'SNL' Breaks Major Tradition, Much to Fans' Disappointment

In the wake of Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, and Kyle Mooney's reported departures, it was expected that Saturday Night Live's 47th season finale would be a must-see. The episode featured various heartwarming and quirky moments for the cast members to say their final farewells throughout the broadcast.

That included the ever-popular Weekend Update, during which anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che said goodbye to longtime cast members Bryant and Davidson. While SNL fans agreed with the show honoring its departing players, but felt the goodbyes edged out the long-running Weekend Update "joke swap" segment. Co-hosts Jost and Che trade jokes that usually play on their racial differences in the recurring bit.

One viewer wrote on Twitter that they were "excited for the annual Che/Jost joke swap, especially with Che leaving his Weekend Update responsibilities next season. Feel like we just got robbed of the funniest part of the season."

Another disappointed user tweeted, "I know we have a lot of legendary exits going on, but where was the legendary Weekend Update season finale joke swap? I love Guy Who Just Bought A Boat, but I think we all would have rather had the usual joke swap!"

Earlier this year, there were reports that Che had announced his departure during a comedy set at a Minneapolis hair salon. As The Huffington Post reported, Che said, "This is my last year."

In a March Instagram post, Che wrote that he's  "not leaving" the show. the show."To comedy fans, please stop telling reporters everything you hear at a comedy show, you're spoiling the trick," Che wrote in the caption. He added, "I'm not leaving SNL. I said it at a comedy show and some dork transcribed it and wrote an article."

Jost told Collider in February 2021 that he and Che do not see each other's jokes until they read them live on the air, so their reactions are "100 percent" real. "I'm seeing all of them for the first time on-air. It's really a pretty terrifying moment. It's thrilling, in a way, but also terrifying," said Jost, who has written for SNL since 2005.

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"I don't know any other moment like that, really, where you're going to be on record on live television, and not know what you're going to say -- and you feel compelled to say whatever you see," he explained. "The worst moments are always the lead-up to that moment, where you're in a hallway and you hear one of the writers say, 'you can't make him say that! Oh my God! His life will be over. They'll kill him!'" Jost added. "And you hear that, but you don't know what it is, and you're like, 'oh my God, can someone please talk Che out of whatever that was gonna be?' So that's the scarier part."

Jost and Che, who are close friends off the air, find that performing live on TV can be a risky proposition when comedy has become a minefield. "I'll check in with [Che] and I'll be like, 'everything's gonna be okay, right?' And he "ll be like, 'this was your idea!' or like, 'you volunteered!' And I'm like, 'oh, God.' So it's a real experience," Jost concluded.