Colin Jost is an American comedian, actor, and writer who has been a cast member on Saturday Night Live (SNL) since 2005. He currently serves as a head writer for the show and co-anchors the Weekend Update segment with Michael Che.
While Jost is a successful entertainer with many fans, he has also attracted a fair share of haters over the years. There are several reasons why some people dislike or even hate Colin Jost.
Reasons for Dislike
One of the most common complaints about Jost is that he comes across as elitist or out of touch. Here are some examples cited by critics:
- His upbringing – Jost grew up in an affluent suburb of New York. His mother was a medical executive and his father a former teacher turned businessman. This privileged background leads some to accuse Jost of not understanding regular people’s struggles.
- His education – Jost attended elite private schools growing up and graduated from Harvard University. Some believe this gives him an air of undeserved superiority.
- His persona on SNL – As head writer and Weekend Update anchor, Jost is seen as representing the show’s establishment voice. His on-air persona is cerebral and detached, lacking warmth for some.
As a comedian, Jost has naturally made some jokes over the years that rubbed people the wrong way. Some examples:
- Inappropriate or offensive subject matter – Jokes about topics like domestic violence, disabilities, race, gender, and sexual orientation that some found to cross a line.
- Punching down – Jokes perceived to mock or belittle marginalized groups and punch down rather than up.
- Politically incorrect – Jokes that go against mainstream cultural views of what is acceptable to joke about in today’s social climate.
Some believe Jost only got to where he is today due to nepotism or connections, not pure talent. The main reasons cited are:
- His aunt was head writer at SNL – Jost’s aunt was head writer at SNL long before he joined, leading some to believe this family connection gave him an unfair advantage.
- Dating Scarlett Johansson – After Jost began dating movie star Scarlett Johansson, some started seeing him as a lesser talent riding on her coattails.
- Friendship with Jimmy Fallon – Jost’s perceived chummy relationship with Jimmy Fallon, a hugely successful SNL alum, strikes some as another example of him gaining favor through connections, not merit.
Defenses of Jost
However, many fans and entertainment industry insiders counter that the backlash against Jost goes too far and fails to recognize his talents. Some defenses of Colin Jost include:
He’s Worked Hard to Get Where He is
- Jost has been writing for SNL since 2005, starting as a behind-the-scenes writer before becoming head writer and on-air talent. This 13+ year rise indicates dedication, not just luck.
- As a head comedy writer, Jost oversees hundreds of comedy sketches each season, approving the best ones. This is an immense workload requiring talent.
- Jost has won numerous awards for his writing, including multiple Emmys and Writers Guild Awards. Hard to argue this success is undeserved.
His Persona Fits SNL Tradition
- The detached “straight man” character Jost plays has a long tradition on SNL dating back to original Weekend Update anchor Chevy Chase. It serves as an effective comedic foil.
- Having a preppy, Ivy League educated writer as an anchor allows SNL’s writing to humorously skewer elites and institutions from an insider’s perspective.
- Not all SNL personalities need be loved by all. Diversity of perspectives and comedic styles is good.
Subjective Nature of Comedy
- Comedy is inherently subjective. What makes some laugh may offend others, but that doesn’t make it objectively “bad” comedy.
- Comedians shine light on controversial topics that society is grappling with. Even if not always successful, pushing boundaries is part of the role.
- Jost has apologized for jokes some found offensive. But no comedian bats 1.000. Misses are inevitable.
- For better or worse, Jost’s style appeals to enough people to make him successful. Appeal doesn’t have to be universal.
In the end, hating or disliking any public figure is often an exercise in selective perception. People focus on evidence that fits their established narrative. Colin Jost’s privileged background and aloof on-air manner rub some the wrong way. But dismissing him entirely does a disservice to his undeniable comedic talents and SNL contributions over the years.
Perhaps the fairest view lies somewhere in the middle. Jost can still be respected for his achievements in comedy writing and performance, even by those who find his style of humor not to their taste or occasionally miss the mark. But comedy and public personas are subjective by nature. That reasonable people can disagree on the appeal of Colin Jost simply shows the diversity of tastes that exist among viewers.
- Critics perceive Jost as elitist and out of touch due to his privileged upbringing and education.
- Controversial jokes on sensitive topics have backfired and offended some viewers.
- Nepotism perceptions stem from his family SNL connections and dating Scarlett Johansson.
- But defenders note his long tenure at SNL indicates hard work, his straight man persona has tradition there, and comedy is subjective.
Why is Colin Jost considered elitist?
Colin Jost is considered elitist by some due to his upper-class upbringing in suburban New York, education at elite private schools and Harvard University, and his detached, cerebral comedic persona on shows like SNL.
What controversial jokes has Colin Jost made?
Jost has faced criticism for jokes about topics like domestic violence, disabilities, race, gender, and sexual orientation that some find offensive or consider punching down against marginalized groups.
How did Colin Jost get his job on SNL?
Jost started as a writer at SNL in 2005 before being promoted to head writer in 2012. While his aunt was a former SNL head writer, Jost had been writing comedy for years before being hired there.
Who is Colin Jost dating that upsets some people?
Since 2017, Jost has been dating actress Scarlett Johansson. Some believe Jost is less talented than Johansson and that he is riding her coattails rather than succeeding on pure merit.
Why do some people think Colin Jost relies on nepotism?
In addition to his aunt’s connection, Jost’s friendship with Jimmy Fallon and dating Scarlett Johansson strike some as Jost benefiting from personal connections. But most agree he works hard.