The SNL cast will open with Cecily Strong debuting at the “Weekend Update” desk as well as six other new cast members when Tina Fey ushers in the new season as host on September 28.
Cecily Strong is a newer SNL cast member, and the “Weekend Update” gig is one previously held by now readier for prime time stars Chevy Chase, Tina Fey, Dennis Miller, Jimmy Fallon, and Jane Curtin.
But the SNL cast also added an additional six new players, Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Mike O’Brien, Noel Wells, and Brooks Wheelan. The infusion of new talent is described as one of the biggest Saturday Night Live revamps ever on a show that often presents a mixed bag of success when adding and subtracting members.
On subtraction, the show is losing Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Jason Sudeikis, with Seth Meyers cutting out in February for a late-night gig also under Lorne Michaels’ bailiwick.
But Michaels himself has faith in the SNL cast and rigorous audition process, saying only that it is indeed difficult to get through:
“You can’t be famous before you’re famous… It’s one thing to be on a stage in Chicago or L.A.; it’s another thing to be standing in [SNL cast studio] 8H. It’s like standing in Yankee Stadium. They can all play baseball, but this is something different. And the weight of all that was just more palpable to me this summer, more than ever before.”
Lorne also said by now, he’s used to the same old “Saturday Night Dead” jokes, adding that through the years, a distinct pattern emerges:
“People attach to the cast they see in high school. In those years they generally can’t drive. They don’t have any money. Staying up late is exciting. Being with friends up late is really exciting. So they’re very connected to the cast they see then.”
Which SNL cast was your favorite? Was it the not ready for primetime players of your high school days?