Late-night sketch television shows have come and gone, but the grandfather of them all remains: “Saturday Night Live.” SNL’s live show from their studio in New York City has had America laughing since the first episode aired in 1975. Of course, cast members have changed over the times, but they all have one thing in common; they’re funny as hell. And now in the show’s 39th season, live from New York, there are six new faces!
Nobody was laughing when Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, and Fred Armisen all said their goodbyes after the 38th season of the show, but thankfully the new cast members kept the laughs flowing in the new season’s premiere. Comedy queen Tina Fey introduced the six; demanding they join the crew by performing an oh-so-typical embarrassing dance while Fey opened the show. There they were, fresh meat, in metallic gold underwear dancing around one of SNL’s iconic figures. But where did these unfamiliar funny men and women come from?
Let’s begin with the maybe not so unfamiliar face of Beck Bennett. You may recognize him as the man sitting at a table with kindergarteners in AT&T’s popular commercials. Or maybe you recognize him from one of his popular YouTube channel Good Neighbor videos.
Speaking of Good Neighbor, Kyle Mooney is yet another of the new cast members who took part in the YouTube sensation. Mooney is known by his YouTube fans for his hilarious characters including “Interview” Kyle, “Bad Joke” Bruce Chandling, and of course the “Pot smoking” Kyle. His videos on the Good Neighbor channel are hysterical and definitely worth a watch. We can only hope he brings some of his purp-scurp material to the show.
John Milhiser has also made his way around the internet before he landed his gig on SNL. A popular blogger and meme creator, Milhiser shone brightest with his sketch group on YouTube. Most memorably, his Step Up parody had web-goers laughing.
The set of SNL is nothing new to Mike O’Brien, but being in front of the camera is. As a writer for the show since 2009, O’Brien has also starred in YouTube videos with legendary Tina Fey amongst many other celebrities in his web-series 7 Minutes in Heaven. Rumors have it that he could be the next Jimmy Fallon… I guess we’ll see.
Noel Wells is the only new female joining this season, and she has a lot to live up to while working alongside some of the most hysterical women on television. She should do fine, considering her spot-on impersonations which have exploded all over YouTube.
The last fresh face we will be seeing every Saturday night is that of Brooks Wheelan. A former full-fledged stand-up comedian, Wheelan stands out from the group. No doubt that his dry yet relatable humor will cause audiences to fall in love with the “guy-next-door.”
With the exception of Wheelan, it is very clear how these new cast members became known in the world of comedy; the internet. Infamous actors and actresses such as Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler climbed their way to the top beginning with stand-up comedy shows in New York City with hopes of being discovered. Now-a-days, all you need is a video camera and some witty lines. Are these YouTube sensations comparable to on-the-spot stand-up comedians? We’ll have to wait and see, but so far the odds are looking in their favor.