Well, Donald Trump isn't going to like this. Reports from NBC are suggesting we might be getting more SNL per week with a new weekly primetime spinoff of their traditional Weekend Update segment. The plan is to have segment hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che anchor a separate edition of the comedic news roundup that the network is aiming to include in their Thursday night line up. These reports come in the middle of a cultural renaissance for the 42 year old sketch comedy show. Spurred on partially by Trump's own feud with the show's impression of him by frequent guest Alec Baldwin, the show has seen a massive uptick in viewership making this the most watched season in over twenty years. It's this same cultural significance that has made it a go to destination for comedians seeking to stand against the new presidential administration. Whether it's scorching stand up sets from Dave Chappelle or Aziz Ansari or surprise guest visits from icons like John Goodman and most recently Melissa McCarthy's turn as Sean Spicer, the show has served recently as a major platform for political comedy. Based on the incredibly strong responses to these segments, top tier performers are trying to join forces with SNL including longtime Trump foe Rosie O'Donnell who many on the Internet suggested to portray controversial White House strategist Steve Bannon.
The news does raise questions about whether the additional focus on the spinoff might dilute the show's creative focus. While SNL has done primetime weekend update segments in the past, most have been focused on presidential elections and were always intended as limited ventures. There's also uncertainty whether Jost and Che could stand up against comedians like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and Samantha Bee who'd be mining the same headlines for material during the week. NBC even has two former Weekend Update hosts fronting their own major late night talk shows in Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, the latter still specializing in topical political humor. And while they've had some performances recently, the combo of Che and Jost have not historically been the smoothest of pairings, creating uncertainty whether giving them more material is in the show's best interests creatively. Still, while nothing is set in stone, it's clear SNL is currently reigning as the top satirist of the Trump era, so expect more political content from them, whether or not it's airing on Saturdays.