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Ever since coming onto Saturday Night Live as a writer in 2013, Michael Che has been at the forefront of a lot of firsts for NBC's long-running sketch comedy. Che became the first African American to host "Weekend Update," and both audiences and producers grew so fond of his pairing with co-host Colin Jost that SNL recently did a spinoff of the series. Now, he gets the honor of another "first" as NBC has promoted Che and Jost to co-head writers, making Che the series' first black co-head writer.
Michael Che isn't just the first black co-head writer in Saturday Night Live history either; he's the first non-white writer to have ever gotten the position. Considering the show's often progressive 42-year history as well as the talent that's walked the studio's halls throughout the years, that's pretty surprising. Che will share the role of co-head writer with his "Weekend Update" co-host Colin Jost, and the two will join the two current head writers, Kent Sublette and Bryan Tucker. Two other writers, Sudi Green and Fran Gillespie, have both been promoted to writing supervisors.
While Colin Jost was promoted alongside Michael Che, Che will be the only person new to the title, as Jost previously had served as head writer from 2012 to 2015 before stepping down. Che joins the head writer crew as Saturday Night Live is delivering its second most-watched season in nine years. That's a creative way of saying that viewership is down from last season's record-breaking performance, but at least numbers are still high enough that the series is still thriving without Presidential subtweets boosting awareness. Che's humor has been acclaimed with critics and audiences alike, so while he's new to the position, it's safe to assume that NBC put him in the role to help SNL continue to thrive under his successful brand of comedy.
As far as how much this will affect Michael Che's level of participation in Saturday Night Live sketches, that remains to be seen. One thing that doesn't seem likely to change is Che and Colin Jost's "Weekend Update" team-up. Of course, the "Weekend Update" lineup changes often enough, so while Jost and Che might have had some solid ratings on their solo run with the segment, their new duties might prove too much for them to continue appearing regularly for "Weekend Update.". Considering SNL's declining ratings this season, though, producers probably don't want to risk pushing even more audience members with such alterations, so it's safe to speculate that Che and Jost will both continue with "Weekend Update."
Saturday Night Live is all new on NBC this weekend, with Kevin Hart and the Foo Fighters, and it airs Saturday, December 16, at 11:30 p.m. ET. For a list of other shows that can be watched this December, visit our fall premiere guide. Those looking to see what 2018 has to offer for shows can visit our midseason premiere guide. To see what shows got cut in 2017, visit our cancellation guide.