Saturday Night Live is switching up their cast, and the New York Times has confirmed the new lineup. Who’s out and who’s in this season, which everyone will tell you is worse than the season before, regardless?
Jenny Slate, One Season: Remember her? She’s the one who said “Fuck” live, from New York, on her very first episode. She made it through the rest of the season (presumably without any more F-bombs, or at least not any that were reported), but it goes without saying that this isn’t exactly a good omen for the rest of your Saturday Night Live career.
That said, Slate joins a long list of people who were off after only one season on SNL, like Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garofalo, Martin Short, Michael McKean, Joan Cusack, and many others who’ve gone on to have notable careers thereafter (Ranker complied a great list of them). As the Times pointed out, she’s also had a role on Bored to Death and a recent viral-video hit, so she’s looking to be okay moving out of the show. Worse things have happened.
Will Forte, Eight Seasons: Forte announced he was leaving the show two weeks ago, which is notably in the wake of the full-length film adaptation of his trademark SNL sketch, MacGruber, which wasn’t exactly a hit, at least not quite like the sketch was.
He’s had a decent run on the show, though, and has a starring role in a feature comedy called A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, about a bunch of high school friends in their 30s trying to throw an orgy, and another film in development. He’s also had a guesting role on 30 Rock, and SNL alumni seem to take care of their own, so he, too, should be okay.
Jay Pharoah: Apparently, the first black guy hired on SNL since Kennan Thompson was brought on in 2003. Pharoah’s also a kid, at 22 years old. When news broke that SNL might be scouting him, people went a little wild, with his good reason. He’s done comedy tours for BET and hit the New York comedy club circuit hard at a young age, and it’s paid off. While his highly regarded Obama impersonation won’t be traded in for Fred Armisen’s, surely, he’s got a few other tricks up his sleeve SNL audiences will enjoy.
Taran Killam: 28-year-old from L.A. who did one season on Mad TV — making him only the second SNL cast member to have been on Mad TV at one point (the other is Jeff Richards) — guest spots on shows like Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother, a few small roles in larger comedy movies, and some time on MTV’s sketch-improv show, Wild ‘n Out. The hugely underrated MadTV gets Killam cred, as does the fact that he’s posted/starred in a few sketches for FunnyOrDie.com.
Paul Brittain and Vanessa Bayer: Both Bayer and Brittain are virtual “unknowns” having been plucked from the world of Chicago comedy — specifically, as performer/instructors at Chicago’s famed iO (Formerly ImprovOlympic) — though Brittain’s had some face-time on a syndicated NBC imrpov show Sports Action Team that ran for two yearss, and Bayer’s been on the road with another famous Chicago company, Second City.
All four represent the biggest single-season cast switchup in a while for the show.
Hopefully, none of them will say “fuck” on their first go ’round the bend.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 8, 2010