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NPR Arts & Life

The Most Trusted Name In Fake News

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Making fun of the news - it is big business on television. There's "The Daily Show." There is "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." There's Bill Maher and, of course, the grande dame of news satire...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: It's Weekend Update with Colin Jost and Michael Che.

(APPLAUSE)

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

We last heard from Che and Jost in May. The hosts of "Saturday Night Live's" long-running news sketch Weekend Update were finishing up the show's best-rated season in 25 years. And the news was thus.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

COLIN JOST: I know I said this last week, but this week was crazy.

(LAUGHTER)

JOST: Obviously, Trump's not done yet. But let's just say Mike Pence is definitely warming up in the bullpen.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANG: After that episode, "SNL" went on what's called a hiatus, a break between seasons.

GREENE: Of course, though, the news doesn't take the summer off. So NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said he didn't want Che and Jost to, either. The network didn't want to lose their ratings momentum. And so tonight, Che and Jost are going to host a half-hour version of Weekend Update in prime time. It airs on Thursdays. OK, not the weekend exactly. But still, it's going to be airing on Thursdays for the next four weeks.

CHANG: It's not the first time "SNL" has spun-off Weekend Update to accommodate some appetite for satire. Back in October 2008, when Barack Obama and Joe Biden were running against John McCain and Sarah Palin, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers were the Weekend Update host team.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

SETH MEYERS: Amy, do you want to do Governor Palin's part instead?

AMY POEHLER: I guess I could give it a try, I mean...

MEYERS: Do you want - do you remember it?

POEHLER: I kind of remember it, yeah.

MEYERS: OK, why don't you try it?

POEHLER: One, two, three.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

POEHLER: (As Sarah Palin) My name is Sarah Palin. You all know me, vice president nominee of the GOP. Going to need your vote in the next election. Can I get a what, what from the senior section? McCain...

GREENE: So I guess we can say the most-trusted names in fake news are back on NBC tonight. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.