Local improv groups everywhere are welcoming home their star players, warming them with blankets and soup and reassurances that they’ll get ’em next time, now that Lorne Michaels has drafted the final round of Saturday Night Live additions. Many of them we’ve already met: Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, and Noel Wells are all officially aboard, while the show has also made the relatively last-minute addition of stand-up comic and CollegeHumor writer Brooks Wheelan. Here he is making light of the very serious problem of meth addiction.
Also joining the cast is Mike O’Brien, a writer for the show who’s already developed his own devoted online following as the host of “7 Minutes In Heaven,” a web series in which he traps celebrities in the closet and forces them into awkward conversations and even more awkward attempts to make out. Here he is making light of the very serious problem of Christina Ricci’s inability to kiss.
As O’Brien transitions in front of the camera, Tim Robinson is transitioning behind it—a natural evolution, akin to the way sunrise transitions to sunset, because sunrise didn’t exactly hit it off with the audience last year. Robinson will go from being a featured player to the writing staff, which at least requires less makeup.
Finally, the most glaring change will be, as expected, at the Weekend Update desk. With Seth Meyers moving to Late Night and getting mixed up with an all-new, even sluttier desk, Lorne Michaels has made the decision to bring in Cecily Strong as Meyers’ new co-anchor, building on her breakout character the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party by ensuring she can never do it again, because she has to do the news now.
Strong is poised to take over Update solo once Meyers leaves—though if Michaels has his way, that could be a while. He tells the New York Times that—since Late Night doesn’t tape on Fridays, and since Michaels is Meyers’ producer on both shows, and thus the puppetmaster who pulls the strings on Meyers’ every waking moment—he’s hoping to have Meyers continue dropping in for Friday rehearsals and working weekends at SNL. Lightening his workload at least a little bit, Meyers has already been relieved of head writing duties by the newly installed Colin Jost and Rob Klein, who are the two names you need to learn if you’re one of those people who likes to spend the year bemoaning the “decline” of SNL.
Incidentally, if you are one those people, Michaels has a theory about what your problem is. “People attach to the cast they see in high school,” he tells the NYT. “In those years they generally can’t drive. They don’t have any money. Staying up late is exciting. Being with friends up late is really exciting. So they’re very connected to the cast they see then.” In other words, it’s your life as an independent, fulfilled adult that’s getting in the way of your enjoyment of SNL. Burn your driver's license and all your money, move back in with your parents, and see how funny it gets then.