When a ‘Weekend Update’ anchor is as mediocre as Colin Jost, all you can do is shrug


From left to right, new anchor Colin Jost joins Cecily Strong and Taran Killam on “Weekend Update.” (Dana Edelson/NBC)

Reviewing a work of art that’s mediocre can be a critic’s toughest job. It’s easy to gush about what you loved and fun to dismember what you hated. But things that are just OK? Anything you write amounts to a shrug.

Which brings me to Colin Jost’s debut as co-anchor of “Weekend Update” on “Saturday Night Live.” It wasn’t awful; it wasn’t great. It merely existed on my television for 10 minutes, then was gone.

Jost, above, didn’t flub any lines or embarrass himself. He also didn’t show why, after almost a decade at “SNL” as a writer (and co-head writer, since last season), he deserved this promotion. He lacked charisma, seemed nervous and blatantly relied on his cue cards.

We didn’t get much of a peek into his sense of humor, either. Perhaps it’s just the way “Update” works — it’s mostly snarky, quippy one-liners — but he didn’t do much to distinguish himself from predecessor Seth Meyers, who’s now doing “Update”-style jokes on “Late Night.”

Maybe Jost will be great. Maybe, like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon and Meyers, Jost is destined for stardom, his own sitcom or talk show. For now, all we can do is shrug.

 

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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Adam Vingan · March 4, 2014