I hope that Colin Jost never, ever reads the Internet, because the Internet is hard on Colin Jost. I get the sneaking suspicion that he does, however, because over the course of his time on Update, it at least seems like he’s tried to adjust the way he smirks or the way he delivers jokes, almost as a response to the online criticism.
Don’t listen to us, dude. Never listen to the Internet.
Jost and Michael Che were on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, and you know what? They were delightful: Funny, personable, relatable,and self-aware. There’s a reason that Rashida Jones may or may not still be dating Jost. He’s a good guy.
They also betrayed very little insider-y info about the Trump episode, although you could sense from Che that he doesn’t care for Trump, basically saying that he completely understood why people would protest Trump’s appearance, but adding:
“I liked the protest because it showed that the show is that relevant, that it’s that important to people. … When people are passionate and they love the show so much that they don’t want people they don’t like on, it makes it exciting. If they didn’t care it would be worse.”
Remember when we all celebrated the fact that Jost stepped down as head writer, as though we’d all won some kind of victory (and I count myself among those celebrating)? He didn’t get fired or booted. He does just as much writing now, but he stepped down so he didn’t have to focus on the managerial side.
The head writing job is stressful. … I do the same exact amount of writing [now] as I did last year [as head writer], but the managerial part of the [head writer] job of dealing with the staff and managing a staff is very stressful and … it runs contrary to how you think as a performer. It’s much more you’re thinking about the logistics of the show, which doesn’t really free your brain as a performer. That was the decision. And I had been a head writer for three or four years, and then I was a writing supervisor for, like, three years before that, so I had been some version of that job for, like, six years and it burns you out. It’s not an easy job to think creatively and then also have to think logistically … about the show. So I feel a lot more relief and a new joy about my job this year because I’m focusing on the creative elements again. It kind of gives me a second wind at our show.
To his credit, the show has been fairly terrible this season, except for “Weekend Update,” which has shown signs of improvement, especially as Jost and Che’s chemistry improves. In fact, part of what has made it better is the way Che often makes Jost the white-guy butt of many of his jokes, and Jost is cool with that (in fact, he was the white-guy butt of a few jokes on Fresh Air). Jost is a smart guy. He gets it. He understands that “punching up” means taking few jabs to the chin.
So, maybe we should put down the pitchforks for a while. After all, Colin Jost is not the worst “Update” anchor. That title still belongs to Colin Quinn. Kevin Nealon was also worse. In fact, Jost is better than Fallon was in the Fey/Fallon years.
That said, I reserve the right to change my mind as soon as he crashes and burns again, but it won’t change my mind about Jost, the person: He’s a good guy.
Source: Fresh Air