The Annual ‘SNL’ Weekend Update Joke Swap Might Be the Cringiest One Yet
It’s a holiday tradition like no other. Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che do an annual gift exchange — but rather than wrapped presents, the two Weekend Update anchors swap jokes designed to humiliate the comic on the receiving end of the offering. Jost always seems to get the worst of the deal, perhaps because his unbearable whiteness and very punchable face make him an easy target for humiliation. This year was no exception — in fact, Che found a way to take the whole thing up a notch to close out 2023.
This year’s added shame factor arrived courtesy of Che’s special guest — Dr. Hattie Davis, a Black activist, author and poet who also happens to be in a wheelchair. Okay, there isn’t a real Hattie Davis — she’s a character that Che made up, a woman who supposedly marched with Dr. Martin Luther King. Who better to sit in righteous judgment of the offensive jokes Jost was about to tell? Real or fake (the show never let on), the effect was the same — a dignified, elderly Black woman disgusted by Jost’s comic intolerance was the perfect icing on the cake.
As for the jokes? This year’s crop set a new bar for maximum cringe. Jost led off with this doozy:
“A group of geneticists have announced plans to bring back the dodo and reintroduce it to Africa. If you ask me, I can think of at least one dodo I would like to reintroduce to Africa.”
Che’s turn: “Last month, Beyoncé posted a photo of herself on Instagram in a chrome Versace dress and platinum blond hair, which many called too white. In fact, that photo was so white, that I was finally attracted to her.”
Next, Jost read a joke about the Adult Survivors Act, the law that allows sex abuse victims to file suits even after the statute of limitations has expired. The act has emboldened many women to step forward, which “figures because bitches love bringing up old stuff, amirite?”
Awful, but arguably not as bad as what Che had to read next. “MJ, the musical about the life of Michael Jackson, has become one of the highest-grossing shows on Broadway, and my review of the acting is the same as my opinion of MJ’s trial: Michael's amazing, but the kids are not believable at all.”
It’s another go for Che, who proclaims he wants to end on a more uplifting note, “especially with all the turmoil in the Middle East right now.” Che’s holiday advice? “I want to say from the bottom of my heart, whether you're Jewish or Muslim, y'all need Jesus.”
You got a problem with Che’s jokes? Jost helpfully offers that you can find him on Instagram! But Che has the last laugh as Jost is forced to deliver this two-part crusher: “New York State now allows movie theaters to serve alcohol, which is how I'm finally able to enjoy my wife's little art movies.”
“I’m kidding, honey. I love all of your movies, and if you ask me, you’re an even better Black widow than Coretta Scott King.”
Rest assured, Dr. Hattie Davis did not approve.