Say what you will about the quality of the Saturday Night Live brand of comedy, but one of the best running gags the show has had in recent years is the Weekend Update joke swap, where co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che make each other read jokes live on air that the other hadn’t seen beforehand. It started out as their presents to one another during the 2018 Christmas episode, and it got such a good response they did it again for the season finale. 

From there, it started to become a bit of a tradition. And each time, Jost and Che kept upping the ante to not just see what the censors would let them get away with, but how close they could get to completely sabotaging each other. It was like watching a cross between a dare challenge, a roast battle by proxy and a comedic hostage video. The gag was surprisingly absent from the 2021-2022 season, but Sarah Sherman roasting Jost for three minutes straight during last year’s Christmas episode was enough to make up for it. 

Now, keep in mind that many of the jokes Jost and Che have told back and forth are objectively horrifying outside of the context of the joke-swap gag. And so, we’ll be skipping some of these two friends’ more blatant attempts to completely torpedo each other’s careers, even though watching them squirm their way through the cue cards was totally worth it.

December 15, 2018 Weekend Update

Che: A new report shows that Hurricane Florence was the wettest in history. The previous record for wetness was set on the opening night of Magic Mike

Jost: A church in Massachusetts has created a nativity scene that comments on the immigration debate by placing the baby Jesus in a cage… WHERE HE BELONGS!”

Che: A new study shows that the average American touches their mobile devices more than 2,000 times a day. “Only 2,000 times?” said my penis.

May 18, 2019 Weekend Update

Che: Doctors in Iowa have confirmed a dog disease that can be passed on to humans. Fine, I’ll wear a condom.

Jost: A student in Texas who is nicknamed “White Lightning” set a high school record by running the hundred-meter dash in 9.98 seconds. Coincidentally, people call me White Lightning because I also finish in under 10 seconds.

Che: Pope Francis ended a Vatican summit by promising that the Catholic Church would confront the clergy sex abuse head-on, instead of their usual way: face down, ass up.

December 21, 2019 Weekend Update

Che: A new interview with England’s Prince Andrew is being called a total disaster after he said his friend Jeffrey Epstein conducted himself in “a manner unbecoming.” I dunno, from what I read, it sounded like he be coming all the time.

Jost: Recent polls show that Pete Buttigieg has only 4 percent support among African Americans, but that will change once he announces his running mate, the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich.

Che: Researchers are testing a new method to treat cancer by injecting the cells with the herpes virus. So good news if you’ve ever had sex with me, you might have been cured for cancer! 

December 19, 2020 Weekend Update

Che: The Palm Beach mansion once owned by Jeffrey Epstein will soon be demolished. I’m honestly shocked that they would demolish a place where I have so many fond memories. Rest in power, king. I’ll take it from here.

Jost: It was announced that Creed singer Scott Stapp will play Frank Sinatra in an upcoming movie, but the good news is Sammy Davis Jr. will be played by Scarlett Johansson. 

May 22, 2021 Weekend Update

Che: Las Vegas is opening a pop-up vaccine site in a strip club, and don’t worry, the strippers say the vaccine is a lot like Michael Che: very quick and you can barely feel it go in.

Jost: This week construction began on a new hip-hop museum in the Bronx. I know we’ve had a lot of fun with me reading racist jokes that Michael writes for me, but because our country is already divided enough, I’d like to use my platform to say something that everyone of all races can agree on: Woody Allen is innocent! He did nothing wrong!

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