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Michael Che To Host 'Weekend Update' In 'New Era' For 'SNL'

Michael Che will replace Cecily Strong on "Weekend Update." Is the move an attempt for a more diverse cast?
Posted at 2:28 PM, Sep 12, 2014

A big change at the anchor desk just in time for "Saturday Night Live"'s season premiere.

Cecily Strong will be replaced on "Weekend Update." Michael Che, known for his work on "The Daily Show," will take her spot alongside Colin Jost.

"Tell 'em that gang bangers are trying to kill you or 'save me America.'"

"It's either that, or, they're really just refugees."

"Yes, they could be refugees, or they could be … "

Thirty-one-year-old Che also appeared on "The Late Show."

"I'm from Lower East Side Manhattan, which is a gentrified neighborhood. If you don't know what gentrified means, it's basically when a bunch of white people move to a messed-up neighborhood and open cupcake stores everywhere."

Che has been writing on "SNL" since last year, and executive producer Lorne Michaels said Che and Jost have developed a special bond in the writing room. Seems he thinks that bond will translate well on camera. (Video via NBC)

This is the first time two men will anchor the segment together. Michaels told The New York Times:

"This is about a new era, what feels appropriate for now. That's why we did a lot of combinations and tests, and this is kind of where we came out."

Last season was a controversial one for the long-running show, which got major criticism for its lack of diversity.

And Thursday night and Friday morning, many media centered their headlines around Che being the first black anchor of "Weekend Update."

But on the whole, this move isn't being dubbed a diversity ploy. It was not in response to any new wave of outcry; it was a surprise: Strong had been praised for her performance on "Weekend Update."

Though this doesn't mean Strong is going anywhere; she'll continue to appear on the NBC show. In fact, The Times reports she had asked to be featured in more sketches.

But The Hollywood Reporter says Che will leave "The Daily Show," just three months after joining.

And indeed, Thursday night Che tweeted a thanks to the show and host Jon Stewart for his time there.

The 40th season premiere of "Saturday Night Live" is Sept. 27 with Chris Pratt hosting and Ariana Grande performing.