'SNL' Season 39: Amy Poehler Dishes on Cecily Strong as "Weekend Update" Anchor
For the past couple of seasons, Seth Meyers has been holding down the Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" anchor desk by himself. However, the fake news segment has been an extremely helpful launching pad for female cast members in the past, including Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. This season, SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels plugged in the up-and-comer Cecily Strong into the position and the 29-year-old has done a pretty nice job so far feeding off of Meyers' energy and adding her own style to the segment.
Poehler recently spoke to TV Guide about Strong's handling of the position so far this year and couldn't have been more complimentary (seriously, she couldn't).
"She's crushing it," the Parks and Recreation actress told TVGuide.com Wednesday. "She's so great. I sent her flowers on her first day and just wrote 'Strong, Strong,' because she's awesome. She's a huge talent."
With Meyers headed out to take over for Jimmy Fallon as NBC's new Late Night host in early 2014, Strong very well could take over the position from here on out.
"It's a time of transition, Seth is getting ready to leave," Poehler said. "She's just starting. I remember the early days of it, and it's a hard thing to get into a groove of, but Seth is such a pro and so good at it, I'm sure he's making her feel really good. She's going to be great. She's so great already and she's just starting."
Sounds like she's got a little support to feed off of, at least.
Kerry Washington, Edward Norton to host upcoming shows
Saturday Night Live will welcome a 'scandal' and go "Berzerk" on November 2nd.
NBC announced Wednesday Scandal star and first-time host Kerry Washington will take the stage for the first show in November alongside musical guest Eminem, with Edward Norton slated to take on the gig a few nights before Halloween. Janelle Monae will make her musical guest debut on the 26th with Norton, who is also making his SNL hosting debut. This will be Eminem's sixth appearance on the sketch series.
SNL has come under fire recently for a lack of diversity within the cast, which has not featured a black female cast member for six straight seasons. Kenan Thompson, the show's longest-tenured member, recently told TV Guide he believes the problem isn't with the selections being made, but with the quality of the candidates auditioning.
“It’s just a tough part of the business,” Thompson said. “Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
In its 38 years on the air, Saturday Night Live has only had four black female cast members: Yvonne Hudson (1980-81), Danitra Vance (1985-86), Ellen Cleghorne (1991-95) and Maya Rudolph (2000-2007).
Thompson's fellow cast member Jay Pharoah took a stronger stance on the subject, telling theGrio NBC "needs to pay attention" and that he knows of a legitimate candidate—Darmirra Brunson, of Tyler Perry's Love They Neighbor.
"Why do I think she should be on the show? Because she's black first of all, and she's really talented. She's amazing. She needs to be on SNL. I said it. And I believe they need to follow up with it like they said they were going to do last year."