Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
~ saturday-night-live ~over 2 years ago
Who will be Lorne's replacement?

I know there's been a lot of talk about Lorne leaving after the 50th season, so I've been thinking a lot about who could actually replace him once he's gone. And it's hard — there isn't an obvious choice! But a few that come to mind, with pros and cons attached:

Seth Meyers

Pro: He was the head writer during some of SNL's best years, and understands the show inside and out. Plus, he's run his own show before, so it seems like he has the relevant experience at this point. 

Con: I can't imagine he would give up his own late night show to be behind the scenes. I can't tell if it would be a promotion or demotion to run SNL. 

Kenan Thompson

Pro: The guy's been there for 18 years. 18 years! He's served his time, so it seems like the best reward for that time would be the head honcho gig, right?

Con: But... even though he had his Kenan sitcom, I'm not sure he knows the ins and outs of how to run it. I would be so excited if he were chosen, but I feel like it's unlikely. 

Tina Fey

Pro: She's one of the most talented head writers they've had, and 30 Rock of course is stuff of legends. I think she's doing mostly producing at this point with bit parts here and there, so maybe she would actually want the big job. Plus, a woman taking the reins is very much needed and wanted.  

Con: I know she's been the target of a lot of criticism (she's not the BEST representation of feminism). So I'm not sure she would be as accepted as, say, Amy Poehler (who I doubt would get the gig or want the gig, frankly).

Colin Jost

Pro: He's headed up the writer's room for some time, and even managed to evolve the show through cast turnovers. A part of me feels like he's being groomed for the job, and his marriage to Scarlett certainly might help grease the wheels on those celebrity cameos the show loves so much. 

Con: Punchable face. At least it would be behind-the-scenes, though.

Conan O'Brien

Pro: This is my dark horse guess. Conan was a writer on SNL in the '90s, and is one of the most beloved people in entertainment. I can't imagine him as a choice would be controversial for anyone, and, given he has his own experience running late night for years,  he certainly would know the ins and outs of production. 

Con: I feel like the only way Conan returns to NBC is if hell has frozen over. 

My bet is on Seth or Colin just being there in the right place at the right time. Am I leaving anyone out?

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Who should do Weekend Update next?

Over the weekend, Michael Che performed a stand-up show in Minneapolis, and said this was his last year doing Weekend Update:

Now, Michael has cried wolf before, so we shouldn’t take it too seriously — it’s possible that the statement was just part of the act.

That said, it seems inevitable that the desk will turn over, particularly since Lorne will want to set it up with a strong team who can get comfortable for a few years before he retires after season 50. I would bet that Colin and Che have one more year of Update left, but, assuming they leave the seats then, who should take their place?

Some possible scenarios:

Colin and Pete: Though I imagine Colin will give up the seat eventually, I could see him staying a bit longer to transition. And Colin and Pete already have great Update chemistry.

Pete solo: Pete is a boba fide SNL star, but has never really been a great sketch artist. He’s best on Update anyway — why not give him the seat?

Mikey and Ego: Something tells me these two would pair well together, and bounce their energy off one another well. That said, Mikey really seems to shine writing zany sketches, so I’m not sure politics would mesh with his style.

Bowen and Ego: Bowen is already an Update star, and Ego has a quiet confidence that could serve her well on the desk.

Bowen solo: After a trial run with Colin, I could see him manning it solo. He’s a scene-stealer who can carry entire sketches on his shoulders — why not Update too?

What do you think? Who should take over once Colin and Che leave?

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Why hasn't Pete been on SNL?

It was strange enough that Pete wasn't on the show last week, particularly since he's so close with John Mulaney. They've done bits before (the Mule Weekend Update sketch is a classic), and it was kind of a shame to not see them together again. But, now, for two weekends in a row, Pete hasn't appeared on the show, even though he's everywhere in the headlines.

I know he's supposedly filming another movie (a thriller called The Home). And I know it's not uncommon at this point for cast members to leave the show temporarily for other projects (Kate McKinnon did it earlier this season, and Cecily Strong one or two seasons back for Schmigadoon). But him being absent and no one talking about it does seem a little bit like ignoring the elephant in the room — it's surprising there hasn't even been a Weekend Update reference of any kind.

So, given Kanye's behavior towards him, and the music video, part of me wonders if it's more than just the movie that's keeping Pete away and keeping the show from mentioning his absence and the headlines. We know the surefire way for Kanye to get what he wants is for Pete to be on SNL and talk about all the drama, and him not being there gives them an excuse to not broach the subject. Plus, I imagine they would have to beef up security on the show in order to accommodate Pete, given the fact that Kanye has essentially threatened him.

Of course, it could all be about scheduling... but it FEELS like something more intentional than that. Am I alone in thinking that?

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~ saturday-night-live ~almost 2 years ago
Graph of cast member screen time this season

With a cast that's so big, it's a surprise that anyone had any screen time this season. But someone put together a graph showcasing just who had the most appearances during the course of the SNL season, and (surprise, surprise), Kenan Thompson takes the cake:

Still, a few things that I find interesting:

- Despite being gone for so much of the season, Pete Davidson STILL logged more time on screen than Melissa Villasenor, Punkie Johnson, Aristotle Athari, and Sarah Sherman, the latter of which I could swear was on more than just 42 minutes

- Aristotle's 15 minutes is HALF the time of Punkie Johnson, who comes in second-to-last with 29 minutes. That... does not spell well for Aristotle

- Colin Jost has 109 minutes, while Michael Che only has 77 minutes. Colin has appeared in a few sketches so that makes up some of the time, but all the Colin teasing during Weekend Update seems to give him a much bigger share

- The newbie with the most screentime: James Austin Johnson. It helps to have an impression that pretty much guarantees you the cold open ever week

- Cecily is such a star, and I hope she becomes the next Kenan who never leaves, that is all.

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TIL - Kenan Thompson edition
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