With only days until Saturday Night Live's 38th season premiere (hosted by Seth MacFarlane with musical guest Frank Ocean), it was about time for Lorne Michaels & Co. to announce the new faces who will be filling in the ranks left empty by departing players Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Abby Elliott. And NEW they are! The three featured players may not be household names yet, but SNL definitely has a solid track record of plucking young upstarts from local stages and turning them into stars. (Well, not always, obviously. But still!) The overriding trend with these new hires (pictured above from left to right: Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, and Cecily Strong) is that they all have ties to the Chicago comedy scene from which recent hire Vanessa Bayer also came. Let's meet them!
The first of two new female cast members, Bryant has performed regularly with Chicago's The Second City, ImprovOlympic, and the Annoyance Theater (alongside Vanessa Bayer). Here's a rather lengthy scene which should give you a sense of Bryant's sensibility:
Of the three new hires, Tim Robinson is the one who's come closest to stardom before this point, as he produced a pilot for Comedy Central and appeared in the CBS pilot Friend Me alongside Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Like Bryant, he also cut his teeth on Chicago's Second City stage. Below is a clip from his comedy team's pilot My Mans:
Strong also trained at The Second City, ImprovOlympic, and Annoyance Theater, even sharing an improv team with Bryant at ImprovOlympic. (It's like SNL went and hired a whole circle of friends!)
And lest you think Chicago got ALL the glory in SNL's casting process this year, it should be noted that Upright Citizens Brigade NY performers Josh Patten and Neil Casey have been hired as writers. So cool it, Chicago!
How do the new kids look to you?
Saturday Night Live Season 38 premieres Saturday, September 15 at 11:30pm on NBC.