The pink slips rained down on Rockefeller Center today.
First, Saturday Night Live rookie Brooks Wheelan announced over Twitter yesterday that he was fired from the show, and now it looks like fellow newbies Noël Wells and John Milhiser have suffered the same fate. SNL veteran Nasim Pedrad, who joined the show in 2009, is also reportedly leaving, but this isn’t a surprise since she has a job lined up co-starring in the FOX sitcom Mulaney, which airs in the fall.
Wheelan, along with Wells and Milhiser, was rarely seen on the show, but he did get some attention this week, after confirming his ouster over Twitter and nailing an opportunity to make fun of himself.
“Had a blast and loved every second of it,” he wrote. “I’m totally honored to be able to make this next joke…Fired from New York It’s Saturday Night.”
Had a blast and loved every second of it. I’m totally honored to be able to make this next joke… FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!
Wheelan, Milhiser, and Wells were in a groupsix newbie cast members to debut in September, along with Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, and Mike O’Brien. Sasheer Zamata joined the cast in December and Colin Jost started his tenure at Weekend Update back in March.
Announced today, SNL writer and standup comic Colin Jost will replace Seth Meyers as co-host of Weekend Update.
Jost will join Cecily Strong starting March 1 so Meyers can start his new gig as host of Late Night with Seth Meyers, which debuts Feb. 24. Save the tissues for Feb. 1 – that’s expected to be Meyer’s last Saturday as Update anchor.
So who is this Colin Jost? He’s a Harvard grad who joined the writing staff in 2005 and became head writer in 2012. He was also president of TheHarvard Lampoon. And for those of you up on all the latest celebrity gossip, he’s reportedly dating Parks and Recreation star (and Quincy Jones daughter) Rashida Jones.
Here’s a sneak peek of what we can expect from Jost:
Toronto rapper Drake will be host and musical guest.
Zamata is a graduate from the University of Virginia and trained at New York City’s Upright Citizen’s Brigade.
SNL came under fire for lack of diversity after bosses hired six white cast members in the off season. The search has been on for an African-American comic for a while now, with 12 hopefuls called back to test on the SNL stage on Dec. 16.
All eyes will be on Zamata in two weeks. No pressure at all.
Have a listen to Sasheer’s standup here:
And check out some of her acting in this Morning After video:
For the first time since Maya Rudolph left in 2007, Saturday Night Live will have a black female cast member.
It seems the months of internet furor over the sketch show’s lack of diversity has prompted executive producer Lorne Michaels to shake things up once again.
According to theNew York Times, auditions will be held for seven or eight black female comedians on the SNL stage on Monday.
Tanisha Long (The Girl Code), Gabrielle Denis (The Game), Bresha Webb, Misty Monroe, Sasheer Zamata, Natasha Rothwell, Amber Ruffin, Leslie Jones and Briana KC are all rumoured as candidates, reports Deadline.com.
The hope is that at least one will join the cast in the New Year.
The diversity controversy on SNL is nothing new. In the show’s 39-year history, only a handful of black women have ever been in the cast. So when Michaels announced the hiring of six new comics in September – all of them white, all but one men – the controversy heated up again.
Nowhere were the holes more visible than when Kerry Washington hosted the show last month. In the opener, she had to play Michelle Obama AND Oprah Winfrey in the same sketch. Sure, it was funny and a way for the writers to poke fun at the situation, but it sure doesn’t fix things.
If one of the most influential women in the United States in 2013 is Michelle Obama and SNL doesn’t have anyone to play her, we’re all missing out. Think of the comedy, people!
SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels finally revealed his plans for the sketch show’s news parody segment, which has been one giant question mark ever since Meyersannounced he was replacing Jimmy Fallon on Late Night. He starts the gig Feb. 24.
While he confirmed Meyers will stay on at the beginning of Season 39, Michaels also revealed he wants him to stay as Cecily’s co-anchor for as long as possible.
It turns out, the new Late Night won’t tape on Fridays, which would give Meyers some time for double-duty. In the end, it would probably all depend on how much sleep poor Seth needs to function on a weekly basis.
And guess what? There’s yet another new cast member.
Standup comedian Brooks Wheelan is the sixth addition to the cast. The other newbies are Kyle Mooney, John Milhiser, Noël Wells and AT&T commercial guy Beck Bennett.
SNL writer Mike O’Brien will also join the cast, while last season’s cast member Tim Robinson will move behind the scenes as a writer. Nice switcheroo.
Having trouble keeping track?
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