When Saturday Night Live aired its first remote episode during quarantine in early April, it’s probably safe to say that nobody on the show predicted the star that was about to be born. That star, of course, was the acoustic guitar casually resting on the couch behind Colin Jost during “Weekend Update,” which jumped from obscurity to becoming everyone’s favorite new SNL character within an instant. (Julie Klausner, for example, made it her new Zoom background.) The new SNL star burned too brightly, however, and the guitar’s time in the spotlight ended as quickly as it began when SNL retooled “Weekend Update” with green screens for the next remote episode. The guitar was gone, but never forgotten. And now we have official confirmation that it belongs to Jost’s fiancée, Scarlett Johansson.
Jost briefly addressed the guitar in a new interview with the New York Times that’s out today to promote his memoir, A Very Punchable Face, which will be available on July 14 (it was delayed from its original April release due to the pandemic). “Scarlett had that guitar forever and it was in the quarantine,” Jost said. “She was like, ‘Maybe I should learn how to play,’ and just left it on the couch. It was so perfectly framed there and then everyone pointed it out and I was like, how can I be so dumb? I had no awareness of it at all.”
The SNL co-head writer had previously addressed the guitar on Instagram in April. “My favorite observation from last episode, even among my fellow cast members, was: ‘Great job including the guitar, douchebag,’” he wrote. “This might sound incomprehensible but I did not know it was on the couch, let alone perfectly framed behind me. I have never, nor do I pretend to play, the guitar. Nor do I physically understand how it works. I just Mr Magoo’ed into having a guitar behind me.”
The guitar’s presence on the show may have been short-lived, but we hope it’s at least considered for a featured-player spot next season.