Colin Jost Explains Why He Stepped Down as ‘SNL’ Co-Head Writer

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Saturday Night Live’s 41st season started with a slight shift in the writing staff when Colin Jost stepped down as co-head writer to focus more on Weekend Update, and in a new interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, Jost explained why he ultimately chose to leave his former title behind:

The head writing job is stressful. … I do the same exact amount of writing [now] as I did last year [as head writer], but the managerial part of the [head writer] job of dealing with the staff and managing a staff is very stressful and … it runs contrary to how you think as a performer. It’s much more you’re thinking about the logistics of the show, which doesn’t really free your brain as a performer. That was the decision. And I had been a head writer for three or four years, and then I was a writing supervisor for, like, three years before that, so I had been some version of that job for, like, six years and it burns you out. It’s not an easy job to think creatively and then also have to think logistically … about the show. So I feel a lot more relief and a new joy about my job this year because I’m focusing on the creative elements again. It kind of gives me a second wind at our show.