Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update has featured some iconic talent since it was first introduced back in the ‘70s, and Tina Fey definitely stands alongside some of the greats. During her tenure, the writer and actress brought her razor sharp wit to the sacred desk, providing some hilarious commentary on the news of the day. So many were likely pleased when she returned to co-anchor a special segment for SNL’s last episode of 2021. And I have to say, the ultimate result was pretty perfect.
The NBC sketch comedy series switched things up for its most recent broadcast. Due to the rising COVID-19 cases brought on by the Omicron variant, the Paul Rudd-hosted episode went on with a limited staff and no live audience. As a result, things looked different for Weekend Update this past Saturday. Instead of giving the report at the desk, Tina Fey (who was filling in for Colin Jost) and Michael Che delivered their jokes from chairs on the main set. And instead of a full crowd, they performed before Rudd, Kenan Thompson and Tom Hanks.
Now, on the surface, they may not sound exciting, compared to the usual setup. But believe it or not, the segment worked very well. This is greatly due to the strength of the jokes, and the unique nature of the segment. Check it out for yourself in the Twitter post down below:
Tina Fey and Michael Che bring you a special Weekend Update pic.twitter.com/UhcRnIkht6December 19, 2021
You really have to give credit to Tina Fey and Michael Che for not only landing some A+ punchlines but for also not needing to rely on the energy of a massive crowd to get them pumped. Though I will say, if there are any three people that would be the perfect crowd of three, it would be Tom Hanks, Kenan Thompson and Paul Rudd. I mean, I honestly think I could die a happy man if I were able to make any one of them laugh.
The intimacy of the sketch is actually one of the main reasons why it’s so refreshing. Surely the cast and crew would love to perform for a large audience, but there’s just something so special about this type of setting. And personally, I think Tina Fey and Michael Che found it fun to only be performing for a handful of people. The two were totally professional throughout but, at some points, it felt like they were simply testing out material for friends as opposed to dropping jokes in front of millions around the country.
When Saturday Night Live returns in the new year, one has to wonder how production will choose to proceed. If COVID cases do continue to increase, there’s the possibility of another lockdown. This would theoretically cause the show to move back to its quarantine-style episodes. They were definitely different from what viewers are accustomed to but were mostly effective.
Regardless of how things play out, I’m now hoping that this isn’t the last time we see Tina Fey return to Weekend Update. I think most would probably agree that her upbeat vibe is just what we need during times like these.
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