Saturday Night Live co-hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che have made an entire demography laugh with their Weekend Update sketch program. Famous for its transgressional, hilarious, and satirical skits on current and relevant socio-political subjects, SNL, with all its segments, already establishes itself as a genre-defying show reaching far beyond the confines of comedy.
And within that sandbox of jokes and critiques is contained enough power to comment on even the most powerful, beloved, and influential of people without having the public’s wrath raining down on the cast and the hosts.
Colin Jost Takes a Dig at Scarlett Johansson For Past Role
Crossover into inappropriate territories in their work is something common to both Colin Jost and Scarlett Johansson. While the former takes the safer route of masking his pieces behind satire and comedy, Johansson goes the more direct route by taking on the part of an Asian character and a transgender man in her multi-million dollar films. As such, criticisms of whitewashing have plagued the Ghost in the Shell actress for a long time now. And her husband’s SNL gig made for a perfect place to bring out the big guns as far as social commentary is concerned.
During Weekend Update, where Jost and Che write jokes for the other to read on live television without knowing what they are prior to their segment, Colin Jost was tricked into delivering a scathing criticism of Scarlett Johansson for her controversial past roles on the silver screen. Reading a joke written by Michael Che off the teleprompter, Jost stated:
“It was announced that ‘Creed’ singer Scott Stapp will play Frank Sinatra in an upcoming movie. But the good news is Sammy Davis Jr. will be played by Scarlett Johansson.”
The jab at the Marvel star from her husband, Colin Jost, for playing the inimitable singer, dancer, comedian, actor, and filmmaker hits at many levels. Scarlett Johansson taking on the part of a transgender man in Rub & Tug and appropriating the lead role in the 2017 film, Ghost in the Shell which was adapted from a Japanese manga, speaks to her willingness to cross gender and racial boundaries to play roles that are hardly suited for her. Colin Jost’s Sammy Davis Jr. reference then pays off brilliantly – serving to hit the mark with minimal effort.
Scarlett Johansson’s Controversial Roles in Cinema
Over the past two decades, Scarlett Johansson has cultivated an almost undeniable and inimitable career high that only a rare handful of actors get to experience on their best days. The actress, having worked in the industry since her childhood, and with the greatest of the greats, has picked up a skill for sniffing out the best of scripts that look beyond her identity as a “blonde bombshell.”
Very early on in her career, Johansson established her electrifying authority and command on screen with films like Lost in Translation (2003), Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003), Match Point (2005), The Prestige (2006), and Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). The decade after marked a sensational rise in the actress’s career with her introduction to the MCU as one of the original six Avengers. The decade also witnessed phenomenal performances from the actress in films like Her (2013), Lucy (2014), Jojo Rabbit (2019), Marriage Story (2019), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
The culmination of these roles however caved in a hard dent on the actress’s aggregate performance when she infamously commented that being an actor should allow her to play any role, even if that may be an animal or a tree. Since then, the actress has apologized publicly for her part in Rub & Tug (she later withdrew from the film following immense backlash) and Ghost in the Shell.
Source: SNL Weekend Update