SNL’s Colin Jost to headline fall comedy show

| News Editor

Colin Jost, a writer, actor and comedian on “Saturday Night Live,” will headline Social Programming Board’s annual fall comedy show on Sept. 22.

Jost, who was selected by students through an undergraduate survey, has been the co-anchor of the “Weekend Update” segment on SNL since March 2014, and has written for the show since 2005.

Among his influences are Tina Fey and Norm Macdonald, both of whom are former SNL cast members. Jost has won or been nominated for multiple awards in his career, including a Peabody Award and multiple Emmy nominations, and is known largely for his politically-based comedy.

Jost’s emphasis on current events in his material makes perfect sense considering the other events on campus this semester, SPB Comedy Director Rachel Thornton said.

“I think that the fact that Wash. U. is hosting the presidential debate later this fall drove students to maybe be more interested in someone whose comedy is based off politics and who tosses political jabs,” she said. “It’s a change in scenery from past comedians that SPB has brought.”

Despite the slew of events programmed around October’s presidential debate, Thornton does not believe bringing in a political comedian to be overkill.

“I think there is a worry that the debate will be over programmed, that too many of the school’s offerings in the fall will be centered around politics,” she said. “But I think the fact that students wanted to bring Colin Jost speaks for itself and that wasn’t a worry for them.”

Jost’s selection also extends a long run of male comedians performing at Washington University, a situation that Thornton noted SPB is in some ways powerless to address.

“We work really hard to make sure that there’s a wide selection of artists offered in our surveys, whether that be coming from different networks and different agents or male and female options,” she said. “I just honestly think that male comedians are more well known to the general public because they’re presented in the media more often and they have more central roles in TV shows that kids are watching, so I think a lot of people just aren’t ranking female comedians as high because they simply don’t know them.”

Still, Thornton herself remains excited for the show.

“I’m most excited to see him out of the ‘Weekend Update’ chair,” she said. “Just to kind of see him cracking jokes on his own without his co-anchor should be great.”