15. BRIAN DOYLE-MURRAY 1981-1982
Apparently, being Bill Murray’s older brother doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re funny. Then again, baby bro didn’t fare too well as a fake newsman either.
14. BRAD HALL 1982-1983
13. JANE CURTIN & BILL MURRAY 1978-1980
Remember when we said ”baby bro didn’t fare too well as a fake newsman either”? Totally true.
12. JANE CURTIN & DAN AYKROYD 1977-1978
Aside from the Point/Counterpoint segment’s classic ”Jane, you ignorant slut,” Aykroyd added little to the WU mix.
11. KEVIN NEALON 1991-1994
Nealon was a competent Updater and had the looks and demeanor of a real anchor. But his tenure is more memorable for the guest commentators, such as Adam Sandler’s Opera Man, than his own joke-telling.
10. SETH MEYERS 2008-present
Like Tina Fey, the current Weekend Update host is also the SNL head writer and was principally responsible for Fey’s Sarah Palin sketches during the ’08 election cycle. Initially teamed with Amy Poehler, Meyers went solo after the comedienne departed the show last season. He will also anchor the new prime time Weekend Update Thursday show.
9. JANE CURTIN 1976-1977
Chevy Chase’s replacement would later claim that doing Weekend Update kept her ”sane,” because it meant she didn’t feel the need to plead for airtime on the show. But she must have felt she was going mad when the Update desk was surrounded by vomiting drunks during SNL‘s infamous live-from-Mardi Gras show in 1977.
8. CHARLES ROCKET 1980-1981
When Lorne Michaels temporarily left SNL at the end of the 1979 season, incoming executive producer Jean Doumanian chose Rocket to be the new Weekend Update anchor. Unfortunately, Rocket is better known for dropping the f-word during the Feb. 21, 1981 broadcast than for anything else he did on the show.
7. CHEVY CHASE 1975-1976
Chase became a huge star during the first season of SNL (and the rest of the cast did not!) thanks in large part to his preppy, twinkling fake news man. The comedian also came up with some of the more inspired early Update bits including News For The Hard Of Hearing in which Garrett Morris repeated everything Chase said IN A MUCH LOUDER VOICE!
6. AMY POEHLER & SETH MEYERS 2006-2008
When Tina Fey left to launch 30 Rock, Meyers slid into the seat, offering yet another solid base for Poehler’s brand of news-whimsy. Of the many things we’re grateful to Weekend Update for, ”Really!?! with Seth and Amy” is right up there.
5. COLIN QUINN 1998-2000
Quinn opened his first episode as the WU host with ”Have you ever gone to a bar and found that your favorite bartender was replaced with a guy named Steve? Well I’m Steve, what can I get you?” And that typified his stint: collegial, brusque, like the smart-ass on the stool next to you, waiting for the next pint.
4. NORM MACDONALD 1994-1997
Chevy Chase once said that, ”of all the other Update guys, the one who was funniest was Norm.” However, MacDonald’s cheap, laugh-avoiding, ”I don’t care”-style, didn’t sit well with NBC exec Don Ohlmeyer, who fired him for not being funny (and, it was rumored, for telling too many jokes about Ohlymeyer’s pal, O.J. Simpson). When Macdonald returned later to host the show he mentioned in his monologue how the show must have ”gotten really bad” if he was now funny enough to be its host.
3. JIMMY FALLON & TINA FEY 2000-2004
A little rocky at the beginning — Fey was SNL‘s head writer before stepping in front of the camera, and Fallon had a gift for either mugging or bursting into giggles — the Fey-Fallon duo found their stride. They were also the first WU anchors to have to contend with real fake-news competition: Jon Stewart’s Emmy-winning juggernaut, The Daily Show.
2. DENNIS MILLER 1985-1991
Miller’s big brain never served him as well as it did on Weekend Update. (Definitely not as a cohost of Monday Night Football.) His hyperliteracy was the perfect tool with which to nimbly dissect the inanity of ’80s pop culture.
1. TINA FEY & AMY POEHLER 2004-2006
For the first time in SNL‘s almost 40-year history, two women held down the Weekend Update desk, and they killed it. Fey brought a writers’-room-honed timing, while Poehler looked up for anything; together, they were the best WU anchors ever.