The Season 42 premiere of Saturday Night Live is just weeks away and with the untimely exit of two show mainstays, Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah, the announcement of new cast members has been highly anticipated. Just recently it was reported that SNL writer Mikey Day and seasoned performer Chris Redd will be joining the iconic, long-running comedy series.
On Friday, September 9, Deadline reported that Day is being transitioned into a featured player from the SNL writing staff. Day has been a writer for the series for three years and is not without improvisational experience, having been part of the renowned performance troupe The Groundlings.
As noted by Cinema Blend, Day is following in the footsteps of Tina Fey, Leslie Jones, and Seth Meyers, who all began their careers at SNL as writers. Day has written for a number of other sketch shows and appeared on many of them as well, including Robot Chicken and Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out, just to name a few.
Additionally, for his work on SNL, Day received a Writer’s Guild nomination in 2015 and an Emmy nomination in 2016, Cinema Blend reports.
Deadline notes that Day demonstrated to SNL producer Lorne Michaels that not only could he write, but also perform, when he took on a recurring role as a cast member on the summer variety show Maya & Marty, also helmed by Michaels, while serving as head writer on the series.
According to Cinema Blend, Day was in a memorable sketch on Maya & Marty in which John Cena picked him up and used him to perform bicep curls.
While Day’s addition to SNL has been revealed to Deadline via sources, who else will be recruited to fill one of the Not Ready for Prime Time Player spots now open seems to remain speculative.
According to Carter Matt, rumors have been swirling that Chris Redd may be the next featured SNL performer. He is known for doing impressions, much like Pharoah, and is particularly adept at doing President Barack Obama.
If you don't know this man you will. Big ups to Chris Redd on his rising stardom. https://t.co/CkP4EUcIht— Marz Timms (@marztimms) September 9, 2016
Redd, like Day, also has roots in improvisation, hailing from the Second City comedy group, Carter Matt reports. Furthermore, Redd has worked with several SNL alumni, taking part in Andy Samberg’s latest film venture Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, and working on a television sitcom pilot with Fey.
Flavorwire reported on the matter Saturday, writing with more confidence that Day and Redd are SNL‘s “newest cast members,” noting viewers will “…see what magic they can work” when the show returns for its premiere on October 1.
What remains unknown is whether another performer will be brought on to replace short-term featured player Jon Rudnitsky, who will also not be returning to SNL after only one season. According to The Wrap, Rudnitsky, who was a stand-up comedian and experienced improvisational performer before joining the show for Season 41, has appeared in a number of videos for Buzzfeed and Funny or Die.
Rudnitsky, who also won the 2012 Laugh Factory’s Laugh Bowl, a college comedy challenge, like Day was part of The Groundlings before joining SNL, according to Deadline.
It is unclear as to why Rudnitsky will not continue to be part of the show, but the exits of Killam and Pharoah were prompted by the two already having pilots with Showtime, according to Hitfix.
So sad Hard Knocks is over. Or is it? pic.twitter.com/8221voUB0z— Taran Killam (@TaranKillam) September 7, 2016
Killam will star in a Showtime sitcom called Mating, which follows the misadventures of a hapless, young, recently divorced man who married at a young age and now finds himself in a new dating world foreign to him, according to Hitfix.
Hitfix reports that Pharoah will star in White Famous, a Jamie Foxx production about a black comedian and the compromises and issues he must face to cater to a mainstream white audience.
Still no word on who will host the Season 42 premiere of SNL, which airs Saturday, October 1, at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
[Image via NBC]