitting next to her after Meyers leaves? Let's break down the options.

UPDATE: Whoops. Looks like SNL decided to look beyond just its roster of castmembers to replace Meyers.

9. Anyone who just joined SNL this season
Sorry, Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Mike O'Brien, Noel Wells, Brooks Wheelan and Sasheer Zamata, but this won't be your time. Strong is only in her second season of SNL, so I would be shocked if Lorne Michaels paired her up with a rookie on Weekend Update. Their freshman status aside, I don't think any of the new castmembers have really broken out in a way that would have earned them this spot so early.

8. Jay Pharoah
Jay Pharoah may be one of SNL's most skilled impressionists and has seen his digital shorts presence grow, but it would be wasting his talents to make him the straight man to Weekend Update's bizarre visitors. Pharoah is meant to be Stephen A. Smith yelling about raising LeBron James as a baby — he shouldn't be boxed into having to not crack up while watching that spectacle.

7. Vanessa Bayer
Strong and Vanessa Bayer make a great duo when it comes to portraying washed-up pornstars peddling champagne or designer handbags, but I don't see them as Weekend Update co-anchors. One benefit of Bayer becoming a Weekend Update anchor, though, would be the end of Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy. That character has worn out his welcome.

6. Kate McKinnon
Let me say this first: Kate McKinnon would make an excellent Weekend Update anchor. That said, McKinnon is a far stronger Weekend Update guest. While McKinnon doesn't have a signature go-to Update character, she makes up for that in the massive amount of characters she contributes. You want to live in a world where the woman who messed up that Jesus painting doesn't visit Weekend Update? I sure don't.

5. Aidy Bryant
From watching Strong and Aidy Bryant play off each other during installments of The Girlfriends Talk Show, I think a Strong/Bryant Weekend Update desk could eventually find some of the same vibes that we once saw from the Tina Fey/Poehler desk. Despite that potential, Bryant is also only her second season, and I still have a hunch that Michaels would prefer to add a castmember with veteran status to Weekend Update.

4. Bobby Moynihan
Bobby Moynihan as a Weekend Update anchor would be fantastic. While pretty much everyone else on this list would likely stick to the straight man persona that Meyers exuded, Moynihan would bring something different to the position. He would be a bit more wacky. A bit more edgy. Weekend Update guests would have to be on their toes when up against Moynihan.

There are two words that will keep Moynihan from ever being a Weekend Update anchor: Drunk Uncle. There's no way SNL sacrifices Moynihan as Drunk Uncle, especially after it lost the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party when Strong became an anchor.

3. Taran Killam
If SNL is interested in showcasing its top male castmember, Taran Killam will join Strong, its top female castmember, on the Weekend Update desk. Unlike many of the other names on this list, Killam's SNL stature doesn't come with a signature Weekend Update character. They've been pushing Jebidiah Atkinson, the 1860s critic, lately, but SNL wouldn't lose anything if Taran couldn't perform as him anymore. With these final three picks, I could see any of them winning the spot — I just see Killam winning it less than the next two picks.

2. Nasim Pedrad
This is the opportunity Nasim Pedrad has been waiting for. Despite the fact that SNL has been featuring her more over the past few months, Pedrad has long been criminally underused on the show. Sure, we'd lose her Ariana Huffington impression (which is one of my SNL favorites), but part of her appeal comes with her not-so-covert flirting with Meyers. If Meyers is gone, Pedrad's Huffington loses some of her magic. As a Weekend Update host, Pedrad would bring an intelligent confidence to the desk, while still not being a copy of Strong.

1. Kenan Thompson
Besides Meyers, Kenan Thompson is currently the longest-tenured SNL castmember, joining the show in 2003. He's been in every kind of sketch. He's been in Digital Shorts. He's had countless Weekend Update characters. After over a decade, though, Thompson has become a bit stale. It's not his fault — I just think SNL isn't sure what to do with him, which is something that seems to happen with castmembers who have been on the show for this long.

Making Thompson the next Weekend Update anchor would rejuvenate his role on SNL. It would also be a historic move, as Thompson would become the first black Weekend Update anchor. Addressing the show's diversity issues has been a big storyline during SNL's 39th season. Not only did Michaels add Zamata during the season to finally correct the fact that SNL didn't have a single African-American woman in its cast, but the show also added several African-American writers. Promoting Thompson to one of the show's most highly visible positions would send a message that SNL is serious about expanding the show's diversity.
A Bill Kuchman Pop-Ed: Who'll Replace Seth Meyers as 'SNL' 'Weekend Update' Anchor? Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 1/23/2014 Rating: 5

No comments:

© Popculturology. All rights reserved.

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.