September 5, 2009

Big SNL Changes!

This past week was filled with lots of big news for the upcoming season of Saturday Night Live. First, we got the news of 2 new SNL cast members!

The first new cast member is Jenny Slate. According to her bio, Jenny had a one-woman show called "Dead Millionaire" at the Upright Citizen's Brigade theater in NY (which was founded by Amy Poehler) and she was also part of the comedy team "Gabe & Jenny". I've never heard of any of these things, however, I do recognize Jenny from her role in the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon fake reality show, 7th Floor West (a parody of The Hills)! If you've seen the show (which really is quite great!) then you know that Jenny plays a character named Jenny, who eventually becomes Jimmy's assistant. She was great in 7th Floor West, so I'm sure she'll be great on SNL! Here's an episode of 7th Floor West that features Jenny:

To see the rest of the episodes (which include lots more of Jenny) head to

The second new cast member is Nasim Pedrad, who I have never heard of and I've never seen any of her work. Apparently she had also had a one-woman show called "Me, Myself, and Iran" and she's done improv with the Groundlings (the legendary improv troupe which produced past SNL stars such as Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, and many many more). Nasim is also the first Iranian cast member, so it's definitely great that the cast is showing a little more diversity. Can't wait to see what she'll bring to SNL!

While I was happy to hear the news of these new cast members, the following day I was devastated to learn that 2 SNL cast members will not be returning this season.

The first SNL departure is Casey Wilson. Casey joined the cast in the middle of the 2007/2008 season, and while she never really broke out with any huge characters, I still enjoyed her work. Some of my favorite Casey Wilson memories include her Rachel Ray impression, her low voiced character from the Cougar Den sketch, and her handicap stripper character. However I think my favorite Casey Wilson memory was her Jennifer Aniston impression as a guest host of The View. I've never seen anyone do a Jennifer Aniston impression, so it was really interesting to see what Casey picked up on to do her spot-on impression. Casey, we'll miss you, and we wish you the best of luck. Here she is as Jennifer Aniston on the SNL parody of The View:

The other person who will be leaving SNL is Michaela Watkins. Michaela joined SNL in the middle of this past season, so she hasn't been in that many episodes, but she was really starting to make her mark. Among her most memorable SNL sketches include her teen blogger who runs the site "Bitch Pleeze", her impression of Ariana Huffington, and my favorite, her impression of Hota Kotb opposite Kristen Wiig's Kathy Lee hosting the Today Show. It seems too soon for Michaela, so it's especially sad to see her go. Again, we wish you the best. Here's Michaela as Hota on SNL's parody of the 11:00 hour of The Today Show:

That's all the cast news for now. There are still rumors going around about a few other members of the cast (such as Darrell Hammond, who is apparently in negations to return for his 15th season, longer than any other cast member in the history of the show). We'll try to keep you posted as we learn more.

By the way, SNL returns on Saturday September 26 with a show hosted by Megan Fox and musical guests U2! So be sure to tune into that. And if you can't wait that long, on Thursday September 17, less than 2 weeks away, SNL Weekend Update Thursdays will start airing on NBC from 8:00-8:30 (leading into Parks & Recreation, The Office, and the new comedy Community) so that should be a really great night of comedy!

In other SNL-related news, Amy Poehler will be getting her own "SNL Best of" DVD! If you've been following this blog for a while, then you know that as soon as Amy Poehler left SNL, I said I hoped they'd release a DVD of her best sketches, to immortalize her time on SNL in my DVD collection forever, and they listened! SNL-The Best of Amy Poehler will be released on October 20th, so be sure to get it!

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