“Weekend Update” co-anchor Colin Jost ignored NBC censors and stooped to the level of the president on this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live.
Leading with the news that Donald Trump broadly referred to African nations as “s‑‑‑holes,” per the Wall Street Journal’s reporting and accounts of multiple lawmakers in attendance, Jost first summarized the controversy: “The book Fire and Fury, a salacious expose of the Trump White House, was released last week, and then this week, the sequel wrote itself,” he said. “During an Oval Office meeting, Trump attacked protections for immigrants from African countries, which Trump called ‘S-holes.’”
Jost then took a step back by acknowledging that his network had requested he and co-anchor Michael Che stop short of fully quoting the president, and subsequently defied the censors. “That’s what NBC asked us to say by the way, even though the president can say ‘s‑‑‑hole,’” he explained, saying the word in full. “I feel bad for parents with young children: Every word you tell your kid not to say, they can be like, ‘But the president gets to say it!’”
The news of Trump’s reported comments, which he has denied, was met with outrage across the political spectrum on Friday. MSNBC anchors were in fact permitted to break with standard censorship guidelines in order to accurately quote the president, after providing a crude language warning.
Overall, there was an unusual amount of swearing on Saturday’s SNL. After Jost’s S-bomb drop, Che quickly followed suit, using the word multiple times in a more measured and comic way. (He cracked that he has called countries “s‑‑‑holes” just for not having a CVS.) And previously, guest host Sam Rockwell accidentally used the word “f‑‑‑ing” in his first sketch of the night. It went un-bleeped for viewers on the East Coast.