The new season of SNL starts this Saturday, and in true Lorne Michaels fashion, this season’s new cast members have only just been announced, and it has also only just been announced that Jason Sudeikis will return for this season. Also in true Lorne fashion, some casting news is yet to be made—Will Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer, and Jay Pharaoh all be promoted from featured players to regular cast members? While we wait for that news, let’s meet SNL‘s three new featured players:
Aidy Bryant is originally from Phoenix, and performed in Chicago at Second City, the Annoyance Theater, iO Chicago and with Baby Wants Candy. To get to know more about her life, you can listen to her episode of The Poor Choices Show podcast. The primary video circling the internet that showcases Aidy’s comedy is this “Short Squeeze” video, which certainly reminds me of a Kristen Wiig-esque, accosting, upbeat character whose high energy and good intentions go slightly awry.
Tim Robinson is originally from Detroit, and performed in Chicago at Second City; and with the Cook County Social Club and My Mans groups at iO Chicago. He’ll join Taran Killam and Bill Hader in the Dad Group of SNL—he’s married with two kids. This video from 2011 he co-wrote and co-starred in, “Ugly Baby,” contains some hilarious, outrageous descriptions that could probably make Stefon jealous (warning: video NSFW).
Cecily Strong is originally form Oak Park, Illinois and performed in the Second City Theatricals, Second City Touring Company, and at iO Chicago. Cecily was the hardest to internet-stalk—the main video floating around of her is a sketch where she scams some tourists into paying for an exceptionally bad tour of Quebec. In something a bit more SNL-like, here she plays the Karen character (she shows up at 1:19) in this fake Sponsor a Uterus commercial:
Sadly I couldn’t find any of the three on twitter, so if anyone can spot ’em—let me know in the comments. As you can see, all three did come from the Chicago improv scene; which is where current cast members Vanessa Bayer and Jason Sudeikis also trained and performed.
Also new this year will be incoming Upright Citizens Brigade writers Neil Casey and Josh Patten (Josh will exclusively be a Weekend Update writer). To get a sense of what Josh’s Update jokes could be like, check his twitter (my favorite? “Happy 11th birthday to our 2016 Olympic gymnasts.” Horrifying, yet true). You can watch Neil in drag in this video alongside Sue Galloway and John Lutz (Sue and Lutz on 30 Rock).
Since it’s an election year, we will also be treated to two episodes of SNL Weekend Update Thursday on September 20 and 27. With Sudeikis and Fred Armisen returning, our Obama, Biden, and Romney impressionists are locked down. I would love for Seth Meyers to make a rare sketch appearance and play Paul Ryan, but my guess is that Bill Hader will probably appear as Ryan. The most exciting part of Weekend Update Thursday is the possibility of favorite old characters returning to the show—the 2008 edition brought back Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush endorsing the new Republican candidates. I’d love to see this trend continue, so I hope Tina Fey can see Studio 8H from her house.
Watch new episodes of Saturday Night Live on Saturdays on NBC at 11:30/10:30c. This week’s episode on September 15 is the season premiere with host Seth MacFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean.