SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Recruits Three New Cast Members, But Are More Veterans Leaving the Show?

     August 30, 2010


Upon first inspection, it would appear that Will Forte’s recently reported departure from Saturday Night Live is warranting a trio of comedians to replace him. However, The New York Post’s report that three new rising improv comedians are joining the cast in September suggests that more veteran departures may be on the way. Of course this is only speculation, but getting three news cast members to join the sketch comedy series while only one is leaving just seems a bit excessive and unnecessary. So who are the lucky young comedians who will be performing live from New York? Find out after the jump.

taran_killam_cobie_smulders_01First up and the most well known of the additions is Taran Killam. The young comedian has had recurring roles on both Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother, the latter certainly helped by the fact that he’s long been in a relationship with series star Cobie Smulders (complete with a one year-old baby). Meanwhile, the other two additions are following in the footsteps of such SNL veterans as John Belushi, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Tina Fey and more by moving up from Chicago’s comedy scene. Paul Brittain and Vanessa Bayer both hail from Chicago’s iO (Improv Olympic) theater . Bayer has also worked with The Second City Touring Company while Brittain toured with the TBS Just for Laughs Chicago Festival.

The real question though is whether or not these three are simply being added to the cast, or if they’re meant to replace departing cast members. As I mentioned only Will Forte is said to be leaving the cast, so who could potentially follow in his footsteps? Apparently Seth Meyers, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis and Kenan Thompson haven’t announced their return to the series yet. I could easily see Sudeikis leaving the show since he’s been taking on plenty of supporting roles in films like The Bounty Hunter and Going the Distance, not to mention voicing several characters on The Cleveland Show. The same can be said for Samberg, but I can’t imagine the SNL Digital Shorts with a chunk of The Lonely Island missing. Thompson is the only African American member of the cast making him the resident Tim Meadows so I don’t think he’ll leave. Meyers, as head writer, may step down as a cast member, but getting someone to fill the Weekend Update anchor position would be a big task, too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens when official announcements come sometime next month.

Just below you can check out a few videos featuring the talents that the new cast members will be utilizing when they join the cast of SNL’s 36th season in September.

Taran Killam shows off some of his impersonation skills (some hit and some miss) on a Scrubs: Interns webisode:

Vanessa Bayer’s floating head appears in a commercial for Blue Shield of California:

And here’s a mustached Paul Brittain playing long distance runner Steve Prefontaine in a clip from NBC’s Sports Action Team

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