Big news in the comedy world today: Saturday Night Live has officially signed six new players to the cast after losing some major, longtime stars like Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers (who will be leaving soon). It's a major move for the show and, according to The Wrap, the largest casting shake-up the show has had in about four decades — so let's get to know these guys a little.
As rumored, the new cast includes:
- Beck Bennett, best known for being the AT&T "It's Complicated" guy and a member of the sketch group Good Neighbor.
- Kyle Mooney, who is also apart of Good Neighbor and appeared in a short film for Intel that was directed by Lake Bell.
- Mike O'Brien, who has been a writer on SNL for the past four years and had a web series called 7 Minutes In Heaven, in which he interviewed and tried to kiss celebrities in a closet.
- John Milhiser, who worked with SNL creater Lorne Michaels on a short Step Up parody called Clap It Up.
- Noël Wells, who is best known on the Internet for her amazing Zooey Deschanel impression in her web series, The Zooey Deschanel Show.
- Brooks Wheelan, an LA-based comedian who was hired to write for SNL last month, and is a self-professed "person/sex robot (mostly the first one)" on Twitter.
Also in big SNL news, Cecily Strong — a.k.a., the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party — has been named the new co-anchor of Weekend Update, and will host the segment alongside Seth Meyers until he leaves the series next year.
While these changes seem like they'll work, I can't help but feel like SNL really missed an opportunity here to add in some quality female comedians — especially considering the first episode of season 39 is going to be hosted by one of the most successful women to come from the show, Tina Fey.
The sketch series has been such a platform for women to get noticed in comedy — Fey, Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, Sarah Silverman, and Jenny Slate all had their careers launched by SNL — so it's disappointing to see that there's only one new female being added to the cast, which was already low on women in the first place (not to mention women of color, as there are noticeably no African-American women on the cast). So props to Strong for bringing female DNA back to the Weekend Update desk — but that's all us ladies get, Lorne?
The new season of SNL will kick off on Sept. 28, with an episode hosted by Fey with musical guest Arcade Fire.