14 ‘SNL’ Weekend Update Characters Who Deserve a Full Spin-Off Franchise

If Pat got their own movie, why can’t The Iceberg That Sank the Titanic?
14 ‘SNL’ Weekend Update Characters Who Deserve a Full Spin-Off Franchise

Weekend Update has morphed and evolved over the years, but even since John Belushi’s time on the show, it’s served as a platform for the cast to exorcize their weirdest demons. Here are some of the best — or at least the most memorable…

Spotted Lanternfly

Bowen Yang appeared as the invasive species that’s sweeping the nation, in the form of a reality TV star indignantly insisting on sticking around a continent where he’s not wanted.

The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party

Cecily Strong played an overly confident, barely coherent firebrand of a party guest who has a lot of strong feelings, but not quite enough words to express them.

Lenny the Lion

Colin Quinn popped in on Norm Macdonald in the midst of some bizarre animal attacks to defend himself and his incarcerated brethren. 

Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy

Vanessa Bayer played Seth Meyers’ podiatrist’s son (and newly-minted Bar Mitzvah boy), Jacob, who dishes Jewish history and one-liners with the awkward mix of shyness and confidence that inhabits the brain of 13-year-old boys the world over.


Eddie Murphy brought back his classic Gumby bit on Colin Jost’s and Michael Che’s Weekend Update, interrupting the broadcast to demand more screen time, on account of the fact that he (Gumby) is the one who made Eddie Murphy a star.

Bennett Brauer

Chris Farley played a classic besuited sad sack whose heavy use of air quotes belies some deeply personal criticism he’s received: “I’m not ‘camera-friendly.’ I don’t ‘wear clothes that fit me.’ I’m not ‘hygienic.’ I don’t ‘wipe properly.’”

Baby Yoda

Assisted by some impressive props, Kyle Mooney played a hard-partying, gruff-speaking adult Grogu who kicks it with Timothee Chalamet and the guys from the Sonic commercials.

Goober the Clown Who Had an Abortion When She Was 23

As the Supreme Court was in the process of tearing down established abortion rights, Cecily Strong seemed to be highlighting the absurdity of having to address a major setback for human rights on a comedy show: “I wish I didn’t have to do this, because the abortion I had at 23 is my personal clown business, but that’s all some people in this country want to discuss all the time, even though clown abortion was legalized in Clown v. Wade in 1973.”

Jacob Silj

Will Ferrell played very serious political journalist Jacob Silj, who’s repeatedly sidetracked by the Update hosts’ insensitive complaints about his Voice Immodulation Syndrome.

Garth and Kat

What started as a backstage inside joke between Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig became an Update staple: two folk singers who are clearly making up their songs on the spot, trying their hardest to improvise in tandem.

Flaco’s Widow

New York City’s favorite escaped zoo owl, Flaco, tragically succumbed to a combination of rat poison, pigeon herpes and flying into a building. Sarah Squirm appeared as Flaco’s long-suffering widow trying to process her sudden loss.

Best Friends From Growing Up

Vanessa Bayer and Fred Armisen played the childhood best friends of some of the world’s worst despots, from Kim Jong Un to Vladimir Putin, trying to keep a lid on their compulsion to talk shit.

Iceberg That Sank the Titanic

Bowen Yang played history’s most hated iceberg, trying to finally, at long last, tell his side of the story (and promote his new hyperpop album).


Bill Hader’s wiggly, sultry nightlife correspondent was originally meant to be a traditional sketch character — his first appearance was as Ben Affleck’s brother who helps him pitch blockbusters to Hollywood bigwigs.

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