Colin Jost isn’t just a full head of hair on a beautiful set of teeth. He’s also one of four head writers for Saturday Night Live, which somehow remains the most notable comedy show in the country. As a co-host of the Weekend Update segment, he’s one of the main faces of its political comedy during one of the most heated and contentious political moments in our recent history. He also dates Scarlett Johansson and owns a home in Montauk in the Hamptons. At a time when rich and poor are further away than they’ve been in decades, where the powerful are openly engaged in racial prejudice and class warfare, and where effective satire about the culture of greed, excess and bigotry that helped contribute to Donald Trump’s election could actually be of some use to society, one of our most preeminent political satirists is writing (or more like orating) guides to the Hamptons for entertainment industry trade magazines. Cool.
Not that this is surprising. Jost’s Harvard-bred preppie rep was a big reason viewers didn’t cotton to him when he first took over Weekend Update, and many were only able to tolerate him after he embraced that image in a form of self-parody. He might proudly tout his Staten Island upbringing, but Jost has no problem using his privilege for laughs. Presumably he’s not shooting for humor in his Hamptons guide for Hollywood Reporter, though, or at least not in the grim, unintentional, utterly embarrassing way that he completely nails.
The article, which is seriously subtitled “Where to Eat, Drink and Run Into Seinfeld,” undermines whatever attempts Jost might make to seem self-aware or self-effacing about his status. It’s full of utterly unrelatable thoughts about living in the summer playground of New York’s monied elite, from a guy who paid over $2 million for his oceanfront home. It’s hard to pick the most ridiculous, out-of-touch quote from it, so here’s a handful of the worst offenders, and you can decide for yourself. You can read the whole piece here.
1. “I chose to buy a house in Montauk because it has a sleepier vibe than the rest of the East End. I also felt that I would run into city people in East Hampton and wanted more of a buffer. ”
2. “Everything tastes fresher out here.”
3. “If Alec [Baldwin] has a party or Lorne [Michaels] has people over, I go see them.”
4. “I’ve run into Seinfeld at the Talkhouse in Amagansett and have seen Paul McCartney around.”
5. “There is also good golf in the area—Montauk Downs for a public course is so beautiful. When I’m at work during the day, I fantasize about walking the course at sunset.”
6. “It’s so easy, has a great spa and is a good spot to set up and have drinks. But they charge $1,500 for a daybed on the beach: Do you get to keep the bed or live there?”
7. “Montauk is a little more raw and rugged than the other parts of the Hamptons, and I like that.”
8. “Montauk probably has the best surfing on the East Coast.”
9. “It’s in East Hampton, where Alec Baldwin and other actors read excerpts from these books.”—on the time Jost read from Gregg Allman’s autobiography at a celebrity event
10. “Montauk is very beach-oriented with surfing, fishing and a lot of bars and restaurants on docks. It has laid-back elements similar to Staten Island, part of why I’m drawn to it.”