A Weekend Update Romantic Fanfic Perplexes the ‘SNL’ Fandom

Dive into the story of a white woman who replaces Michael Che and becomes the anchor of Colin Jost’s carnal desire
A Weekend Update Romantic Fanfic Perplexes the ‘SNL’ Fandom

Are you a Saturday Night Live fan who watches Weekend Update and wonders to yourself, “What if Colin Jost and Michael Che were in love? Also, what if Michael Che were a white woman with brown hair?” Are you a white woman with brown hair? Then, oh boy, do we have the self-published novel for you.

In the fanfiction community, writing a story set in the world of a beloved movie, TV show or novel in which two characters who show no semblance of romantic or sexual connection in the official canon suddenly fall in lustful love with each other is called “shipping.” And, when a fanfiction writer creates a new character whom they add to their favorite series and who shows many striking similarities to the author, it is an example of a common literary device known as a “self-insert,” which serves as an aspirational tool that allows a (typically young) creative to live out their fantasy of attending Hogwarts, learning the ways of The Force, or, in the case of Late Night Love by Chayla Wolfberg, becoming the head writer of SNL and hosting its long-running weekly news sketch alongside her enemy-turned-lover Colin Jost.

Earlier this week, SNL Twitter caught wind of a self-published romance novel that the young writer Wolfberg has described as a “Michael Che/Colin Jost fan fiction” in one of two viral TikToks. However, as you can plainly see on the cover of Late Night LoveSNL head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che is replaced in the book by a woman who looks ever-so-slightly similar to Wolfberg herself. 

Someone tell Scarlett Johansson to clear her reading list.


“Emily Beckerman has the dream job as a writer on Live From New York, a world-famous sketch comedy show. But what she really wants is to write for the legendary Weekend Update segment,” the description of Late Night Love reads on Wolfberg’s website. “When it becomes clear that the current hosts will never give her that chance, Emily takes matters into her own hands and replaces one of their jokes with her own.”

It continues, “She never expected that her moment of revenge would cause an on-air meltdown that got the show’s Head Writer fired. Emily is even more surprised to learn that she’s going to be his replacement, because Live From New York is dangerously close to being cancelled.”

Naturally, after “Emily” usurps not-Michael-Che and replaces him behind the desk of Weekend Update, her relationship with “Chris Galloway, the other Update host and Head Writer,” starts off as adversarial before melting into “white-hot chemistry.” In Wolfberg’s world, Jost goes from swapping jokes to swapping saliva.

When commenters questioned Wolfbergs description of Late Night Love as a “Michael Che/Colin Jost fan fiction,” given that the former Weekend Update anchor is absent from the steamy romance and a woman resembling Wolfberg is in his place, the author explained in a follow-up TikTok, “Im a straight, white woman, I really do not feel comfortable taking up space to be writing a book about a queer, interracial relationship.” 

Wolfberg is clearly better at PR than she is at coming up with copyright-friendly phrases to use in the places of protected titles — Im pretty sure Lorne Michaels still owns the trademarks for “Live From New York” and “Weekend Update” whether or not you use the name Saturday Night Live in your wish-fulfillment fanfic smut.


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