Catching up with local and global news can be disheartening, alarming, and frustrating — but for almost five decades, Saturday Night Live’s weekly news segment has worked to add a bit of satire, levity, and absurdity to the world of the 24-hour news cycle.
The mid-program broadcast has been a staple of the SNL format since its first episode on October 11, 1975, starting with its first anchor, Chevy Chase. Despite its serious format and suit-and-tie-clad host, the headlines were delivered with deadpan hilarity that cemented its place as an SNL crowd favorite.
Beyond Chase’s days behind the news desk in the mid-1970s, the segment has gone through several incarnations with various hosts, from Jane Curtin to Dennis Miller to Norm Macdonald. Some “Weekend Update” hosts, including Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, have even gone on to host their own late-night TV programs, wherein they once again found themselves behind a desk, delivering headlines and interviewing prominent figures.
Other notable hosts include Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Cecily Strong, Kevin Nealon, and Dan Aykroyd. Colin Jost and Michael Che are the latest dynamic duo to grace the “Update” desk, having served as the segment’s co-hosts since 2014.
Although satirical in essence, “Weekend Update” offers a breath of fresh air in an otherwise tedious news cycle that often capitalizes on fear and ignorance. Here are some of the funniest “Weekend Update” headlines that have broken through the mundanity of our local cable news programs to remind us that sometimes, the only thing we can do is laugh.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has released an updated list of unsafe baby products. Topping the list this year is the really, really, really, really high chair.Norm Macdonald
Bestselling suspense novelist Robert Ludlum died this week … or did he?Jimmy Fallon
This week, Amal Alamuddin — a brilliant, Oxford-educated human rights lawyer and a former U.N. advisor — settled for a 52-year-old man.Cecily Strong on Amal Alamuddin’s marriage to George Clooney
Pamela Anderson last week called police after discovering an obsessed female fan had broken into her house — in a related story, I really think we could be friends if you would just be cool about it!Tina Fey
Nabisco announced Tuesday that it’s launching a new triple-decker Oreo that consists of three cookies in a layer of white and a layer of chocolate cream, and for convenience sake, the bag also doubles as sweatpants.Seth Meyers
Starbucks has launched a new eco-friendly program called “Borrow a Cup” in which customers return their cup after finishing their drink so the stores can use it again, and Dunkin’ Donuts plans to compete with this promotion by not doing that.Michael Che
Sunday is Earth Day, so suck it, Neptune!Amy Poehler
Actor Jim Carrey got into a Twitter feud with the granddaughter of Benito Mussolini, because that’s just the kind of thing that happens now, and we all have to accept it.Colin Jost
70% of diners polled this week said there should be no smoking in restaurants, and 80% of diners said that restaurants should give away their food for free.Norm Macdonald
Police in Austria report that more than 1 million bees have been stolen from a local park — or, and hear me out, they just flew away.Michael Che
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