Colin Jost Provides Comic Relief at Parents Weekend


The University hosted “An Evening with Colin Jost” on Saturday night.

Katie Reed, News Columnist

This past weekend, loved ones traveled from near and far to spend time with their favorite Villanovans for the annual Family Weekend at the University. On Saturday, Sept. 24, families attended events such as the Junior Ring Blessing, the Tailgate on the Green and the football game played against Monmouth, with the closing event that day being “An Evening with Colin Jost,” a comedy show at 9 p.m. in the Finneran Pavilion.

Villanovans and their families may recognize Jost from Saturday Night Live (SNL), where he has been a writer for 17 years and the co-anchor of the “Weekend Update” segment alongside Michael Che for eight years, or better yet, as the husband of Scarlett Johansson.  

Alex English, a fellow member of SNL who is starting his second season as a writer for the show, opened for Jost at the event. His jokes ranged from poking fun at the University as a predominantly white institution, to the death of the queen, to therapy, to homophobia in the barber shop, as he delivered a provocative punch line and then watched the audience’s reactions, as many were seated in between their parents.

 “I thought [English] was pretty funny,” senior Sofia Sim said. “I think he was pretty bold.”

Though English did get some laughs, some of his jokes were a little uncomfortable.

“Overall, I don’t believe Alex English read the audience well,” senior Morgan Torre said. “While some of his jokes had the potential to be funny, sitting between my parents…[it] wasn’t necessarily the most comfortable experience.”

When it came to Jost, people seemed to enjoy his performance, especially the jokes that were specific to the University or common college experiences. For instance, Jost name-dropped and critiqued a few key locations on campus, like Spit, Pit, Sheehan, Sullivan and the Oreo.

“Colin Jost was funnier than I expected him to be,” senior Fiona Gavin said. “I thought it was really funny when he couldn’t pronounce St. Augustine’s name and the audience corrected him, because that was very on brand for Villanova.”

“I thought Colin was funny,” Sim echoed. “I’ve seen him on the Weekend Update, and I like that, so I was excited to see his stand-up. I liked how he laughed at some of his own jokes, it made the environment less awkward and showed how it was supposed to be fun.”

Sim also mentioned a couple of her favorite jokes of the night.

“I really enjoyed Colin’s joke about roommates and how one would try to be quiet but actually was very loud,” Sim said. “I also found his joke about buying a whole chicken to be funny and something college kids can relate to.”

Both comedians capitalized on the fact that it was Family Weekend, so many of the jokes were a little more risqué to add more humor to the situation.

“I was sitting between my roommate and my sister during the performance, so luckily I didn’t have to feel any awkwardness when it came to certain jokes and my parents,” Gavin said. “My family was definitely entertained by his jokes, and my parents are big SNL fans, so they were excited to see him.” 

“It was fun to get to share some of the jokes with my family and friends,” Sim said. “It’s fun that different class years and families were there to create a shared experience. Other jokes were a little awkward to hear in front of my parents.”

However, many also offered pertinent and powerful critiques of Jost’s performance.

“I wish he had been a bit more prepared in terms of knowing about Villanova,” Gavin said. “Freshman year, John Mulaney found a copy of The Villanovan and used it to get most of his material for his performance, and I think that went over so well because everyone in the audience could enjoy his jokes. Also, can’t say I appreciated his jokes about the R word or his continuous use of the word.”

“Colin Jost had some good moments, but I also didn’t feel like he was super prepared,” Torre said, emphasizing Gavin’s thoughts and alluding to the way that Jost kept looking down at notes. “Villanova’s whiteness remains the butt of jokes, raising the question, when will we stop laughing and start acting?”

Season 50 of SNL premieres this week, so tune in to see if Villanova makes it onto Weekend Update.