It’s not a “Saturday Night Live” Christmas show without Colin Jost and Michael Che exchanging never-before-seen jokes to end the last “Weekend Update” segment of the year.
Each year, the two co-anchors swap jokes to tell on air for the first time without knowing what they say beforehand, getting each other in hot water for the out of context punchlines. Last night's episode, hosted by Kristen Wiig with musical guest Dua Lipa, was no different.
Che’s final joke for Jost poked fun at the comedian’s wife, actor Scarlett Johansson, taking him by surprise when he reached the end.
"It was announced that Creed singer Scott Stapp will play Frank Sinatra in an upcoming movie," Jost said, reading the joke from the cue card. "But the good news is Sammy Davis Jr. will be played by Scarlett Johansson."
Jost shook his head before putting his face in his hands while Che laughed loudly beside him before signing off the segment.
Fans of "SNL" seemed to really love the quip, with one person writing on Twitter, "The Scarlett Johansson joke was worth all of that lmaooooo."
The joke poked fun at Johansson’s past controversies of white-washing, namely for her role as Motoko Kusanagi in the 2017 movie, “Ghost in the Shell,” based on a popular Japanese manga. Across social media, people were angry that a non-Asian actor was cast as an Asian character.
The next year, the “Black Widow” star faced backlash again amid reports that she would portray a real-life transgender man in the film “Rub & Tug.” Shortly after, it was announced that Johansson would be exiting the project “in light of recent ethical questions.”
In 2019, Johansson admitted that she “mishandled” her response to the backlash she received following the casting news.
“In hindsight, I mishandled that situation. I was not sensitive, my initial reaction to it," she told Vanity Fair. "I wasn’t totally aware of how the trans community felt about those three actors playing — and how they felt in general about cis actors playing — transgender people."
The “Weekend Update” co-anchor wore his wedding band for the first time on the segment during the Halloween episode, hosted by John Mulaney.
Che alluded to their secretive wedding during the segment, joking, “I don't know what this world's gonna be after (the election). I may never see you again, Colin. I mean, we might both get drafted in the race wars. It's not fair. You just married Scarlett Johansson, and I just bought an electric bike. We're both doing equally great.”