With its 39th season approaching, “Saturday Night Live” has had to make some serious changes to its cast. Veterans Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Patrick O’Brien will no longer appear on the show, meaning Lorne Michaels has been searching for some young, fresh and talented comedians. There will be five new members of the cast, so here’s a little preview of these potentially-ready-for- primetime-players:
While a few may recognize him from the sketch comedy group Good Neighbor, Bennett gained popularity through his involvement in the AT&T commercials with the kids sitting at the table. You know, the ones where he asks a group of eight-year-olds if they think that “faster is better” and they give adorable answers and he meets them with deadpan seriousness. What’s cool about these is that they’re completely improvised, so Bennett is naturally witty and hilarious. Can’t wait for this guy!
Like many rising comedians, Milhiser gained his recognition online”” specifically, making YouTube videos. He also performed at the acclaimed improv theater Upright Citizens Brigade, giving him some serious credentials. He maintains a blog dedicated to “baguetting,” a meme reminiscent of planking and Tebowing. Recently, Milhiser created a four-minute video called “Clap it Up” for Lorne Michaels’ YouTube channel, Above Average.
Although he is another member of the sketch group Good Neighbor, Mooney has a very different style from Bennett. He encompasses the “skinny, awkward guy” persona very well and is an amazing performer. You may recognize him from the man-on-the-street interviews from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” or from his guest appearance on “Parks and Rec.” (He came in for an interview and did a horrible job”” classic.)
While O’Brien has been a writer on “SNL” since 2009, he is finally getting to be a part of the cast. I’m going to have to rehash what I said about Mooney in the sense that O’Brien is incredibly skinny and awkward. Besides his prolific writing career, O’Brien has starred in his web series “7 Minutes in Heaven” where he interviews celebrities ranging from Ellen DeGeneres to Christina Ricci to the Insane Clown Posse. The kicker is that the entire interview is conducted in a closet and he gets to try for a kiss at the end. Again, having also trained at Second City, OBrien is incredibly quick-witted and talented with both improv and writing.
As the only woman being added to the cast, Wells is chock-full of awesomeness. She is an Internet personality with her own YouTube channel dedicated to vlogging and sketches she writes for herself. My personal favorite is the “Manic Pixie Nightmare” Girl series, making fun of the quirky Zooey Deschanel archetype that continues to appear in Hollywood. She has a very diverse and dark sense of humor, while also remaining a vivacious performer. Girl power!