SNL co-head writer Colin Jost promoted up Late Night chain of command to Weekend Update co-anchor

Remember when Saturday Night Live‘s head writers stayed behind the camera?

Lo, those were days, pre-Y2K.

SNL and NBC announced today that Colin Jost, currently the show’s co-head writer, would take over the Weekend Update anchor chair held by other co-head writer Seth Meyers when Meyers departs next month for Late Night. Meyers will vacate SNL and Weekend Update after the Feb. 1, 2014, show. Jost will start March 1, after the Winter Olympics, and co-anchor with Cecily Strong — herself promoted to the Update anchor desk in September.

A head writer has occupied Weekend Update’s anchor chair since Tina Fey made the leap in 2000.

Of course, Meyers is taking over Late Night from Jimmy Fallon, who in turn was a former SNL Update anchor, and is taking over The Tonight Show reins next month.

All of which prompted TIME columnist James Poniewozik to reframe today’s announcement and spin it forward, writing jokingly or not on Twitter: “NBC names TONIGHT SHOW host for 2035.”

It’s funny because it could be true.

As for Jost. Jost!

What’s his name? It’s COLIN JOST. Here. Let him explain it to you.

SNL hired Jost as a staff writer straight out of Harvard in 2005. He started doing stand-up outside of 30 Rock, too, making it to Montreal’s New Faces in 2010, and making his Late Night debut on Fallon the following January. Jost also performed last year on John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show on Comedy Central.

This was his Fallon set back in 2011. #TBT

NOTE: The photo above is from a Saturday night earlier this winter, when SNL was on break, and Jost performed at the Comic Strip Live on New York City’s Upper East Side. He’s seen onstage here telling jokes, while simulcast on a TV screen in the comedy club’s front window.

For future trivia: The last solo SNL head writer not to appear onscreen as a cast member or Weekend Update anchor was Adam McKay (Season 24, 1998-1999).  Co-head writers since 2000 to remain largely offscreen: Dennis McNicholas (seasons 26-29, co-head writer with Fey); Andrew Steele (seasons 30-33, with Fey, Meyers, Paula Pell); and Paula Pell (seasons 32-33, with Meyers). That brings us current co-head writer Rob Klein.

Meanwhile, all of us who had predicted that SNL writer John Mulaney was going to take over Weekend Update, all of us can take solace knowing that he’s already begun filming the first six episodes of his own starring sitcom vehicle for FOX, Mulaney.

More from Colin Jost…

From HBO Canada’s “Funny As Hell” stand-up showcase series:

Very Funny TBS Just For Laughs Chicago:

And from that John Oliver stand-up show on Comedy Central, about being a jaded New Yorker:

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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