Rolling Stone suggests UCB performers join SNLRolling Stone June 3, 2013
'Saturday Night Live': Who Will Be the New Cast Members?
by James Sullivan
10 names that just might pop up on stage 8-H come September
With the news that longtime Saturday Night Live cast members Bill Hader and Fred Armisen are leaving the show, the improv world is on high alert for Lorne Michaels' next moves. "If I could get inside his brain, it would be a whole different ballgame for me," says Zach Ward, the managing director of ImprovBoston and the founder of North Carolina's DSI Comedy Theater. What is clear, though, is that SNL is searching for more than just outsized personalities: "They're looking for people who can bring written content to the table," says Ward.
Agreed, says Andrew Alexander, the executive producer and co-owner of The Second City Chicago. Michaels and his writers make pilgrimages to The Second City every year, Alexander tells Rolling Stone, searching for new talent. "And we give them the inside scoop on who's a stronger writer," says Alexander. But Michaels and his team recruit from other troupes, too, including the Upright Citizens Brigade (which Amy Poehler co-founded) and The Groundlings, who introduced the world to Will Ferrell. At this point, just two weeks removed from SNL’s season finale, any short list is bound to be speculative, and neither Ward nor Alexander are keen on making predictions. "Look, they missed Steve Carell," says Alexander. "It's not a perfect science." Still, here are a few names you just might see on stage 8-H this September.
A short-lived cast member of NBC's ill-fated Animal Practice, this Colorado native made her name with the UCB Theatre in L.A. She cites Chris Farley as her main influence, and it's apparent in her anything-goes style of comedy.
A contributing writer for The Onion and a member of the sketch group Boat, he's been a UCB regular in New York since 2009.
The head writer for UCB's New York sketch show Beneath Gristedes, he's also a founding member of the improv group Rogue Elephant and star of the one-man show Gavin Speiller Needs Your Approval. Here he is in the web series "Bad First Dates With Gavin."
Already widely recognized as a standup comic, Mulaney is also an SNL staff writer, co-creating Bill Hader's Stefon character. He could be a contender to take over the news parody "Weekend Update" when Seth Meyers moves on to Late Night.