Home Movies Movie Lists

‘Saturday Night Live’: Who Will Be the New Cast Members?

10 names that just might pop up on stage 8-H come September

Jay Pharoah, Taran Killam, Tim Robinson, Kenan Thompson, Fred Armisen perform a skit on 'Saturday Night Live'.

Dana Edelson/NBC

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.

By James Sullivan

Play video

Ross Bryant

One of The Second City's strongest performers is this two-year veteran, whose talents include improvised musical-theater comedy (with Baby Wants Candy, whose members include Jack McBrayer of 30 Rock and SNL featured player Aidy Bryant) and nerd rap, like this homage to Chicago's "least threatening neighborhood," Old Town: "Plants, strollers, puppies/Old-ass people, and newlywed yuppies." 

Play video

Tim Baltz

He's an alum of both The Second City and the Chicago's iO Theater (which was co-founded by the late improv guru Del Close, a mentor to SNL alums John Belushi and Bill Murray). Check out Baltz in this clip of two "Brosters" at an ad agency: "So true, it's bank!"

In This Article: NBC, Saturday Night Live, television

Show Comments