Colin Jost explains Drunk Uncle and more Weekend Update characters

Bobby Moynihan and Seth Meyers (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Bobby Moynihan and Seth Meyers (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images) /

Colin Jost and Seth Meyers discussed some favorite Weekend Update characters

When Colin Jost took over “Weekend Update” anchor duties from Seth Meyers, he also inherited a handful of beloved characters. But as he revealed on Late Night with Seth Meyers, many of those characters were created by Jost himself.

Jost is out promoting A Very Punchable Face: A Memoir. The book details Jost’s life growing up on Staten Island, his education at Harvard, his stand-up career, and his time at Saturday Night Live. The book has received positive reviews and should definitely be on the summer reading list for SNL fans.

Jost was already making a name for himself as a writer before he took over “Weekend Update” starting in 2014. He originally co-anchored with Cecily Strong before Strong was replaced with writer Michael Che at the start of season 40.

The change from Strong to Che worked out for “Weekend Update” and both cast members involved. Strong is an MVP-caliber performer at the “Update” desk and freeing her from anchoring the segment allowed her to shine.

Strong’s best “Update” character is Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party. And as Jost told Seth Meyers, it was a character he helped create but Strong took to another level. Along with Bobby Moynihan’s Drunk Uncle, it’s an example of how Jost has shaped the tone of “Weekend Update.”

Colin Jost helped create one of Weekend Update’s best characters in recent history

For Saturday Night Live fans of a certain age, the list of the best “Weekend Update” characters starts with Bill Hader’s Stefon. Not many people would argue against the character created by John Mulaney and Hader.

Right up there with Stefon has to be Bobby Moynihan’s Drunk Uncle. He quickly became a fan favorite when he debuted next to Seth Meyers and eventually joined Jost and Che. According to Jost, the idea simply came from the phrase “drunk uncle” and wasn’t necessarily based on a particular family member.

Moynihan’s other signature character was Anthony Crispino, a man who gets all his news secondhand. Again, the idea came from Jost but it was elevated by Moynihan and some of his performance decisions.

For Meyers and Jost, Cecily Strong set the bar pretty high when it came to adding a personal touch to a character. Both comedians praised Strong for her work as Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party. Meyers compared Strong’s first turn as the character to a pitcher throwing a perfect game in his first outing. Rewatching the debut, it’s hard to argue with Meyers or Jost in applauding Strong.

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Where does Drunk Uncle and The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party land on your list of the best “Weekend Update” characters? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Keep checking Last Night on for more from Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and the rest of late night television.